TUI holidays / airlines review: is it worth buying a package with TUI?

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From time to time we all need some all-inclusive vacations. Actually, it’s way cheaper to travel to some destinations with a travel agency, such as TUI. This post, however, will focus only on TUI holidays review as well on a brief review of TUI airlines.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m the biggest supporter of independent travelling – where you plan everything on your own and try to see as much as possible – our most amazing trip was probably a trip to the Balkans where we visited 7 countries by coaches & trains. However, some destinations are just not ready for independent travelling and it’s so much cheaper and more convenient to go there with an agency.

When we were considering buying a package to Hurghada, Egypt with TUI Holidays, we checked how much would it cost it to go there on our own. The flights from London to Hurghada were around £400 per person with EasyJet, with no bags included, so count extra £30 pp. The hotels were around 50-100£ per nights, so during 11 nights, we would spend at least 550 and more likely 800-1000 pounds for both of us. Then there are transfers from the airport, which would cost additional 30-40 pounds for a return ride. In the end, it would end up being around £1650 for both of us. Well, for our package to a 5* hotel we paid only £1070 in total.

Do you want to know, how do we manage to travel so much & work full-time? And how can we actually afford travelling so much? – Head to this post >>>

Safari Tour in Egypt

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What to expect from a holiday with TUI Holidays: TUI review

TUI Airlines review – weight your suitcase in advance

I’ll start my TUI airlines review with the baggage policy. Their baggage allowance is very strict and if you feel like you’ll have overweight in your luggage – better pay for the bigger bag – 20kg one (by default everybody gets 15kg for free). We didn’t have a scale at home so we thought we have around 15-16 but ended up having 17.5 each plus too heavy hand luggage – so we had to place all the extra items in one bag and were about to pay 150£ for bag overweight for one way! Instead, we decided to throw away some of our belongings and it was quite embarrassing. So, if you booked your holiday with TUI airways, make sure, that your luggage is not exceeding their limits.

luggage allowance with Thomson
Be careful & weight your luggage in advance

TUI flight review

Don’t expect anything fancy from your flight with TUI – you need to pay for your food and drinks on board and the prices are standard – around £3.5 for a sandwich or £4.5 for a Mediterranean or Cheese Box. You also need to pay for drinks. There is usually no in-flight entertainment (even on longer flights like the one we took – London Gatwick to Hurghada).

Thomson Airlines
Just a normal TUI flight

Airport transfers with TUI

Thomson usually includes airport transfers in the package – the process is pretty straightforward. When you arrive at your destination, go through the passport control and customs checks and arrive at the exit of the terminal, you just need to look out for people wearing Tui t-shirts and ask them, where are the coaches. There is usually a booth with a TUI assistant near the coaches and you’ll be given an envelope with the details about your hotel and the information about your local Thomson assistant in your hotel.

TUI holidays review:

TUI destination assistants at your hotel

At every hotel TUI works with, there is someone from the agency working usually in the mornings (around 11 am depending on the schedule, but don’t worry, you’ll be provided with the additional information). There is a semi-mandatory meeting for all the new guests usually next day after the arrival when the assistant will tell you more about the hotel and will try to make you buy some pretty expensive TUI tours.

We found, that the tours with Thomson were at least 2 times more expensive than the tours on Viator or GetYourGuide, so it didn’t really make any sense to book with Thomson, but if you want no-hassle and 100% security, you should better go with them.

Egypt Tui holidays

Check out and departure

Around 2-3 days before your return flight, you will receive a letter from your TUI hotel assistant, telling you about the return transfer time (usually it’s 3 hours before your flight). It’s better to come earlier, as sometimes there are more coaches and you can travel hassle-free (because airports in some countries like Egypt are a mess). Interested in travelling to Egypt? Read my post about safety in Egypt in 2019!

After your trip

Once your trip is over, you will receive an email from TUI asking you to fill the questionnaire and tell your opinion about the holiday with TUI. In case, something went really wrong (like you got sick in your hotel, for example, and that wasn’t your fault), you can work with some of the external legal agencies and even claim money from the agency. However, I’ve never done that – so I can’t help much with that.

To summarise, TUI has some really great deals. However, don’t expect anything fancy from it – it’s a budget-friendly family-oriented holiday provider. It’s trustworthy and pretty big – so don’t worry, you’ll be pretty safe with them. Would we use TUIagain? Well, maybe, if we find some really great deal for an unmatchable price!

What to expect from an all-inclusive holiday with Thomson Holidays / Tui

Don’t forget to check the latest TUI Holiday Deals!

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