Package holiday jargon explained

If you’re looking to find the perfect package holiday, knowing your half-board from your full-board and your ATOL from your ABTA will help ensure you book a holiday that’s just right for you. This guide will demystify the terms you’ll need to navigate before booking that break, taking out unnecessary stress and headaches.

Which board?

Whether you enjoy conjuring up your favourite recipes from freshly sourced ingredients or delight in taking a break from the cooking and want everything prepared for you, be sure to choose your board accordingly.

Self-catering will usually provide you with kitchen facilities to make your own meals; ideal for those who want to buy local ingredients and cook meals from scratch – and ideal for those who plan to hire a car and be away from their hotel. Be sure to check you have everything you need close by and that you budget enough for all meals and drinks you’ll need while on holiday.

Room only (RO) is a no-frills option with a room and bathroom – everything else you need you’ll  have to pay for yourself.

Bed and breakfast (B&B) will provide you with breakfast and accommodation – you’ll need to budget for all your other meals and drinks.

Choose All Inclusive if you’re looking to be pampered – all your holiday food and drink will be included in this package. Going All Inclusive may also include some extras, such as excursions; check with your travel agent before booking.

Full Board is similar to all-inclusive, this option includes all meals and often snacks too. This package may or may not cover drinks, so be sure to check the small print, as you may need to budget extra for these.

Half-board holidays include breakfast and either lunch OR dinner (not both). Half-board is ideal if you want to roll out of bed and have breakfast on hand but fancy going out and about for lunch or your evening meal.

PP or PPPN is the Price per Person or Price Per Person Per Night for your holiday.

Transfers are how you get to and from the airport to your hotel, apartment or resort. Transport modes used for your transfer are usually coach, taxi or private car. Be sure to check that transfers are covered, unless you plan to hire a car from the airport.

Excursions are planned trips and activities that may be included in your package. Generally, excursions are extras that you’ll need to plan and budget separately for.

ATOL and ABTA UK Government-backed ATOL, the Air Travel Organiser’s Licence is a financial protection scheme to ensure that your package holiday is protected, meaning that if the travel company fails and goes out of business, you won’t lose money or be stranded on holiday. Booking with an ABTA (Association of British Travel Agents) member also gives you recourse should you have a problem or complaint with your travel company.

Long haul or short haul relates to flight times. From a UK perspective, long haul refers to a destination that involves a flight time of 6-12 hours. Short-haul destinations from the UK will be a flight of approximately three hours or less, and will cover most of Europe.

Currency exchange rates will determine the amount of local currency you’ll get in return for your pound. Check both the buy and sell-back price – the buy price is the amount of local currency you’ll get for your pound and the sell-back price is the amount you’ll get to change any leftover currency back into British pounds on your return home.

Check-in is the time you need to be at the check-in desk at the airport with your luggage. Make sure you give yourself extra time for any travel delays and allow for the inevitable queuing at the check-in desk.

Baggage allowance is the weight of baggage each traveller can take on board the aircraft. This includes hand luggage, which you carry on the aircraft with you and also hold luggage, which goes into cargo. Hand luggage is usually up to 5kg and hold luggage up to 20kg, but be sure to check these in advance of travel with the airline to avoid costly charges is you go over. Also familiarise yourself with the size of your hand luggage, as many airlines have restrictions.

Hopefully this simple guide to package holiday jargon and phrases will help you get the right package deal for you.