Brexit Package Holiday Surcharge? Just Travel Independently Instead!

package holiday in Rhodes Greece

Some travel companies are starting to add surcharges to already paid for holidays because the pound has supposedly crashed since Brexit, and traditional holidaymakers are not happy. Is this right?

Mark Warner Holidays are the latest company to invoke a surcharge clause in package holiday contracts that allows them to charge up to 10% extra, they aren’t the first of course and a number of ABTA affiliated companies have done the same, but they all say they are doing this because of currency fluctuations or other price rises due to the EU referendum result, or Brexit.

This is despite these holidays already being sold, bought and paid for by the holidaymakers.

And a lot of people are rightly angry at this. I would be too.

They say they are doing this because the pound has crashed since Brexit, and they have to recoup the costs.

Well first of all the pound hasn’t really crashed has it? Despite all the negative media attention and the doomsaying from the media, the pound has certainly dropped a little against other currencies, down 8% today against the Euro since before the referendum result.

Guess what? It’s a currency. That’s what currencies do! It will rise again and it will drop again! It is still one of the strongest performing currencies in the world and worth more than the euro and the dollar to name just two! 

Hardly the crash that many predicted. We’re British for crying out loud, stop panicking!

Package holiday in Rhodes, Greece

So that isn’t really a good excuse to slap an extra surcharge on holiday makers is it? And even if it was surely the holiday firms are obligated to take the hit and absorb the cost themselves? Indeed they are professionally obligated to absorb the first 2%. They were quick enough to profit from the pound when it was running strong and they certainly weren’t giving a rebate of up to 10% to holidaymakers then were they?

Let’s face it. This has nothing at all to do with Brexit, and everything to do with companies desperately trying to cling onto profit margins.

This is on top of the fact that package holidays like this are already heavily overpriced to pay all the agents and inflate the profit margins of the companies providing the package deal.

There is an answer to this of course. Travel independently!

Are Package Holidays Redundant?

I’m not knocking the traditional travel industry at all, it does have its place. But at the end of the day it is much cheaper and with a little bit of effort just as easy – if not more so – to just sort everything out yourself and travel independently.

It is the easiest thing in the world to research where you want to travel to online and find out everything you need to know about any destination. It is easier than it ever has been to search for flight deals and compare prices online. As for where to stay? Well that has never been easier to book online either, although there is still the old backpacker habit of just finding a place to sleep when you arrive.

Travelling independently will save you a hell of a lot of money too, especially if you travel for longer periods of time. You can spend that money on more and better experiences instead! You will have more choice in where you go, where you stay and what you do.

Travelling independently is even far more sustainable, and there is a huge argument for travellers supporting the local travel industry and local businesses instead of large corporations by sitting around in a bland resort.

So what are you waiting for? Ditch the package holiday and take a gap year instead!

The traditional travel industry is already reeling hard from a sharp decline in people travelling with them and surely things like this will just make it worse? They really are in danger of fostering a lot of bad feeling and making themselves increasingly irrelevant.

Did you enjoy this article? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below or on my Facebook or Twitter pages and please feel free to share it with any or all of the social media buttons. If you want to get more great backpacking tips, advice and inspiration, please subscribe to updates via email in the box to your right.

Be Your Own Best Travel Agent.

Forget The Gap Year Itinerary, Go With The Flow.

How To Plan A Gap Year.

What Happens When A Backpacker Goes On An All Inclusive Holiday.

What You Should Consider Before You Start Planning Your Trip.

Which Round The World Route Is Right For You?

Michael Huxley is a published author, professional adventurer and founder of the travel website, Bemused Backpacker. He has spent the last twenty years travelling to over 100 countries on almost every continent, slowly building Bemused Backpacker into a successful business after leaving a former career in emergency nursing and travel medicine, and continues to travel the world on numerous adventures every year.

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Posted in Travel Talk
36 comments on “Brexit Package Holiday Surcharge? Just Travel Independently Instead!
  1. Craig says:

    This is ridiculous. Yes the pound went down a bit after Brexit but has recovered a lot since then. I wonder if they would refund us if the pound was healthier against the euro?

  2. Gail says:

    One more reason not to use package holiday firms.

  3. Jay Barrett says:

    Very cynical way of treating customers and I wonder if they can be done under The Consumer Protection Act?

  4. Freya says:

    What particularly grates on me is the discounts they are offering for last minute availability, so they are punishing people for booking early. They’ve cut off their nose to spite their face though as I think they’ll lose future bookings

  5. Nic says:

    We used to go on family holidays with Mark Warner every year and they are quite expensive to begin with. Now I’m travelling on my own I’m taking a leaf out of your book and doing everything independently. I definitely wouldn’t use any company that does stuff like this on principle.

  6. Ava says:

    They are clearly in financial trouble. They will be in far more trouble next year as most people would be reluctant to book with them again.

  7. Mia Kuar says:

    I totally agree with you that it is shocking how firms like this think they can get away with ripping people off, exactly as you said there were no rebates when they were profiting off the pound when it was running strong (which it is on its way to being again). Travel independently. It’s the best way!

  8. Lydia says:

    Agree with you wholeheartedly, this has nothing to do with Brexit, but with Mark Warner trying to cling onto profits. It’s a currency surcharge plain and simple.

  9. Jon Wells says:

    This is one of many reasons I won’t use any of these companies. I’d rather take your advice and travel on my own instead, and I think things like this will just push more and more people into doing just that!

  10. Peaceful Unicorn says:

    You never hear about refunds after a favourable change in currency rates. That’s why this sort of thing just stinks to high hell.

  11. Shelley says:

    This is all about profit plain and simple. When they rely on currency fluctuations for profit they should be able to hedge their currency exchange exposures better, it is as simple as that. When Mark Warner gets it wrong (or even if they haven’t, but want to make a bit of extra cash), they blackmail their customers into making up their losses.

  12. Bradley O'Sullivan says:

    The PR team from Mark Warner must be committing mass suicide by now!! The entire firm will be doing so before long after this.

  13. Jake says:

    Sounds like a bunch of con artists with sour grapes out to make extra profits and using the Brexit catch all as an excuse. Never seems to happen the other way when the Pound appreciated over the Euro.

  14. Lucy Oglivie says:

    Package holidays really should die a death. Who really still goes on them?

  15. ManInAHuff says:

    This is why I’ll never use one of these rip off package holidays again, they just treat customers with contempt once they have the money.

  16. Lisa Platt says:

    This doesn’t surprise me at all! I have definitely learned the error of my ways since finding your site a couple of years ago, I won’t be using any of these package companies again.

  17. Mark says:

    Now other firms are hiking their prices. Nothing at all to do with Brexit they are just profiteering. I’m taking your advice and just booking my flights and accommodation on my own!

  18. John Vella says:

    There is so much ridiculous scaremongering about Brexit at the moment (just look at the **** coming out from Ryanair and that idiot chairman of theirs). Any company who tries to charge extra and take advantage of it should be boycotted. As you say it is proof that everyone should just follow your advice and travel independently!

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Hi, I'm Michael! I'm a former nurse turned published author and world travelling professional adventurer! I have spent over twenty years travelling over 100 countries and I want to inspire you to do the same! Want to know more about me? Just click here!

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