What are your package holiday rights if you suffer an illness bug?


Holiday giant TUI, who own Thomson and First Choice have reported a 20% increase in profits. They say that this is in no small part due to an increase in sales of luxury package holidays. Nobody can doubt that the package holiday is cost effective, offering customers a complete holiday at the click of a button and often a resort with everything you need. But… would you know where you stand if something went wrong?

package holiday

What is the law regarding package holidays?

People who purchase a package holiday are protected by a special piece of law, which makes UK tour operators responsible for a holiday abroad as long as it's a package holiday. This piece of law is called the Package Travel Regulations.

These regulations say that a package holiday is anything that has at least two of the following:

  • Travel
  • Accommodation
  • Other tourist services such as a series of trips and excursions

If you buy a holiday where you can mix and match different travel and accommodation, from different providers, is it a package holiday?

Probably not. It's likely to be what's called a 'dynamic package holiday'. You also don't have the automatic legal right to make a claim in this country under the Package Travel Regulations. We have [specific advice] on dynamic package holidays.

If the brochure or the website says things like 'dynamic packaging', 'tailor-made holiday' or 'flight plus hotel deal' these holidays may not be packages. If you're ever in doubt, don't be afraid to ask the tour operator or your travel agent.

You've eaten at the restaurant in the resort, and eventually on your holiday you fall ill. What can you do?

Whilst you can still bring a claim if you're already back in the UK, there are some things you can do to make things easier whilst abroad.

  • Take pictures of unhygienic areas or 'suspect food'
  • Talk to other holiday makers – if you've got ill from a buffet, you're probably not the only one!
  • If they have seen something or also got ill, exchange contact details
  • Seek medical attention and get a diagnosis
  • Get copies of medical records and any receipts

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