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Your guide to accidents on package holidays

Sun loungers on a beach

Package holidays continue to be a hugely popular and relatively inexpensive way to relax in the sun and enjoy the company of friends or loved ones.

The continued growth of the “all-inclusive” package holiday also reflects the many holidaymakers who seek to combine their holidays with family time and relaxation with a sense of wellbeing and new experiences.

It’s not surprising that going abroad on the annual holiday remains an important event in the family calendar. Around a half of British people who holiday abroad now book a package, according to travel industry experts. The numbers fall to around a third for older age groups.

The rise in package holidays abroad, which offer a wider range of activities and places to visit, is all part of the excitement and pleasure of going exploring on holiday but with additional security and benefits.

Holiday accidents abroad can take place anywhere and at any time.  

But under Regulation 2(1) of the Package Travel Regulations 1992, hotel owners and tour operators have a ‘duty of care’ towards the health and safety of you, your family and anyone else in your party.

This means that if your holiday contract falls within the definition, you'll benefit from the Regulations, according to additional terms implied in the contract.

If you suffer an accident whilst abroad on a package holiday it’s important that you know where your entitled to claim and ensure those who owe you a duty of care are held to account.

Your Legal Friend has 30 years experience and specialist knowledge in all aspects of international personal injury law. We provide you with all the expert guidance you will need to help you help you succeed in making your claim against a UK tour operator.


  • 20 per cent of people and 25 per cent of those with a young family planned an “all-inclusive”  holiday in 2015.          (ABTA Travel Trends Report, 2015 - Association of British Travel Agents)
  • The number of British holidaymakers travelling abroad has risen by 5 per cent over the last twelve months.          (Office Of National Statistics 2014)
  • British holidaymakers travelling abroad have made an estimated 50 million visits in 2014.          (Association of British Travel Agents - ABTA, 2014)

What is the definition of a Package Holiday?

You may be prevented from making a claim for an accident, which occurred on a holiday abroad if the package you book does not fall within the meaning of the Package Travel Regulations 1992. 

Under Regulation 2(1) of the Package Travel Regulations 1992, hotel owners and tour operators have a ‘duty of care’ towards the health and safety of you, your family and anyone else in your party.

Regulation 2(1) of the Package Travel Regulations 1992 states that a package provides for the pre-arranged combination of at least two of the following components:

  • Transport
  • Accommodation
  • Other tourist services not additional to transport or accommodation, and accounts for a significant proportion of the package

The definition also includes a wide range of travel arrangements, including:

  • Traditional package holidays -  as described in brochures.
  • Tailor-made holidays - where you have selected separate components.
  • Packages which are not holidays - such as business / conference travel, educational weekends and school trips.

When accommodation and the flights are separate on a package

Package holidays could also include holidays where the accommodation and the flights are provided by two different suppliers, but organised or put together by a separate third party agent.  

A holiday will not necessarily be a package if:

  • It is made quite clear to you that there are two separate contracts.
  • One contract is with the airline
  • The second contract is  with the accommodation provider

Holidays which may not be packages can be described as:

  • Tailor-made holiday
  • Dynamic packaging
  • Flight plus hotel deal

Exactly where is my holiday tour organiser liable if I have an accident?

It’s important to know a key difference in liability – depending on exactly where you have an accident or suffer an injury, such as a slip, trip or fall while on holiday abroad.

Your  holiday organiser can also be held responsible when an accident takes place either:

  • On a pre-booked excursion bought in the UK
  • During a holiday service provided as part of your package bought in the UK.
  • If you are harmed whilst using any facilities promoted or controlled by your tour operator as part of your package, you could have grounds to enter a claim for compensation.

Your package holiday organiser is unlikely to be held responsible:

  • If your accident occurred during a sight-seeing trip or event booked at the hotel or resort, which was not included in your pre-booked package bought in the UK.
  • If an accident occurred away from your hotel – unless it was during an additional sight-seeing “component” you bought in the UK as part of your package.

Your holiday organise is also not liable:

  • If you tripped on a badly maintained pavement in the local town centre.
  • If an accident was your fault, i.e. you broke the safety rules.

Legal protection with a package holiday

A key legal benefit of a booking package holiday, which covers a period of more than 24 hours or includes overnight accommodation – is your entitlement to extensive legal protection on all parts included in your holiday, such as a pre-booked excursion.

The Regulations may allow you to bring a claim against your  tour operator in this country as opposed to pursuing a claim in the country where the accident occurred.

What do I do if I have an accident while on a package holiday?

As with any accident or injury abroad, it is essential that you report what has happened.

Firstly, speak to your holiday rep/ tour organiser or contact their offices to also let them know.

You must also make a note of the key details by:

  • Taking photos – and record the date and time the photographs were taken
  • Taking details of any witnesses - keep a note of  names, addresses and email addresses so you can contact them should you need their help.
  • Keeping all of your booking documents -  such as tickets and receipts.
  • Keeping receipts for any costs incurred -  as a result of the accident i.e. medical fees, taxis, prescriptions. 
  • Arranging a medical examination - with your GP/ local surgery when you return home.
  • Seeking legal advice - on return from your holiday.

Making a claim – what you need to know

Claiming damages for a package holiday usually comes under four categories, which in most cases is awarded in a total amount:

Loss of value  - the difference between the value of the holiday you paid for and the one you actually received.

Out-of-pocket expenses - any reasonable expenses you incurred as a result of the breach of contract.

Loss of enjoyment - compensation for the disappointment and distress caused by things going wrong.

Personal injury - compensation for any personal injury incurred abroad, which requires specialist legal advice.

Your Legal Friend has 30 years experience and in-depth knowledge in all aspects of international personal injury law.

We specialise in helping all those who have suffered from a holiday accident while abroad through no fault of their own and wish to claim compensation against a UK tour operator.

We can help you to claim back any additional expenses you have incurred as a result of your accident, such as:

  • Any medical expenses you had to meet whilst on holiday
  • Time taken off work on your return from holiday
  • Missing out on taking part in any holiday activities because of your injury

Throughout your claim, Your Legal Friend will help you every step of the way.

  • Specialist team of accidents abroad solicitors
  • A wealth of knowledge and expertise
  • Advice, support and guidance throughout your claim
  • No upfront fees or payments
  • Over 30 years of experience in personal injury compensation

Talk to us today

For an informal, confidential chat with one of our specialist personal injury solicitors... Call us now on 0808 301 7535 (calls free from landlines and mobiles). Or just complete the 'Start a new claim’ option on the right and we'll call you straight back.