For years, packaged holidays' trump card over rival DIY online booked flights and hotels has been the Government's ATOL scheme.
It promises your money back or an alternative holiday if yours is cancelled due to tour operator or airline failure. That protection has just been extended to cover a whole new range of bookings, changing the game for arranging trips online.
Under the new rules, buy a flight and accommodation and/or car hire from one firm within 24 hours and it's ATOL protected. The prime beneficiaries will be travel-broker websites such as ebookers.co.uk , expedia.co.uk and lastminute.com, which offer nouveau-style packages.
This leaves travellers with a new dilemma, as often these sites are undercut by results from comparison sites. Yet as these sites invariably lead you to booking a hotel and flight through separate providers, your trip won't be covered by ATOL.
If you do want to seek out the very cheapest flight price, don't assume all websites do the same job. Know exactly when and where you want to go, and sites such as kayak.co.uk and skyscanner.com will scythe down the cheapest flight price.
For traditional tourist spots, throw in avro.co.uk and flightsdirect.co.uk , which search charter flights too. If you just want "the cheapest budget flight to Malaga any time in August", my flightchecker.co.uk is designed to show you when to go. Similar tactics work for hotels, where prices for the same room vary widely depending on who you book with (see mse.me/hotels).
So now when you book online you need to decide where the see-saw tilts between comparison sites' very cheapest price, and the protection of the travel-brokers' nouveau packages.
If there's £200 in it, which would you choose?