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Our History



For 40 years we've brought you the best value airport hotels, airport parking, airport lounges, airport transfers, car hire and holiday insurance. There's nothing that our team of travel experts don't know about taking the hassle out of organising a holiday.

Take a look at where it all began...

1983 - Holiday Extras founded as Apple Booking Company

In 1983, entrepreneur Gerry Pack noticed there was no easy way for holidaymakers to book a night at an airport hotel before their trip. With no discounted prices available, there were hotel rooms staying empty as most airport hotels were aimed at business travellers. Gerry decided that this was the right time and the right venture.

At first we worked solely with travel agents. The booking system was basic but well planned and the service was free.

1986 - ABC starts selling travel insurance

We expanded our product offering and added travel insurance to our list of extras, closely followed by airport parking in 1988.

1988 - ABC Holiday Extras moves into Apple Barn

A new name and a new office! ABC becomes holABC Holiday Extras and moves into Apple Barn, along the A20, just 3.5 miles from where the current campus is now.

1988 - Hello to Chauntry

We started working with Chauntry, a company providing us with an online reservation system for airport parking. It's a partnership that continues today.

1988 - ABC Holiday Extras starts selling Airport Parking

2000 - ABC Holiday Extras customer website is launched

The turn of the century (and millennium!) was a big year for us. We moved online and launched www.holidayextras.com, selling products directly to customers, alongside our travel trade partners.

2002 - European operation in Munich established

2004 - Show & Stay and Play & Stay brands established

2005 - Management buy out

An employee benefit trust holds 12.7% of the company's value. The remainder is held in equal share by our management team and the Pack family.

2006 - Introducing Holiday Extras and The Wave

We rebranded to Holiday Extras and our campus moved to The Wave, Newingreen, close to junction 11 on the M20 in Kent. The purpose-designed building won the Kent County Council Building Design Award for 2003/4.

2007 - Acquisition of BCP

In one of the company's biggest milestones to date, we acquired the car parking firm BCP (formerly Better Choice Parking) from Q-Park. As part of the deal we agreed to manage Q-Parks off-airport car parks too at Heathrow, Manchester, Gatwick, Newcastle and Glasgow.

2008 - New website launches

Our new and improved website had a whole host of pioneering features including an interactive number plate search system and 100 user-focused changes to improve the customer experience.

2009 - Restructure for growth

The company divided into four distinct businesses - Holiday Extras Ltd, Airparks Ltd, ShortBreaks and Holiday Extras Continental. Steve Lawrence took on the role of Group CEO of the four areas.

2011 - Product videos

We decided that the best way to show our customers what it was like to stay in an airport hotel was to go there, review it and film it!

Check out one from 2012.

2013 - Acquisition of Essential Travel

We acquired Essential Travel, a holiday insurance company owned by Thomas Cook. This was the beginning of a long-term commercial contract with Thomas Cook.

2014 - HX launches travel guides

After the success of our product videos the team moved into the youtube space. Our Holiday Extras Travel Guides channel was launched in November 2014 and today has over 60,000 subscribers!

Some highlights from our first travel guide in Tenerife,

2015 - Matthew takes over

Matthew Pack, son of Gerry, became Group CEO in January 2015.

2017 - Google 360 visits the office

Take a look at the office from 2017!

2017 - Acquired Purple Parking and Chauntry

Speaking at the time in 2017 our CEO Matthew Pack said of Purple Parking, "We intend to use our proven expertise to make the Purple Parking booking experience faster, easier to use, and an integral part of the Holiday Extras suite of services. Our acquisition of Purple Parking's online assets is focused on providing continuity of service for Purple Parking's customers, suppliers and distributors."

And of Chauntry, "This is a friendly acquisition of a business that Holiday Extras has enjoyed a long and successful partnership with. We are excited by the prospect of Chauntry now being part of the Holiday Extras Group. By adding its services, people, and expertise to our teams, we will be widening the value we offer our partners whilst capitalising on the mutual benefits in enhanced performance that tighter integration brings."

2018 - Management buy out

Values the company at nearly £100 million and places 55% of the company's equity into an employee benefit trust.

2018 - Kriss Akabusi opens The Reef

In November Kriss Akabusi officially opened The Reef – the newest addition to our Newingreen campus.

2019 - Acquired City Hotel Reservations

City Hotel Reservations (CHR) became an exclusive intermediary of Holiday Extras in October 2019, with all of its bookings going through our system and supply.

Our CEO, Matthew Pack said at the time, "We've worked with the team at CHR for more than five years to supply airport hotel and parking inventory, and during that time we've been impressed with their strong customer service record and the quality of the online customer experience. Their websites are therefore a natural fit for our business and we're pleased to announce this latest acquisition today."

2019 - We make our TV debut

Our first TV advert is aired on ITV, with the second airing in January 2020.

2020 - The Covid-19 pandemic halts travel

While travel was on hold through much of 2020, we focussed all our efforts on ensuring that when travellers were able to go on holiday again, they could book with maximum flexibility and using the fastest, smartest and most personal service in travel.

With a lot of the Holiday Extras team furloughed there was an opportunity for us to give back and do some volunteering locally.

2021 - Getting ready for take off

In preparation for travel taking off again we launched our new 'Hassle-free Holiday Hub' with everything you need to know before flying away.

2021 - Launch of Holiday Extras UK Short Breaks

2022 - A bumper year for Holiday Extras

Travel was back and we were raring to go this year. Our team reconnected after the pandemic with lots of events going on throughout the year, we spent a lot of time improving our tech, and we won lots of awards – 'Best Small Company for UK Breaks' at the British Travel Awards, the 'Travel Bulletin Star Holiday Add-Ons Company' Award, 'TTG Holiday Essential Provider of the year' and Globe Travel Awards' 'Best Travel Insurance Provider' for the 13th consecutive year.

It's been one hell of a year, and we can't wait to see what happens next!


Let your career take flight

We currently have over 50 vacancies in areas such as tech, product, data, customer, brand and more.

Our audacious plans means we're looking for pioneering, customer-centric people to help make these happen. If you'd love to use your creativity to solve some of the biggest problems in travel, as well as being part of a community of awesome, ambitious people, then join us to help remake holidaymaking.

Explore our open roles