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Balearic Islands Rated Top Value As Families Tell Post Office: Resort Costs Are Their Holiday Destination Decider

Press release   •   May 23, 2015 00:01 BST

  • Low resort costs decide the holiday destination for nine-in-ten of parents - according to new research by Post Office® Travel Money
  • Balearic Islands top list of good value destinations – but Turkey and Croatia lose ground
  • Only 25 per cent of parents stick to their budget while over half bust it by 30 per cent  

Resort costs for meals, drinks and other tourist staples rate alongside transport costs as the most important factors when deciding the destination for a family holiday abroad - and little wonder. Over half of parents surveyed for a new report on their holiday decision-making told Post Office Travel Money they had bust their resort spending budget by an average of 30 per cent on their last holiday. Based on their previous experiences, Spain’s Balearic Islands topped a list of 17 popular destinations rated good value for a family holiday.

In the survey of over 1,000 parents, nine-in-ten of them said that resort costs were an important factor when deciding where to holiday - almost as many as those who took the cost of international flights or other transport into consideration (91 per cent)¹. The numbers concerned about resort costs rose to 94 per cent among those with older children aged 11-15. Two-thirds (64 per cent) also took the strength or weakness of the pound into consideration.

When parents who had previously visited destinations abroad were asked which they rated good value, it was a clean sweep for Spanish resorts. 88 per cent named the Balearic Islands while 82 per cent said the Canary Islands were good value and 81 per cent gave the thumbs up to the Spanish mainland. Recent research for the Post Office Holiday Costs Barometer shows that families planning return visits to the Balearics will enjoy even better value because prices have dropped by around 16 per cent since last year in Majorca and Menorca.

Although there was a sizeable gap between the Spanish resorts and other destinations, Greece, the USA, Bulgaria, Thailand, Portugal and Mexico also earned good value ratings from seven-in-ten or more of the parents surveyed.

However, Turkey and Croatia both lost ground on their positions a year ago. 87 per cent of parents who had visited Turkey before rated it good value at that time but this has now fallen to 67 per cent. Similarly, 68 per cent rated Croatia good value in 2014 but that has dropped to 61%, one of the lowest ratings in this year’s survey.

Just over half the survey sample rated France good value, although its 52 per cent score was a marginal improvement on a year ago when there was a 50/50 split between those who thought it good or bad value. At that time it was the lowest rated destination in the Post Office Travel Money survey but that position now goes to Dubai.

Only 51 per cent of parents who had visited Dubai gave it the thumbs up and perceptions of value were also poor among those who had never been to the Emirate. Just 44 per cent believed it would offer good value³. By contrast, almost twice as many (83 per cent) thought Bulgaria would offer family value. Croatia (82 per cent) and Turkey (80 per cent) also fared better among these parents than among those who had visited the countries before.

Value for money may be a key factor in deciding the destination for a family holiday abroad but the Post Office Travel Money survey found that overspending is still widespread once families get to their holiday hotspot. On their last trip abroad parents budgeted an average of £715 to pay for meals and other resort costs, a 12.6 per cent year-on-year rise, but only 25 per cent stuck to this – a five percentage point fall on the previous year.

Instead over half of families (53 per cent) bust their budget by an average of £219, a 30 per cent overspend. Furthermore, over a fifth of families (22 per cent) said they never set a holiday budget, preferring to throw caution to the wind and spend what they like.

Andrew Brown of Post Office Travel Money said: “Cost is bound to be the major factor for most parents planning a family holiday abroad and it is encouraging to see the high level of awareness about the importance of factoring in resort prices to calculate the overall budget. The good news for holidaymakers is that prices have tumbled in many European destinations thanks to a combination of improved exchange rates and lower prices in resorts. Families can check this year’s prices for destinations they are considering on our website.

“There are other ways to conserve the family budget too. Buy sufficient currency before leaving home to get better exchange rates compared to those at the airport. Considering the average budget for families is over £700 with the average overspend on this amount being £219, it is worth remembering there are improved exchange rates in our branches and online for higher value foreign currency transactions.”

Over 10,000 Post Office branches offer euros over the counter and 30 other leading currencies are available on demand at 1,600 larger branches. Up to 70 currencies can be pre-ordered at the full Post Office network of over 11,500 branches or online at postoffice.co.uk for next day branch or home delivery.

Holidaymakers can compare resort costs at www.postoffice.co.uk/holidaycosts2015

and can also download the Travel Essentials App free at the App Store or Google Play, which provides barometer information for tourists before and during travel.

Note to editors:

¹ Post Office research by Populus among 1,089 UK adults with children aged 18 or under (29-30 April and 8-10 May 2015) found that transport costs and resort costs for meals, drinks and other tourist items were the most important factor for family when deciding on a holiday destination:

Deciding Factor % parents who rate it important
Cost of transport (i.e. international flights) 91%
Resort costs for meals, drinks and tourist items 89%
Holiday safety concerns 88%
Your own job security 82%
Weather forecasts 79%
Packaged holiday price discounts 75%
The strength or weakness of the pound 64%
Confidence about UK economic situation 55%
² Post Office research by Populus among 540 UK adults with children aged 18 or under (29-30 April). Percentage who have visited destinations and rated them good value:
Destination Rated good value
1.Balearic Islands 88%
2.Canary Islands 82%
3.Spain (mainland) 81%
4.Greece 74%
5.USA 74%
6.Bulgaria 73%
7.Thailand 71%
8.Portugal 70%
9.Mexico 70%
10.Cyprus 69%
11.Caribbean 68%
12.Turkey 67%
13.Egypt 64%
14.Croatia 61%
15.Italy 60%
16.France 52%
17.Dubai 51%
³ Post Office research by Populus among 540 UK adults with children aged 18 or under (29-30 April). Percentage who have not visited destinations but believe them to be good value:
Destination Rated good value
1.Bulgaria 83%
2.Croatia 82%
3.Spain (mainland) 82%
4.Turkey 80%
5.Portugal 77%
6.Greece 77%
7.Balearic Islands 77%
8.Thailand 76%
9.Canary Islands 76%
10.Cyprus 74%
11.Mexico 68%
12.USA 67%
13.Egypt 66%
14.Italy 62%
15.France 60%
16.Caribbean 59%
17.Dubai 44%

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