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Head East to cut the cost of kids’ holiday ‘must-haves’. Family Holiday Report reveals places where pester power has least impact

Press release   •   Aug 04, 2017 12:35 BST

Pester power costs holidaymakers an average of £184 on trips abroad

Beach barometer names Turkey best-value for beach holiday items - under

half the cost in the South of France (

Prices are down in six of the 15 resorts surveyed, despite weaker pound

Costa del Sol is cheapest in the eurozone for kids’ extras, meals and drinks

As thousands of families head off to European hotspots in the coming weeks, the annual Post Office Travel Money Family Holiday Report reveals that pester power by kids set parents back an average of £184 on their last trip abroad, which helps to explain why two-thirds of families who set a budget (71 per cent) overspent it by nearly a quarter (23 per cent)1.

92 per cent of parents admitted splashing out almost £39 on ice creams, a rise of 28 per cent year-on-year, while other budget busters were water park visits (£61), pedalo rides (£31) and beach gear like buckets & spades, swimming goggles and lilos (£53).

But prices for these items vary dramatically in the 15 European resorts surveyed for the Beach Barometer of 12 typical beach holiday extras, produced for the Family Holiday Resort.Marmaris is the resort where family fun will cost the least2 – thanks to a 24 per cent slump in the value of the Turkish lira against sterling since last summer.Families can expect to receive £96 more in Turkish lira on a £500 foreign exchange transaction at the Post Office.

At £57.37 for the Beach Barometer items, the Turkish resort is one of five in the Eastern Med and the Balkans where fun in the sun will have the least impact on the holiday purse.The others are Sunny Beach, Bulgaria (£63.56); Crete, Greece (£69.88); Limassol, Cyprus (£69.90) and Porec, Croatia (£73.75).The only Western European resort to break that stranglehold is the Costa del Sol (£63.11), runner-up in the Beach Barometer and cheapest in the eurozone.

By contrast, families visiting Ibiza (£97.12); Sorrento in Southern Italy (£114.17) and Nice in the South of France (£117.78) can expect pester power to have more of an impact on the wallet.

But the Post Office Travel Money survey found a glimmer of light for parents as prices have fallen since last year in six of the resorts surveyed.Aside from Marmaris, where a 14.9 per cent price fall is due to the weaker Turkish lira, prices have fallen 5.4 per cent in Crete, 4.6 per cent in the Algarve and around half a per cent in both Sunny Beach and the Costa Blanca.

The Family Holiday Report consumer research also found that 44 per cent of families forgot to pack a range of holiday items and ended up paying out for these while abroad4More than one-in-eight left their suncream at home and Post Office Travel Money says that this could cost them as much as £16 in Ibiza or £13 in the Costa Blanca.

Andrew Brown of Post Office Travel Money said: “The clear message is to plan ahead:pack what you can to avoid forking out cash on basics like suncream and insect repellent and squeeze last year’s beach gear for the kids into the suitcase.The Beach Barometer reveals just how much these items can cost – especially in some of Europe’s more expensive resorts.

“For those who haven’t already booked, it is worth checking what late deals are available to the best value resorts in our survey.Marmaris, Sunny Beach and the Costa del Sol all look good value and the general message is to head east for lower prices.”

What it costs for meals and drinks:

The Post Office Family Holiday Report Food and Drink Barometer found that resort meals and drinks could be another potential pitfall for parents hoping to keep holiday costs down. Sunny Beach, Bulgaria remains by far the cheapest option, costing £35.735 – a fall of 1.5 per cent year-on-year - for a snack lunch and evening meal with drinks as well as a coffee, beer, wine and cola.But the same items could cost three or four times as much in other resorts.

Families visiting five of the 15 resorts surveyed can expect to pay over £100 for the food and drink items: Majorca (£100.70), Corfu (£116.91), Nice (£138.13), Ibiza (£144.86) and Sorrento (£163.20).

Andrew Brown said: “With the evidence of overspending revealed by our consumer research, the best advice to families heading overseas is to do their homework on prices and set a realistic budget for the resort they are visiting. Buy currency before leaving home to avoid poor airport bureau rates and take enough to avoid incurring hefty charges for using credit and debit cards abroad. A good way to keep an eye on spending is to load cash onto a prepaid card, like the Post Office Travel Money Card, as this won’t incur transaction charges.”

The Post Office is the UK’s leading provider of foreign currency, offering euro on demand at over 10,000 branches. These can also be ordered online at for same day ‘click and collect’ at almost 3,000 branches or for home delivery/next day collection at any Post Office branch. 4,000 Post Office Branches offer Turkish lira on demand while the Bulgarian lev and Croatian kuna are among 30 leading currencies available over the counter in larger branches. Up to 80 currencies can be pre-ordered at the full network of over 11,500 Post Office branches or online at for next day branch/home delivery.

Holidaymakers can compare resort costs at


The Family Holiday Report research found:

  • Average family holiday spending budget: £682.31
  • 68% bust that budget by an average of £159
  • Biggest budget buster: meals (£146) and drinks (£96)
  • A range of kids items cost them an average of £184

Beach Barometer price comparisons at a glance:

  • Almost one-in-10 families said they forgot to squeeze last year’s lilo into their suitcase and had to buy one abroad.That will cost them around £2 in Marmaris but over £13 in Nice
  • The Turkish resort also boasts the best-buy bucket and spade at 91p but this will cost families almost seven times as much in Porec (£6.29)
  • Swimming goggles are another item almost one-in-10 parents forgot to pack.The best deal on a new pair is in the Costa del Sol (£1.12), an eighth the price in Sorrento (£8.99)
  • Jelly shoes are a bargain in Sunny Beach, Bulgaria (£2.40), under a quarter the price in Sliema, Malta (£10.79)
  • A chocolate-covered ice cream costs just 79p in Marmaris but three times as much in Sliema (£2.47) and Corfu (£2.70)
  • At £6.29, taking an hour’s pedalo ride provides cheap entertainment in Porec but costs over three times as much - £22.48 - in Paphos, Cyprus
  • A banana boat ride is best value in Sliema (£7.19) but costs four times as much in Sorrento (£30.57)
  • Sun loungers are free on Marmaris beach but hiring one will set families back as much as £13.49 in Ibiza or Nice so it could add up to over £50 for a family of four!
  • The cost of a family visit to a water park varies from £36.34 in Marmaris and £44.96 in Sorrento to over £80 in seven other resorts.The most expensive water parks are in Limassol, Paphos and Majorca where family entry costs £84.523.


For more information, please contact:

Joanne Leahy Post Office Press Office 07484 051566

Christine Ball CBPR01798 874177 / 07976

Notes to Editors:

1 Post Office research by Populus (31 March-2 April 2017) found that significant numbers of families spent money on children’s extras as follows: ice creams: £38.94 (92 per cent); water parks: £60.52 (64 per cent); pedalo rides and other water activities: £31.33 (45 per cent); kids’ beach items: £29.06 (65 per cent) and swimming goggles/snorkelling gear: £24.06 (53 per cent).This adds up to an average of £183.91

2 Post Office Beach Barometer 2017: Prices were supplied by National and Regional Tourist Offices of participating countries, except for Bulgaria (Balkan Holidays) and Majorca (Monarch Holidays).A full breakdown of barometer costs can be found in the tables attached.

3 Entry to a water park for family of four:

Marmaris: Atlantis Marmaris£36.34Costa Blanca: Aquopolis Torrevieja£80.74

Sorrento: Valle dell’Orso£44.96Nice: Aquasplash Antibes£82.72

Sliema: Splash and Fun£49.45Corfu: Aqualand£82.72

Ibiza: Aguamar Waterpark£50.35Algarve: Aqualand£82.72

Costa del Sol: Aqua Mijas£57.54Limassol: Fasouir Watermania£84.52

Sunny Beach: Action Aquapark£57.55Paphos: Aphrodite Waterpark£84.52

Porec: Aquapark Istralandia£61.67Palma Nova: Aqualand£84.52

Crete: Acqua Plus£79.12

4Post Office research by Populus (31 March-2 April 2017) found that 44 per cent of families forgot to pack or decided not to pack items that resulted in spending money overseas.13 per cent forgot to pack suncream.

5 Post Office Food & Drinks Barometer 2017: Prices were supplied by National and Regional Tourist Offices of participating countries, except for Bulgaria (Balkan Holidays) and Majorca (Monarch Holidays).A full breakdown of barometer costs can be found in the tables attached.

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