- Stellar sterling means prices for tourist items have dropped across Europe
- Turkey and Bulgaria best for bargain hunters looking to cut holiday spending
- But pester power for beach extras could wipe out the sterling benefit – as three-quarters of parents admit overspending on their last trip abroad
- As schools prepare to break up for the summer, the annual Family Holiday Report from Post Office® Travel Money (www.postoffice.co.uk/familyholidays)reveals that prices for UK holidaymakers have fallen across Europe, thanks largely to the powerful pound. Surprisingly though, this year’s report found that it is Turkey and Bulgaria rather than eurozone resorts that will be best for bargain-hunting families looking to cut their holiday spending.
- Wallet-watchers planning to eat out in resort restaurants will find that meals can be one of the biggest drains on the family purse. If so, there is no beating Sunny Beach in Bulgaria on cost. The Post Office Travel Money barometer research reveals that a family meal with drinks costs under £29 – that is 11.5 per cent less than last summer¹.
- Post Office Travel Money makes the points that not everyone will be eating out in restaurants on their family holiday. Families on self-catering holidays or going All Inclusive are less likely to fork out for resort meals.But they are still likely to overspend, according to consumer research conducted for the Family Holiday Report².
- The research found that three-quarters of families bust their budget on their last trip abroad to the tune of £219 on average, despite slashing their spending budget by 16 per cent. Giving in to kids’ pester power could account for the overspending as beach extras, water park visits, pedalo rides and ice creams cost them an average of well over £300³.
- If parents cave in to pester pressure again this summer to keep the kids happy, Marmaris is the place where ‘fun in the sun’ will cost them least. In a beach barometer of 10 items that kids love but which can break the bank of Mum and Dad - including pedalo rides, buckets and spades, water park visits and ice creams – Marmaris was cheapest of 14 European destinations surveyed at under £684.
- The value available to UK holidaymakers in Turkey has been boosted by a sterling surge that makes it worth nearly 20 per cent more than last summer and over 22 per cent stronger than in January this year. Families can currently expect to receive around £83 extra in Turkish lira on a foreign exchange transaction of £500 at the Post Office.
- Sliema in Malta (£74.16) was the cheapest of 12 eurozone destinations surveyed while the Post Office found that beach barometer items in Ibiza (£81.12) cost nearly eight per cent less than in the Costa del Sol (£87.92), making the Balearic island the lowest-priced of five Spanish destinations. Surprisingly the Algarve, usually a best value tip, was among the most expensive for beach fun at over £100. However, both the Algarve and the Costa del Sol remain cheap places to eat out at under £30 for a meal for four with drinks.
- The biggest prices falls uncovered by Post Office Travel Money researchers were in resorts where local prices have dropped to add to the positive impact of sterling: Sliema (-16.3%), Costa Blanca (-13.4%), Majorca (-15.7%) and Paphos, Cyprus (-25.7%).
The highest premium on beach fun is in the South of France, where the 10 ‘must haves’ cost nearly twice as much as in Marmaris. At over £135 Nice is likely to be the biggest budget buster for families. Seven of the 10 Beach Barometer items cost the most in Nice, including a water park day out (£70.59), pedalo ride (£18.38), bucket and spade (£6.25) and lilo (£7.35).
Andrew Brown of Post Office Travel Money, said: “Our Beach Barometer reveals how paying for beach items can tip the family holiday budget into the red. Letting children rule the roost could wipe out the extra spending money that parents will have in their pockets this year, thanks to sterling’s gains against the euro and other European currencies.
“One way to keep costs down is to pack kids’ gear in the suitcase to avoid buying these abroad. Prudent packing could save over £20 by squeezing jelly shoes, swimming goggles, last year’s lilo, and suncream into the suitcase - enough to pay for some pedalo rides.
“Another easy win is to buy currency before leaving home to avoid poor airport bureau rates. Plan how much you will need carefully and take enough foreign cash because changing money abroad is more expensive when bank charges are added. What’s more, changing over £500 in Post Office branches will get you a better rate.”
Family Holiday Report Price Comparisons At A Glance:
The best-buy bucket and spade is in Ibiza. Two of these will cost only £2.94 but parents can expect to fork out over four times as much (£12.50) in Nice
Drinks and ice creams will cost parents least in Sunny Beach. Two Coca-Colas and two ice creams a day over the course of a week cost £24.64. The same number of drinks and ice creams add up to £56.70 in Corfu and £64.26 in Nice
Taking an hour’s pedalo ride twice during the holiday carries a high price tag of £36.76 in Nice but less than a third of that in Marmaris (£10.18)
Water babies wanting underwater goggles will cost their parents just 92p in the Costa del Sol or £1.10 in the Algarve but over eight times as much (£8.82) in Menorca
Half a day’s hire of a sun-lounger could cost a family of four over £35 in Sorrento but just £7.36 in the Costa del Sol or Paphos
A family visit to a water park costs less than £40 in Marmaris (£35.63), Sorrento (£36.76) or Sliema, Malta (£38.24) or Ibiza (£29.71) but over £70 in the South of France (£70.59).
Over 10,000 Post Office branches offer euro over the counter, while 4,000 offer Turkish lira on demand. The Bulgarian lev is among 30 available on demand at 1,600 larger Post Office branches. Up to 70 currencies can be pre-ordered at over 11,500 Post Office branches or online at postoffice.co.uk/travel for next day branch or home delivery.
Holidaymakers can compare resort costs at www.postoffice.co.uk/familyholidays.
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