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Scottish Families Tighten Their Belts To Avoid Budget Busting Holidays Abroad

Press release   •   Jun 23, 2014 11:56 BST

- As resort prices fall across Europe, Scots slash holiday spending by 30 per cent
- Scots rate Turkey and Portugal best value - but Bulgaria is cheaper
- Prices are down in 11 of 12 resorts surveyed – by 32 per cent in Sorrento, Italy

As Scotland’s schools break up for the summer, the Post Office Travel Money® Scottish Family Holiday Report reveals that European resorts will be cheaper this year because of the rising pound and lower local prices. Yet despite this, research conducted for the report found that Scottish families are tightening their belts after splashing the cash in past years.

Three-quarters of Scottish families told the Post Office that they set a budget for their last trip abroad. Although 43 per cent overspent to the tune of £215 on average, they paid out 24 per cent less on typical tourist items (£449) than UK holidaymakers nationally (£590)1.

As revealed by the fourth Scottish Family Holiday Report from the UK’s leading currency provider Scots have slashed overseas spending by almost 30 per cent since last year’s report, which had found they paid out 27 per cent more than the national average.

ITEM

Average spend 2014

Average spend 2013

% +/- spent year-on-year

  1. Eating Out

£134.69

£160.52

-16.1%

  1. Drinks

£70.55

£98.88

-28.7%

  1. Souvenirs

£55.69

£63.45

-12.2%

  1. Sightseeing

£37.25

£ 108.65

-65.7%

  1. Beach Items

£36.85

£27.42

+34.4%

  1. Water Park

£31.10

£49.76

-37.5%

  1. Pedalo Ride

£26.72

£18.39

+45.3%

  1. Entertainment

£25.82

£71.30

-63.8%

  1. Ice Cream

£19.89

£27.89

-28.7%

10. Sun Lounger

£10.80

£11.94

-9.5%

TOTAL SPEND

£449.36

£638.20

-29.6%

At around £135, eating out remains the biggest drain on the holiday purse - but this was just one of eight spending items where Scots have reined in their spending. The biggest budget cuts have been made on sightseeing (-66 per cent) and entertainment (-64 per cent) where the amounts spent have plummeted to £37 and £26 respectively. The average spent on visits to water parks is down over 37 per cent to around £31 while the budgets for drinks (£71) and ice creams (£20) have fallen by almost 30 per cent.

However, the Post Office research indicates that parents are still giving in to pester power by spending more on beach items and pedalo rides. The average spent on both has risen sharply in the latest survey – by over a third for beach extras like buckets and spades, lilos and mask and snorkel sets (£37) and by 45 per cent for pedalo rides (£27).

But there is help at hand for Scottish families planning summer trips. The latest Post Office Scottish Family Holiday Report survey of 12 holiday hotspots has found that resort prices have plunged across Europe with the biggest fall of 32 per cent in Sorrento, Italy³.

At £349 for a basket of 10 family holiday items, Sunny Beach is the European resort where pester power will cost least. For the fourth consecutive year the Bulgarian resort emerged as lowest-priced of the destinations surveyed - over 10 per cent cheaper than a year ago.

Despite this, when Scots were asked which countries they found best value, Bulgaria was only sixth-placed with a 77 per cent vote. Turkey was top choice, rated highly for its value by 93 per cent, while Portugal (88 per cent) and Croatia (83 per cent) were close behind4.

Yet the barometer basket in the resorts surveyed in these countries all cost more than in Sunny Beach. The Post Office barometer put the Algarve in third place at £433 for the 10 family items, while the Turkish resort of Marmaris was fourth cheapest at £456, despite a big price fall of over 16 per cent. Porec was one of the most expensive surveyed at £540, despite a 27 per cent year-on-year price fall in the Croatian resort.

Sunny Beach was also six per cent cheaper than the Costa del Sol, its closest competitor (£384). Local prices in the Spanish favourite remain pegged at their low 2013 levels and the cheaper costs for Scottish families result from the stronger sterling exchange rate.

A 38 per cent fall in the cost of family meals in Sorrento helped to push down its overall barometer basket cost by almost one-third. At £650, the resort on Italy’s Neapolitan Riviera is no longer the most expensive choice for Scottish families. That ‘honour’ goes to Nice, where the family items cost just under £740 – well over twice as much as in Sunny Beach.

Corfu was the only destination surveyed to register a price rise. An 11 per cent increase in local prices meant that once the sterling exchange rate was applied, this year’s barometer basket was over four per cent more expensive at around £525. By contrast, prices in Crete are down almost 17 per cent (£457), making the island one of the cheaper places to visit.

Scottish Family Holiday Report Price Comparisons At A Glance:

  • Family meal time is a bargain in Sunny Beach and the Costa del Sol. Evening meals for a family of four for one week cost around £231 in both resorts. By comparison the bill could cost twice as much (£462) in Sorrento, despite the 38 per cent fall since 2013

  • Drinks and ice creams will also cost parents least in Sunny Beach. Two Coca-Colas and two ice creams a day over the course of a week costs around £27. The same number of drinks and ice creams add up to almost £53 in Corfu and £84 in Nice

  • The best-buy bucket and spade is in Crete. Two of these will cost £3.30 but parents can expect to fork out over three times as much – almost £11 - in Corfu

  • Taking an hour’s pedalo ride twice during the holiday carries a price tag of almost £50 in Nice but will set parents back less than £7 in Porec

  • A mask and snorkel for two kids will cost their parents just over £4 in Crete but over five times as much in the Costa Blanca (£21) or Sorrento (£22)

  • While families can enjoy a day out at a water park in Marmaris for around £39, the cost spirals to over £90 in another Eastern Med destination - Ayia Napa, Cyprus.

Andrew Brown of Post Office Travel Money said: “Sterling is making strides against every European currency so holiday cash will stretch further this summer. However, we urge families to resist pester power as the evidence suggests that many Scottish families overspent on their last trip abroad and paying for kids’ ‘must haves’ could bust the budget.

“Families still looking for a last minute bargain should do some homework to add resort costs to package prices before making their decision. The sterling exchange rate may give everyone more holiday cash for their pounds but canny parents will be even better off if they pick a destination where local prices are already low.”

Although resort costs are cheapest in Sunny Beach, families who have yet to book their holiday are likely to find that packages to Bulgaria cost more than those to the Spanish, Turkish and Greek resorts surveyed. A one-week Sunny Beach package for a family of four in early July costs £1,420 compared with £1,174 in Marmaris, £1,244 in Corfu and £1,259 in the Costa Blanca5. Once the package price was added to resort costs, Sunny Beach dropped to sixth place in the Post Office chart (£1,769) and Marmaris moved to the best value spot (£1,630), followed by the Costa Blanca (£1,748).

Andrew Brown said: “Since we found that Scottish families spend almost £600 on average while abroad, it makes sense to get the best deal when changing pounds into foreign currency. There are better rates for higher value transaction in our branches and on our website, so plan ahead and buy currency before leaving home to avoid poor airport rates.”

Scottish holidaymakers can obtain euros on demand in 687 Post Office branches, while over 300 larger branches stock the 30 most popular currencies including Bulgarian lev, Croatian kuna and Turkish lira. Over 70 currencies can be pre-ordered at over 1,400 Post Office branches in Scotland and online at postoffice.co.uk for next day branch or home delivery.

ENDS

For more information, please contact:

Gabrielle O’Gara
Post Office Press Office
0207 250 2534 / 07436 034094
Gabrielle.ogara@postoffice.co.uk

Christine Ball
CBPR
01798 874177 / 07976 285997
cball@cballpr.co.uk

All figures quoted have been rounded up or down to the nearest whole number.

¹ Source: Omnibus research conducted for Post Office Travel Money by Populus (4-6 April): The budget set by UK holidaymakers for 10 holiday items averaged £590.52 compared with £449.36 for Scottish holidaymakers

² Source: Omnibus research conducted for Post Office Travel Money by Populus (4-6 April) among 2,085 UK adults of whom 1,833 had been on a holiday overseas and over 10 per cent were Scottish holidaymakers.

3 Prices for the Scottish Family Holiday Report were provided by national and regional tourist boards, except Bulgaria (provided by Balkan Holidays), selected beach items for Corfu (provided by Cosmos), and water parks (researched independently). All pricing relates to exchange rates on 13 June 2014.

ITEMS

BULGARIA

Sunny Beach

SPAIN

Costa del Sol

PORTUGAL

Algarve

TURKEY

Marmaris

GREECE

Crete

CYPRUS

Ayia Napa

7 x family meal

£230.94

£231.02

£242.57

£326.80

£288.78

£267.41

14 x Coca-Cola

£15.19

£13.86

£11.55

£21.79

£23.10

£23.10

14 x ice cream

£12.15

£20.79

£20.79

£21.79

£25.41

£22.52

2 x small pizza/pasta

£1.74

£8.25

£9.90

£6.22

£7.43

£8.09

2 x portion chips

£1.30

£2.48

£4.13

£3.11

£4.13

£4.79

2 x bucket & spade

£4.34

£4.93

£8.23

£6.22

£3.30

£5.94

2 x mask & snorkel

£10.42

£11.53

£15.08

£12.45

£4.13

£13.18

2 x pedalo/kayak hire (1 hour)

£13.02

£16.50

£24.75

£12.45

£24.75

£33.00

4 x sun-lounger hire (half day)

£10.42

£8.25

£33.00

£6.22

£6.60

£8.25

1 x family day out at a water park

£49.49

£66.01

£62.71

£39.22

£69.31

£90.76

TOTAL COSTS

£349.01

£383.62

£432.71

£456.27

£456.94

£477.04

%+/- 2014 versus 2013

-10.3%

-6.4%

-8.2%

-16.5%

-16.8%

-6.4%

ITEMS

SPAIN

Costa Blanca

GREECE

Corfu

MALTA

various

CROATIA

Porec

ITALY

Sorrento

FRANCE

Nice

7 x family meal

£288.78

£346.53

£361.55

£388.89

£462.05

£433.17

14 x Coca-Cola

£23.10

£32.34

£18.48

£23.33

£17.33

£37.54

14 x ice cream

£23.10

£20.21

£24.83

£18.67

£28.88

£46.20

2 x small pizza/pasta

£11.55

£8.25

£6.60

£7.78

£8.25

£8.09

2 x portion chips

£2.48

£4.95

£2.48

£3.33

£4.95

£6.60

2 x bucket & spade

£4.95

£10.73

£7.43

£6.67

£8.25

£16.50

2 x mask & snorkel

£21.45

£5.78

£14.03

£22.22

£19.80

£16.50

2 x pedalo/kayak hire (1 hour)

£24.75

£16.50

£19.80

£6.67

£19.80

£49.50

4 x sun-lounger hire (half day)

£16.50

£9.90

£33.00

£13.33

£39.60

£46.20

1 x family day out at a water park

£72.61

£69.31

£42.90

£48.89

£41.25

£79.21

TOTAL COSTS

£489.27

£524.50

£531.10

£539.78

£650.16

£739.51

%+/- 2014 versus 2013

N/A

+4.3%

N/A

-27.2%

-32%

-5.7%

4 Source: Omnibus research (4-6 April). Perceptions of value about living costs in holiday destinations based on those Scottish holidaymakers who have visited them previously:

Destination

% who found it to be good value

Turkey

93%

Portugal

88%

Croatia

83%

Spain (mainland)

78%

Bulgaria

77%

Cyprus

72%

Greece

70%

Italy

57%

France

52%

5 Total cost of living plus the lowest-priced seven-night family holiday available on travelsupermarket.com (13 June 2014), departing from airports in Scotland between 2 and 8 July 2014. Package prices include return flights and three-star accommodation for two adults and two children.

ITEMS

TURKEY

Marmaris

SPAIN

Costa Blanca

GREECE

Crete

SPAIN

Costa del Sol

GREECE

Corfu

BULGARIA

Sunny Beach

Meals, drinks & beach items

£456.27

£489.27

£456.94

£383.62

£524.50

£349.01

7-night package holiday for a family of 4

£1,174.00

£1,259.00

£1,294.00

£1,372.00

£1,244.00

£1,420.00

TOTAL COST INCL. FLIGHTS & ACCCOMMODATION

£1,630.27

£1,748.27

£1,750.94

£1,755.62

£1,768.50

£1,769.01

ITEMS

CROATIA

Porec

PORTUGAL

Algarve

MALTA

various

FRANCE

Nice

ITALY

Sorrento

CYPRUS

Ayia Napa

Meals, drinks & beach items

£539.78

£432.71

£531.10

£739.51

£650.16

£477.04

7-night package holiday for a family of 4

£1,311.00

£1,455.00

£1,366.00

£1,433.00

£1,537.00

£1,775.00

TOTAL COST INCL. FLIGHTS & ACCCOMMODATION

£1,850.78

£1,887.71

£1,897.10

£2,172.51

£2,187.16

£2,252.04

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