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​Family Holiday Report names European resorts where families will get most for their money but where pester power could bust the budget

Press release   •   Jul 13, 2019 00:01 BST

Resort prices fall in more than half the European resorts surveyed for the Family Holiday Report despite recent sterling falls (

Bulgaria and Turkey are best bets for bargain-hunters looking to cut costs

But meal costs and pester power for beach extras could rock the holiday boat as three-quarters of parents admit overspending by an average of £159 on their last trip

  • With the end of the school term in sight, new research has found that families joining the annual holiday exodus to Europe could be better off than expected. Despite sterling’s recent fall in value, the annual Post Office Travel Money Family Holiday Report reveals that prices have fallen in over half of the 15 leading European resorts surveyed. Bulgaria and Turkey emerge as the best bets for bargain-hunting families looking to cut their holiday spending.
  • However, the report found that three-quarters (73 per cent) of parents who set budgets bust them by 25 per cent, spending £159 extra on the average budget of £630 on their last trip1. The biggest pitfall for parents is likely to be the cost of food and drink. Families spent an average of £336 in restaurants, bars and shops, according to the Post Office poll2. The only place where they could easily cut that cost is Sunny Beach, Bulgaria, where prices are down almost 14 per cent since last summer to make it best value of 15 destinations surveyed3.
  • At just over £32 for a family meal for four including drinks together with the cost of a coffee, bottle of beer, glass of wine and soft drink, Sunny Beach has pulled away from its competition and is over a third cheaper than runner-up Marmaris, Turkey (£50). Over the course of a week, wallet-watchers can expect to spend around £225 in Sunny Beach – over £100 less than the average that families spent on food and drinks. By comparison, prices in Ibiza, Croatia (Zadar), France (Nice) and Italy (Sorrento) are over three times as high.
  • On the plus side, Ibiza (£97, down 11 per cent), Zadar (£97, -0.5 per cent) and Sorrento (£130, -5.7 per cent) are among eight destinations where UK visitors will find a fall in meal and drinks costs. The biggest fall is in the Algarve, where the Post Office barometer basket has plummeted since last summer by almost a third (31.3 per cent). At less than £51, the Portuguese family favourite is by far the cheapest of 11 eurozone resort areas surveyed.
  • Prices have also fallen by 9.5 per cent in Playa de Palma, Majorca (£75) to make it sixth cheapest in the food and drinks barometer. Although the Costa del Sol (£66) remains lowest-priced of three Spanish destinations surveyed, this is 30 per cent pricier than the Algarve.
  • The cost of beach extras is another potential budget buster because Post Office research found that parents spend an average of £153 on kids’ items. 86 per cent splashed out over £35 on ice creams, while other big ticket items are water parks (average spend £51), pedalo rides (£30) and beach gear like buckets & spades, lilos and swimming goggles (£37).
  • The cost of beach items varies significantly across 15 resorts surveyed for the Family Holiday Report Beach Barometer. Marmaris is easily the cheapest place for fun in the sun at just £34.39, a year-on-year fall of around 11 per cent. The 10 beach items surveyed - including water rides, buckets and spades, mask & snorkel sets and ice creams – cost over 44 per cent more in its closest competitors – Sunny Beach (£49.55) and Costa del Sol (£50.93).
  • The value available to families visiting Marmaris and other Turkish resorts has been boosted by a sterling surge that makes it worth around 20per cent more against the Turkish lira than last summer. This means visitors can currently expect to receive around £83 extra in Turkish lira on a foreign exchange transaction of £500 at the Post Office.
  • As with meals and drinks, Post Office Travel Money researchers found that Beach Barometer prices have dropped in over half of the resorts surveyed. Aside from Marmaris, the biggest falls have been in two of the more expensive resorts. In Sorrento prices have dropped 12 per cent to £92.82 and in Ibiza they are 17 per cent lower than a year ago at £93.09.

The highest premium on beach fun is in Nice (£106.01). The 10 beach barometer items cost over three times as much in the South of France as in Marmaris. However, while prices have risen only marginally in Nice – by 1.8 per cent – there have been bigger increases in Greece and Croatia since last summer. Families visiting Crete (£72.68) can expect to pay 13 per cent more, while they are likely to pay 11 per cent more for the 10 items in Porec, Croatia (£73.56).

Lowest and highest Beach Barometer prices

Lowest Price Highest Price
Bucket & Spade Costa del Sol: £2.27 Porec, Croatia: £7.62
Inflatable lilo Marmaris, Turkey: £1.45 Sliema, Malta: £15.38
Swimming goggles Crete, Greece: £1.36 Sorrento, Italy: £10.92
Mask & Snorkel Marmaris, Turkey: £3.63 Sorrento, Italy: £18.20
Suncream Sunny Beach, Bulgaria: £2.42 Ibiza: £18.11
Insect repellent Marmaris, Turkey: £1.44 Ibiza: £9.01
Ice-cream Marmaris, Turkey: 73p Nice, France: £3.18
Sun-lounger Marmaris, Turkey: Free Nice, France: £15.47
Pedalo ride Nice, France/Sorrento, Italy: £9.10 Limassol, Cyprus: £22.75
Banana boat ride Marmaris, Turkey: £5.81 Nice, France: £27.30

Nick Boden, Head of Post Office Travel Money, which accounts for one-in-four UK foreign exchange transactions, said: “If you’re planning a beach holiday abroad, keeping a tight rein on your holiday funds will be crucial this summer to avoid busting the budget. The Beach Barometer reveals how paying for beach items can tip the family holiday budget into the red so plan carefully and keep costs down by packing suncream, insect repellent, swimming goggles and last year’s lilo into the suitcase. That should help pay for ice creams!

“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 or paying on plastic is more expensive when transaction charges are added. What’s more, changing over £500 in Post Office branches will get you a better rate.

“Families who are still considering where to holidays will benefit by doing their homework and matching the best value resorts in our survey with the cheapest late deals.”

The Post Office is the UK’s leading provider of foreign currency, offering euro on demand at over 9,000 branches. Euros can also be ordered online at for same day ‘click and collect’ at selected branches as well as for home delivery or next day collection at any of the 11,500 Post Office branches. Turkish lira can be purchased on demand at over 4,000 branches while Bulgarian lev and Croatia kuna are among 30 leading currencies available without pre-ordering at 1,600 larger Post Office Branches. In total up to 70 currencies can be pre-ordered at any branch or online at for next day delivery.

Holidaymakers can compare resort costs at


For more information, please contact:

Joanne Leahy Post Office Press Office 07791 894469

Christine Ball CBPR 01798 874177 / 07976 285997

Notes to Editors:

1 Populus research (1-2 May 2019) for Post Office Travel Money found that 76 per cent of families set a budget on their last trip abroad averaging £629.50 and almost three-quarters (73 per cent) of this group overspent it by 25 per cent - an average of £158.59.

2 Populus research (1-2 May 2019) for Post Office Travel Money found that over 90 per cent of families spent an average of £151.70 on eating out, £95.74 on drinks and £89 stocking up in local shops.

3 Post Office Family Holiday Report Food & Drink Barometer 2019: Family meal prices were supplied by National and Regional Tourist Offices of participating countries, except for Bulgaria (Balkan Holidays) and Crete/Majorca, researched online. Prices are based on 4 July exchange rate for a £500 online transaction. A full breakdown of barometer costs can be found in the tables attached.

4 Source: Omnibus research conducted for Post Office Travel Money by Populus (1-2 May 2019) found that families spent an average of £153.26 on pester power items.

5 Post Office Family Holiday Report Beach Barometer 2019: Prices were supplied by National and Regional Tourist Offices of participating countries, except for Bulgaria (Balkan Holidays) and Greece/Majorca, researched online.Prices are based on 4 July exchange rate for a £500 online transaction. A full breakdown of barometer costs can be found in the tables attached.

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