2023 Worldwide Holiday Costs Barometer Post Office Press Release

Post office travel money family holiday report beach barometer 2023
Post office travel money family holiday report beach barometer 2023

2023 Worldwide Holiday Costs Barometer Post Office Press Release

Post Office Press Release. Embargo to: 00:01 Saturday 22 July 2023

Revealed: the European holiday hotspots where families will get the most for their money

British families heading off to Europe in July and August are likely to find the cheapest resort prices in Turkey, Portugal and Bulgaria, according to new research.  Published as schools break up for the summer holidays, the annual Post Office Family Holiday Report, produced in partnership with TUI, found that prices for meals, drinks and beach items are lowest by far in Marmaris, the Algarve and Sunny Beach1.  However, prices have risen year-on-year in 15 of the 16 beach destinations surveyed.

Laura Plunkett, Head of Travel Money at Post Office, warns: “Although sterling is at a 2023 high against European currencies, inflation has hit local prices abroad just as it has in the UK.  This means families should expect to pay more for meals, drinks and other tourist items in most resorts.  Ironically, two of the cheapest destinations we surveyed – Turkey and Bulgaria – have seen the biggest rises. However, they are still places where bargain hunters will get the most for their money.”

At £115 for 12 items – including a family meal, drinks, suncream, insect repellent and beach items ranging from buckets & spades and lilos to ice-creams and pedalo rides – Marmaris, Turkey is cheapest of 16 destinations surveyed for the Post Office Beach Barometer. Although prices have risen significantly since last summer –  TUI researchers found that local prices have doubled because of inflation and the unstable economy – Post Office Travel Money calculates that a 64 per cent year-on-year collapse in value of the Turkish lira means the increase faced by families will reduce to 33 per cent once local prices are converted to sterling.

To put this into context, barometer costs in Marmaris are over £100 lower than in Ibiza, the most expensive destination surveyed at £216 for the same 12 items.  Echoing the wide differences reported in previous reports, Post Office Travel Money found that prices vary by up to 88 per cent across the 16 destinations surveyed.

In the Algarve, this year’s runner-up resort, prices are less than 11 per cent higher than a year ago at £120 for the 12 barometer items.  Cheapest by far in the Eurozone, barometer costs in top resort Albufeira are over 11 per cent lower than in the Costa del Sol (£136, 4th place).  However,  the Spanish favourite has closed the gap with the Algarve because its price increase of seven per cent is lower.  The Costa del Sol is also a cheaper choice for bargain hunters than three other Spanish destinations surveyed.  Majorca (£165, 11th) is 21 per cent more expensive, while Britons will pay 26 per cent more in Lanzarote (£171, 13th) and 58 per cent extra in Ibiza (£216, 16th).    

Last year’s best value destination, Sunny Beach, has fallen to third place, with a barometer total of £121.  Although the Black Sea resort remains good value compared to most other destinations, prices have rocketed by 41 per cent over the past 12 months – the biggest increase in the survey.  Last year’s barometer found that an evening meal with drinks for two adults and two children cost around £35.  This year families can expect to pay 60 per cent more – although the £56 price tag is still cheapest among the 16 Beach Barometer resorts.

While prices have risen since last summer in 15 of the 16 destinations surveyed, there are big variations in those increases.  Price rises in the Eurozone are lower than in Turkey and Bulgaria and range from 2.2 per cent in Sliema, Malta (£160, 9th), 2.9 per cent in Kos, Greece (£144, 5th), five per cent in Paphos, Cyprus (£152, 6th) and 5.5 per cent in Crete, Greece (£171, 13th) to 24.1 per cent in Funchal, Madeira (£155, 8th).  The only destination to show a fall is Italy’s Puglia region, where prices in Alberobello are down by 10.3 per cent (£167, 12th).

Consumer research conducted for the Family Holiday Report2 found that two-thirds (66 per cent) of families are planning trips abroad this year but over three-quarters (77 per cent) of them bust their budget by more than 38 per cent on their last holiday, spending £243 extra on the average budget of £638 they had set.  Meals and drinks are one of the key factors that account for the high levels of  overspending.  Nine-in-ten parents said they spent an average of £310 on eating out, buying drinks in bars and restaurants and shop-bought food and drinks.   

Paying for treats for their children is another factor in overspending on trips abroad. Parents said that ‘pester power’ had set them back an average of £218 – a rise of over 35 per cent compared with their last holiday abroad.  85 per cent of them splashed out an average of £41 on ice creams, while other budget busters were water or theme park visits (£64), pedalo rides (£44) and beach extras like buckets and spades, swimming masks and snorkels and lilos (£69).

ITEMAverage Overseas Spend
01. Eating Out£145
02. Sightseeing£87
03. Food/drink from a shop/supermarket£83
04. Drinks£82
05. Water or theme park£64
06. Souvenirs£63
07. Taxis/public transport£53
08. Entertainment£48
09. Pedalo rides£44
10. Kids’ ice creams£41
11. Kids’ beach items e.g. bucket & spade£37
12. Kids’ swimming goggles, snorkels£32
13. Sun lounger£28

Post Office Travel Money’s Laura Plunkett said: “It can be difficult to rein-in spending when people want to make the most of their holiday, but setting a fixed budget and sticking to it can help make sure you don’t overspend on treats and beach goodies while abroad.

“Meals can be a budget buster so compare prices before choosing where to eat.  Beachfront cafés and restaurants are likely to be more expensive than more authentic ones a street back.  Check whether service is included before paying because tips are not expected in many European countries.  

“Avoid getting charged a fee for withdrawing cash at an ATM abroad by getting sufficient holiday currency before leaving home.  Always pay in the local currency when using a payment card, and consider loading currency onto a pre-paid card, like the Post Office Travel Money Card, which can be topped up with more cash abroad”

Commenting on destination demand, Richard Sofer, Commercial Director at TUI UK & Ireland, said: “Holidays will always be a priority for our customers, but value for money is clearly more important now than ever before. Despite the rising costs of living, many customers aren’t willing to sacrifice their precious annual getaway and we’ve seen a trend in customers opting for more affordable destinations, including Bulgaria and Turkey, with Greece and the Balearics also a firm favourite.

“We’re also seeing some customers taper their holiday slightly, such as reducing holiday duration from 14 nights to 7, 10 or 11-nights. We are continuing to see strong demand for our great value all-inclusive offerings, as customers know that everything is already covered and exactly what they have to spend in destination on any meals, activities or items they might want to buy when they’re away, as well as some interest in self-catering options where customers want to minimise their spend. All of which indicates that budget-conscious Brits are being savvy in their holiday choices in order to make it work for their own personal circumstances.”

The Post Office is the UK’s leading foreign currency provider, offering over 60 currencies for pre-order at 7,000 Post Office branches or online at www.postoffice.co.uk/travel for next day branch or home delivery.  3,600 larger Post Office branches stock the leading currencies and more than 7,000 offer euros over the counter without pre-order.  These can also be ordered online for same day ‘click and collect’ at selected branches, next day collection at any branch or home delivery.

All prices quoted are rounded up or down to the nearest pound.

A full breakdown of Beach Barometer costs for the 16 destinations surveyed in the Family Holiday Report can be found at www.postoffice.co.uk/familyholidays

Notes to Editors

  1. Post Office Beach Barometer 2023: Local prices were researched by TUI as well as by tourist offices for the Algarve, Corfu, Costa del Sol, Madeira, Malta, Marmaris (Marmarisinfo.com), Paphos and Porec.  These prices were converted to sterling using the mid-July online exchange rate for a £500 transaction.  
  2. Consumer research conducted online by Yonder for Post Office Travel Money among 2,080 UK adults aged 18+ (28-30 April 2023).