Resort costs for meals, drinks and other tourist staples rate alongside transport costs as the most important factors when deciding the destination for a family holiday abroad. Over half of parents surveyed for a new report on their holiday decision-making told Post Office Travel Money they had bust their resort spending budget by an average of 30 per cent on their last holiday. Based on their previous experiences, Cyprus ranked 10th with 69 per cent rating the island as good value for a family holiday.
In the survey of over 1,000 parents, nine-in-ten of them said that resort costs were an important factor when deciding where to holiday – almost as many as those who took the cost of international flights or other transport into consideration (91 per cent). Two-thirds (64 per cent) also took the strength or weakness of the pound into consideration.
When parents who had previously visited destinations abroad were asked which they rated good value, it was a clean sweep for Spanish resorts. 88 per cent named the Balearic Islands while 82 per cent said the Canary Islands were good value and 81 per cent gave the thumbs up to the Spanish mainland, getting the top three spots.
Although there was a sizeable gap between the Spanish resorts and other destinations, Greece, the United States, Bulgaria, Portugal, Thailand, Mexico and Cyprus completed the top 10.
Encouragingly for Cyprus parents ranked the island as a better value destination than popular tourist destinations such as the Caribbean, Turkey, Egypt, Croatia, Italy, France and Dubai.
Value for money may be a key factor in deciding the destination for a family holiday abroad but the Post Office Travel Money survey found that overspending is still widespread once families get to their holiday hotspot. On their last trip abroad parents budgeted an average of £715 to pay for meals and other resort costs, a 12.6 per cent year-on-year rise, but only 25 per cent stuck to this – a five percentage point fall on the previous year.
Instead over half of families (53 per cent) bust their budget by an average of £219, a 30 per cent overspend. Furthermore, over a fifth of families (22 per cent) said they never set a holiday budget, preferring to throw caution to the wind and spend what they like.
“Cost is bound to be the major factor for most parents planning a family holiday abroad and it is encouraging to see the high level of awareness about the importance of factoring in resort prices to calculate the overall budget,” commented Andrew Brown from Post Office Travel Money. “The good news for holidaymakers is that prices have tumbled in many European destinations thanks to a combination of improved exchange rates and lower prices in resorts.
“There are other ways to conserve the family budget too. Buy sufficient currency before leaving home to get better exchange rates compared to those at the airport. Considering the average budget for families is over £700 with the average overspend on this amount being £219, it is worth remembering there are improved exchange rates in our branches and online for higher value foreign currency transactions.”
Over 10,000 Post Office branches offer euros over the counter and 30 other leading currencies are available on demand at 1,600 larger branches. Up to 70 currencies can be pre-ordered at the full Post Office network of over 11,500 branches or online at the official Post Office website for next day branch or home delivery.