The travel industry has come under fire from Spanish bank Santander for hiking prices during school holiday periods.

The average price of a family holiday is 53% higher during the February half-term than an equivalent holiday two weeks later, a study by Santander’s credit card arm found.

In cash terms, the average break is £1,163 more expensive with the worst example costing 269%, or over £4,600, more. Most UK schools are taking their February half-time break this week.

The bank compared holidays for two adults and two children to five popular holiday destinations – Majorca, Lanzarote, Gran Canaria, Orlando and Chania in Crete – with the same destinations two weeks later and found huge discrepancies.

Those flying from London’s airports faced the biggest price hikes, with average premiums of 67%, whereas families travelling from Manchester saw price increases of around 40%.

Santander Cards director Ian Coles said: “Holidays abroad during peak season will inevitably be subject to some price inflation because demand is so high.

“However, at a time when the cost of living is rising sharply and many families are still feeling the pinch, it’s hard to justify such massive premiums.”