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Prices for British holidaymakers have fallen across Europe this summer, thanks largely to the strength of sterling.
Turkey and Bulgaria rather than eurozone resorts are offering the best value for travellers looking to cut their holiday spending.
Post Office Travel Money barometer research reveals that a family meal with drinks costs under £29 in Sunny Beach, Bulgaria – down 11.5% on last summer.
However, three-quarters of families bust their budget on their last trip abroad by an average of £219, despite slashing their spending budget by 16%.
Giving in to kids’ pester power could account for the overspending as beach extras, water park visits, pedalo rides and ice creams cost them an average of more than £300.
Marmaris offers the best value for families with a selection of 10 items, including pedalo rides, buckets and spades, water park visits and ice creams – being the cheapest of 14 European destinations surveyed at under £68. This compared with more than £135 in Nice.
The value available to UK holidaymakers in Turkey has been boosted by the pound being worth nearly 20% more than last summer and over 22% stronger than in January this year. Families can expect to receive around £83 extra in Turkish lira on a foreign exchange transaction of £500 at the Post Office.
Sliema in Malta (£74.16) was the cheapest of 12 eurozone destinations surveyed while the Post Office found that beach barometer items in Ibiza (£81.12) cost nearly 8% less than in the Costa del Sol (£87.92), making the Balearic island the lowest-priced of five Spanish destinations.
The Algarve was found to be among the most expensive for beach fun at over £100. However, both the Algarve and the Costa del Sol remain cheap places to eat out at under £30 for a meal for four with drinks.
The biggest prices falls were in resorts where local prices have dropped to add to the positive impact of sterling: Sliema (-16.3%), Costa Blanca (-13.4%), Majorca (-15.7%) and Paphos, Cyprus (-25.7%).
Andrew Brown of Post Office Travel Money, said: “Our Beach Barometer reveals how paying for beach items can tip the family holiday budget into the red.
“Letting children rule the roost could wipe out the extra spending money that parents will have in their pockets this year, thanks to sterling’s gains against the euro and other European currencies.
“One way to keep costs down is to pack kids’ gear in the suitcase to avoid buying these abroad. Prudent packing could save over £20 by squeezing jelly shoes, swimming goggles, last year’s lilo, and suncream into the suitcase – enough to pay for some pedalo rides.”