Holiday pester power costs European parents £184, but Eastern Med and Balkans offer best value

With thousands of families heading off to European hotspots during the school summer holidays, the annual Post Office Travel Money Family Holiday Report has revealed that pester power by kids set parents back an average of £184 on their trips abroad. This explains why two-thirds of families who set a budget (71%) overspent it by nearly a quarter (23%).

The report shows 92% of parents admitted splashing out almost £39 on ice creams, a rise of 28% year-on-year, while other budget busters were water park visits (£61), pedalo rides (£31) and beach gear like buckets & spades, swimming goggles and lilos (£53).

This year’s report reveals that holidaymakers who want to keep spending on children’s beach extras would be well advised to consider resorts in the Eastern Mediterranean or the Balkans where the price tag can be under half the cost in more expensive destinations in the west of Europe.  Prices for 12 typical beach holiday extras, including a bucket and spade, inflatable lilo, swimming goggles and water rides, were found to vary dramatically in the 15 European resorts surveyed for the report’s Beach Barometer.

Marmaris in Turkey was rated as the cheapest resort for children’s extras thanks mainly to a 24% slump in the value of the Turkish lira against sterling since last summer.

At £57.37 for the Beach Barometer items, the Turkish resort is one of five in the Eastern Med and the Balkans where fun in the sun will have the least impact on the holiday purse. The others are Sunny Beach, Bulgaria (£63.56); Crete, Greece (£69.88); Limassol, Cyprus (£69.90) and Porec, Croatia (£73.75).

The only Western European resort to break that stranglehold is the Costa del Sol (£63.11), runner-up in the Beach Barometer and cheapest in the eurozone. By contrast, families visiting Ibiza (£97.12); Sorrento in Southern Italy (£114.17) and Nice in the South of France (£117.78) can expect pester power to have more of an impact on the wallet.

When considering just the cost of eating out and a range of drinks Sunny Beach (£35.73) – a fall of 1.5 per cent year-on-year – was less than a quarter the expense of the same items in Ibiza, the most expensive of the 15 resorts surveyed in the study. Families visiting five of the 15 resorts surveyed can expect to pay over £100 for the food and drink items: Majorca (£100.70), Corfu (£116.91), Nice (£138.13), Ibiza (£144.86) and Sorrento (£163.20).

Prices were found to have fallen in six of the 15 resorts surveyed. Aside from Marmaris, where a 14.9% price fall is due to the weaker Turkish lira, prices have fallen 5.4% in Crete, 4.6% in the Algarve and around half a per cent in both Sunny Beach and the Costa Blanca.