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Family Holiday Report

The nation needs a holiday. And, with the summer season already underway, new Post Office research can help families seeking last-minute bargain destinations save money overseas.

Our annual Family Holiday Report finds Marmaris (Turkey) and the Algarve (Portugal) are where family funds will go furthest this year.

Young family of four walking along a sandy beach with waves to their left

Finding family value as costs and spending rise

Two thirds (66%) of families will be heading abroad on their summer holidays this year, according to research for the annual Post Office Travel Money Family Holiday Report*.

The same research reveals more than three quarters (77%) of those who set a budget for their last family holiday admitted to overspending by an average of 38%. This comes after our other recent report, on holiday spending, revealed overspending levels on family holidays have risen by 53% since 2019.

To help with the overspend, the report includes the Beach Barometer, a comparison of costs for 12 family holiday essentials in 16 popular European resorts by tour operator TUI**. And, although it finds prices have risen in most of them, families could still save hundreds of pounds by choosing their destination carefully.

We’ve shared the key findings here, including the top 10 lowest-cost destinations and those with the lowest and highest individual costs for each of the items surveyed.

Key findings:

  • Prices for meals, drinks and a range of beach extras have risen in 15 of the 16 destinations surveyed

  • Prices vary by up to 88% across the 16 destinations surveyed
  • Marmaris in Turkey and Portugal’s Algarve come out cheapest overall this year
  • Last year’s best-value resort, Sunny Beach in Bulgaria, is now in third place
  • That's despite the biggest increases since last year being seen in Marmaris (up by 33.3%) and Sunny Beach (up 40%)
  • Still, costs in Marmaris are over £100 lower than in Ibiza, the most expensive destination surveyed
  • At £136.29 total for our 12 essential items, fourth-placed Costa del Sol is notably cheaper than three other Spanish destinations surveyed: Majorca (£165, 11th), Lanzarote (£171, 13th) and Ibiza (£216, 16th)
  • The only destination to show a fall in prices is the Puglia region in Italy (down 10.3%), in 12th place

Read the findings for all destinations we surveyed

Top 10 best value family holiday destinations

The ten resorts that came out cheapest for the 12 items we surveyed combined this year were:

Destination Total cost % rise/fall since July 2022
1. Marmaris, Turkey £114.70 +33.3%
2. Algarve, Portugal £120.01 +10.6%
3. Sunny Beach, Bulgaria £120.73 +41.0%
4. Costa del Sol, Spain £136.29 +7.0%
5. Kos, Greece £144.41 +2.9%
6. Paphos, Cyprus £151.73 +5.0%
7. Rhodes, Greece £152.31 +6.5%
8. Funchal, Madeira  £155.31 +24.1%
9. Sliema, Malta £159.73 +2.2%
10. Corfu, Greece £164.09 +22.7%

Post Office Family Holiday Report Beach Barometer 2023: Prices were supplied by TUI together with input from selected national and regional tourist offices of participating countries (Marmaris, Algarve, Madeira, Costa del Sol, Paphos, Porec and Sliema). Prices are based on 14 July exchange rate for a £500 online transaction.

Lowest and highest cost destinations by item

And here’s a list of the 12 essential items for family holidays we compared costs for. We’ve included where we found them to be cheapest and most expensive this year.

Item Lowest cost destination Highest cost destination
Bucket and spade Rhodes, Greece (£3.50) Poreč, Croatia (£9.19)
Inflatable lilo Puglia, Italy (£4.38) Lanzarote, Canary Islands (£13.13)
Mask and snorkel set Marmaris, Turkey (£6.75) Ibiza, Balearic Islands (£21.88)
Sun cream Algarve, Portugal (£8.31) Crete, Greece (£17.50)
Insect repellent Marmaris, Turkey (£2.11) Crete, Greece (£10.50)
Ice cream (eg Mars/Magnum) Marmaris, Turkey (£0.68) Corfu, Greece (£3.06)
Sun lounger (half-day hire) Marmaris, Turkey (£0.00) Ibiza, Balearic Islands (£17.50)
Water ride (pedalo or similar) Funchal, Madeira (£5.25) Paphos, Cyprus (£26.25)
Bottle of beer/lager (in a café/bar) Sunny Beach, Bulgaria (£1.62) Corfu and Rhodes in Greece (both £3.94)
Bottle/can of Coca-Cola (in a café/bar) Sunny Beach, Bulgaria (£1.16) Majorca, Balearic Islands and Poreč, Croatia (both £3.06)
Glass of wine Algarve, Portugal (£1.97) Crete, Greece (£5.25)
Three-course family meal including wine/soft drinks Sunny Beach, Bulgaria (£55.85) Ibiza, Balearic Islands (£109.38)

Help and hints for happy family travels

Travel money: don't wait until the airport

To get the most favourable rate of exchange you can, keep an eye on prices for the months leading up to your trip. When the currency you want is at its lowest, that’s the time to buy. Of course, you don’t know whether it will keep on getting lower, but one thing is for sure: buying your foreign currency at the airport is hugely expensive.

Why not order your travel money online with us, ready for collection at any of our branches convenient to you? Or you could have it delivered to your door. And don’t forget that you can buy euros at over 7,000 branches without needing to order.

Safe, convenient holiday spending

If you prefer not to carry cash, there’s our simple and secure prepaid multi-currency card, the Travel Money Card. Just load funds onto your card in any of 22 different currencies. Pay anywhere you see the Mastercard® symbol, including with contactless. And you can track your family holiday spending and move money between currencies easily using our free travel app.

Protecting you against more than the sun

Travel insurance is hugely important if you’re going away. If anything goes wrong, your travel insurer is there to help put it right, with everything from emergency medical issues to lost and damaged belongings. Plus, if you buy it with Post Office, you’re covered from the moment of purchase, so you’ve got it to fall back on if something beyond your control prevents you from going away.

Remember to check the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) travel advice for the country you’re visiting as travelling against it can invalidate your cover.

Read the full Post Office Travel Money Family Holiday Report

About the research

* Consumer research conducted online by Yonder for Post Office Travel Money among 2,080 UK adults aged 18+ (28-30 April 2023).

** Post Office Beach Barometer 2023: local prices were researched by TUI as well as by tourist offices for Marmaris (, the Algarve, Madeira, Corfu, Costa del Sol, Paphos, Poreč and Malta. These prices were converted to sterling using the mid-July online exchange rate for a £500 transaction.

Items compared in the cost comparison were a bucket and spade, inflatable lilo, mask and snorkel set, sun cream, insect repellent, ice cream (eg Mars/Magnum), sun lounger (half-day hire), water ride (pedalo or similar), bottle of beer/lager (in a café/bar), bottle or can of Coca-Cola (in a café/bar), glass of wine and a three-course family meal including wine and soft drinks.

Other travel products

  • Travel money

    Wherever you're going, pick up your holiday money from Post Office with 0% commission and competitive exchange rates.

  • Travel Money Card

    One prepaid Mastercard® that stores up to 22 currencies and can be managed on the go with our travel app.

  • Travel insurance

    Protect your trip with cover for cancellation, curtialment, emergency medical costs and more.