Getting the most out of the summer holiday

As families tool up to fly to warmer climes – or just for a change of scenery – our Beach Barometer identifies the best value as well as dearest destinations from 16 of the most popular European family getaways. We compare the cost of 12 common spend items in each destination to calculate the cost of spending while you’re away.

Our recent Holiday Spending Report shows that the increasing cost of UK-based staycations is encouraging more travel to old favourites on the continent. But which get you the most bang for your buck?

Key findings:

  • Sunny Beach, Bulgaria and Marmaris in Turkey return as the best-value resorts (£85.63 and £86.07).

  • Both of the above are outside the eurozone, and there's a 20% gap between prices in these destinations and the nearest eurozone resort - the Algarve in Portugal (£108.47).
  • The highest prices surveyed were in Ibiza (£186.47) - more than £100 more expensive than the cheapest options
  • Overall costs have gone up almost across the board (Majorca, Ibiza and Puglia are the exceptions), but a handful of factors have levelled this out

Prices have increased in most destinations since 2019, pre-pandemic levels, with prices in Turkey almost doubling. However, the crash in the value of the Turkish lira has offset this, meaning that Marmaris retains its excellent value.

The largest price increases were seen in Crete (37.7% to £161.86), the Algarve (11.9% to £108.47), Costa del Sol (22.6% to £127.33), Porec, Croatia (10.5% to £154.75) and Marmaris (10.6% to £86.07).

Item Lowest cost destination Highest cost destination 
Bucket and spade Marmaris, Turkey (£2.77) Sliema, Malta (£7.82)
Inflatable lilo Marmaris, Turkey (£3.87) Puglia, Italy (£17.41)
Mask and snorkel set Marmaris, Turkey (£3.32) Ibiza, Balearic Isles (£17.41)
Suncream Marmaris, Turkey (£4.15) Crete, Greece (£14.80)
Insect repellent Marmaris, Turkey (£2.32) Crete (G) (£7.83)
Ice-cream (Mars/Magnum) Marmaris, Turkey (£0.72) Ibiza, Balearic Isles (£3.05)
Sun-lounger (half day) Marmaris, Turkey (£0) Ibiza, Balearic Isles (£13.105)
Water ride (pedalo or similar) Funchal, Madeira (£4.35) Paphos, Cyprus (£26.11)
Bottle of beer/lager (café/bar) Sunny Beach, Bulgaria (£1.01) Crete, Corfu, Rhodes (£3.48)
Bottle/can Coca-Cola (café/bar) Sunny Beach, Bulgaria (£0.74) Porec, Croatia (£3.12)
Glass of wine Algarve, Portugal (£1.31) Crete, Greece (£5.22)
3-course family meal inc wine and soft drinks Sunny Beach, Bulgaria (£34.11) Puglia, Italy (£107.92)

Post Office Family Holiday Report Beach Barometer 2022: 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.

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. 

If you prefer not to carry cash, there’s the simple and secure Travel Money Card option. Pay anywhere you see the Mastercard® symbol, including with contactless payment, and switch between 23 currencies easily using our 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.

Check safety and entry requirements

Before you go, it’s important to check the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) website for the country you’re visiting to make sure you’ve taken all the precautions you need and will be allowed to enter.