Self catering holiday 2016

Self-catering on a shoestring in Europe

  • Cut price supermarkets bring down the cost of self-catering holidays in the Eurozone this summer
  • The Algarve offers the lowest shop prices for self-catering holidaymakers this year

Despite a fall in the value of sterling since last summer, the annual Self-Catering Holiday Report from Post Office Travel Money reveals that prices for food and drink staples have fallen in half of the eight eurozone resorts surveyed. The report shows that holidaymakers could pay significantly more if they shop at a local resort mini-mart rather than in a supermarket.  

Key findings include:

  • Portugal's Algarve offers the lowest shop prices for self-catering holidaymakers this year - both in supermarkets and resort mini-marts
  • Research by resort reps for tour operator Monarch has found that prices in local mini-marts are between 24 and 57 per cent higher than in discount supermarkets 
  • Spain's Costas are good value too - provided holidaymakers shop at supermarkets
  • The biggest fall this year is in Crete, where supermarket prices have dropped 13 per cent since 2015.

Cut-price supermarkets can cut the cost of groceries significantly

In a year when at least a third of holidaymakers travelling abroad will go self-catering†, a new report on shopping costs in eight top eurozone holiday destinations has found that the spread of cut-price supermarkets can cut the cost of groceries significantly in Europe. With Portugal's Algarve emerging as the destination offering the lowest shop prices††, the Post Office Travel Money Self-catering Holiday Report, produced in partnership with leading airline and holiday company Monarch, found that holidaymakers could pay between 24 and 57 per cent extra for 20 food and drink staples if they shop exclusively in resort mini-marts†††.

Despite this, Post Office Travel Money consumer research found that almost half (48 per cent) of the families surveyed shop exclusively in local mini-marts on trips abroad^. Only 17 per cent do all their holiday shopping at a supermarket^^ even though this year's comparison of costs found that the price gap between mini-marts and discount supermarkets has widened in all the resorts because of their proximity to UK favourites like Lidl and Aldi^^^. 

For example, the extra payable in local mini-marts has widened to 57 per cent in the Algarve from 48 per cent last year (supermarket: £40.61; mini-mart: £63.24) and in the same period has increased from 39 to 46 per cent in Lanzarote (supermarket: £47.26; mini-mart: £68.80). The Post Office research also found that mini-mart prices have risen in seven of the eight destinations. Crete (£83.78, -19 per cent) is the only resort where they have plunged.

Portugal's Algarve offers the lowest shop prices

Using prices sourced by Monarch resort reps, the Algarve is cheapest in the survey and one of four resorts where supermarket prices have fallen since 2015. At £40.11 for 20 food and drink staples, prices are down two per cent, despite a six per cent sterling fall year-on-year.  

Supermarket prices in the Costas are great value too but at £45.29 in both the Costa del Sol and Costa Blanca, the shopping basket costs almost 13 per cent more than in the Algarve. The Costa Blanca recorded one of the biggest year-on-year supermarket price falls of eight per cent. 

The biggest fall of all has been in Crete (£56.51), where the cost of the shopping basket items has dropped by 13 per cent. Visitors to Ayia Napa in Cyprus will also pay less than a year ago but, while prices are down five per cent to £65.73 in nearby Famagusta, the island remains the most expensive Eurozone destination surveyed. To put this into context, the good news for visitors is that prices in Cyprus have now fallen by 30 per cent over a two year period.

This year's biggest price rise has been in Menorca, where supermarket grocery prices add up to a barometer total of £61.57, 13 per cent more than a year ago. By contrast, the basket of groceries has only risen by two per cent to £48.87 in neighbouring Majorca.

Compare the prices for 20 typical self-catering items in shops and supermarkets across the Eurozone

Algarve, Spain

Self-catering on a shoestring

 

Supermarket prices Local mini mart prices
5 x Loaf of bread £3.29 £5.81
1 x Butter (250g) £0.77 £1.28
1 x Jam (450g) £1.28 £1.74
2 x Kids breakfast cereal (500g) £1.94 £3.88
5 x Milk (1 litre) £1.82 £2.71
4 x Orange juice (1 litre) £3.07 £3.88
2 x Eggs (6) £1.09 £1.94
2 x Cheese (250g) £3.09 £3.09
2 x Ham (4 - 6 slices) £1.47 £2.25
2 x Tomatoes (1kg) £2.16 £3.09
4 Pizza (9") £6.17 £8.65
1 x Toilet rolls (4) £0.85 £0.78
1 x Sugar (1kg) £0.50 £1.16
1 x Tea bags (40) £1.05 £2.71
1 x Coffee (100g) £1.67 £3.49
1 x Barbeque brisquettes (5kg) £2.55 £3.88
1 x Water (6 x 1.5 litre) £0.62 £2.29
2 x Coca-Cola (2 litre) £2.56 £2.79
2 x Beer (6 x 330ml) £2.78 £4.50
2 X Wine (75cl) £1.38 £3.09
TOTAL COSTS £40.11 £63.01
Total costs: 2016 vs 2015 -2% +3%
% more at local mini-mart +57%

 

Source: Post Office. Data relates to exchange rate on 26 May 2016.
Prices were researched for Post Office Travel Money by Monarch, apart from Cyprus (Cyprus Tourism Organisation), in resort supermarkets and local mini-marts. Prices quoted are based on supermarket costs and represent an estimate of one week's consumption for a family of four. Local currency prices were converted to Sterling using the prevailing Post Office Money exchange rate.

Costa Blanca, Spain

Self-catering on a shoestring

 

Supermarket prices Local mini mart prices
5 x Loaf of bread £3.68 £3.88
1 x Butter (250g) £0.89 £1.54
1 x Jam (450g) £1.16 £1.31
2 x Kids breakfast cereal (500g) £3.40 £3.09
5 x Milk (1 litre) £2.29 £7.71
4 x Orange juice (1 litre) £2.76 £6.17
2 x Eggs (6) £1.85 £1.55
2 x Cheese (250g) £3.40 £1.54
2 x Ham (4 - 6 slices) £1.54 £1.55
2 x Tomatoes (1kg) £3.09 £3.88
4 Pizza (9") £6.17 £6.98
1 x Toilet rolls (4) £1.51 £0.93
1 x Sugar (1kg) £0.53 £1.16
1 x Tea bags (40) £0.77 £3.09
1 x Coffee (100g) £1.47 £2.63
1 x Barbeque brisquettes (5kg) £2.16 £2.33
1 x Water (6 x 1.5 litre) £1.26 £2.79
2 x Coca-Cola (2 litre) £2.19 £2.48
2 x Beer (6 x 330ml) £3.63 £3.88
2 X Wine (75cl) £1.54 £6.19
TOTAL COSTS £45.29 £64.68
Total costs: 2016 vs 2015 -8% +14%
% more at local mini-mart +43%

 

Source: Post Office. Data relates to exchange rate on 26 May 2016.
Prices were researched for Post Office Travel Money by Monarch, apart from Cyprus (Cyprus Tourism Organisation), in resort supermarkets and local mini-marts. Prices quoted are based on supermarket costs and represent an estimate of one week's consumption for a family of four. Local currency prices were converted to Sterling using the prevailing Post Office Money exchange rate.

Costa Del Sol, Spain

Self-catering on a shoestring

 

Supermarket prices Local mini mart prices
5 x Loaf of bread £3.68 £3.10
1 x Butter (250g) £0.89 £1.51
1 x Jam (450g) £1.16 £1.16
2 x Kids breakfast cereal (500g) £3.40 £3.41
5 x Milk (1 litre) £2.29 £3.10
4 x Orange juice (1 litre) £2.76 £3.10
2 x Eggs (6) £1.85 £2.79
2 x Cheese (250g) £3.40 £4.65
2 x Ham (4 - 6 slices) £1.54 £1.55
2 x Tomatoes (1kg) £3.09 £3.72
4 Pizza (9") £6.17 £10.85
1 x Toilet rolls (4) £1.51 £0.62
1 x Sugar (1kg) £0.53 £0.69
1 x Tea bags (40) £0.77 £1.09
1 x Coffee (100g) £1.47 £1.09
1 x Barbeque brisquettes (5kg) £2.16 £3.80
1 x Water (6 x 1.5 litre) £1.26 £4.65
2 x Coca-Cola (2 litre) £2.19 £3.10
2 x Beer (6 x 330ml) £3.63 £5.58
2 X Wine (75cl) £1.54 £6.05
TOTAL COSTS £45.29 £65.61
Total costs: 2016 vs 2015 +5% +1%
% more at local mini-mart +45%

 

Source: Post Office. Data relates to exchange rate on 26 May 2016.
Prices were researched for Post Office Travel Money by Monarch, apart from Cyprus (Cyprus Tourism Organisation), in resort supermarkets and local mini-marts. Prices quoted are based on supermarket costs and represent an estimate of one week's consumption for a family of four. Local currency prices were converted to Sterling using the prevailing Post Office Money exchange rate.

Lanzarote, Spain

Self-catering on a shoestring

 

Supermarket prices Local mini mart prices
5 x Loaf of bread £34.61 £3.45
1 x Butter (250g) £0.69 £0.74
1 x Jam (450g) £0.69 £0.74
2 x Kids breakfast cereal (500g) £3.55 £4.64
5 x Milk (1 litre) £2.56 £5.81
4 x Orange juice (1 litre) £2.76 £8.03
2 x Eggs (6) £1.38 £1.69
2 x Cheese (250g) £3.41 £4.02
2 x Ham (4 - 6 slices) £2.00 £2.93
2 x Tomatoes (1kg) £1.54 £3.55
4 Pizza (9") £7.10 £10.39
1 x Toilet rolls (4) £1.00 £1.90
1 x Sugar (1kg) £0.69 £1.03
1 x Tea bags (40) £1.47 £1.57
1 x Coffee (100g) £2.09 £1.71
1 x Barbeque brisquettes (5kg) £2.16 £3.02
1 x Water (6 x 1.5 litre) £1.81 £2.14
2 x Coca-Cola (2 litre) £2.00 £2.57
2 x Beer (6 x 330ml) £4.37 £6.05
2 X Wine (75cl) £1.38 £2.82
TOTAL COSTS £47.26 £68.80
Total costs: 2016 vs 2015 +9% +14%
% more at local mini-mart +46%

 

Source: Post Office. Data relates to exchange rate on 26 May 2016.
Prices were researched for Post Office Travel Money by Monarch, apart from Cyprus (Cyprus Tourism Organisation), in resort supermarkets and local mini-marts. Prices quoted are based on supermarket costs and represent an estimate of one week's consumption for a family of four. Local currency prices were converted to Sterling using the prevailing Post Office Money exchange rate.

Majorca, Spain

Self-catering on a shoestring

 

Supermarket prices Local mini mart prices
5 x Loaf of bread £3.88 £8.14
1 x Butter (250g) £0.77 £0.91
1 x Jam (450g) £0.85 £1.19
2 x Kids breakfast cereal (500g) £1.75 £2.74
5 x Milk (1 litre) £5.39 £7.75
4 x Orange juice (1 litre) £2.79 £3.07
2 x Eggs (6) £2.31 £3.09
2 x Cheese (250g) £3.24 £4.03
2 x Ham (4 - 6 slices) £2.81 £3.74
2 x Tomatoes (1kg) £3.26 £2.25
4 Pizza (9") £6.17 £9.61
1 x Toilet rolls (4) £0.60 £1.28
1 x Sugar (1kg) £0.72 £0.77
1 x Tea bags (40) £0.54 £0.85
1 x Coffee (100g) £1.10 £1.22
1 x Barbeque brisquettes (5kg) £3.64 £5.81
1 x Water (6 x 1.5 litre) £0.92 £1.98
2 x Coca-Cola (2 litre) £1.77 £3.64
2 x Beer (6 x 330ml) £4.19 £7.43
2 X Wine (75cl) £2.17 £5.81
TOTAL COSTS £48.87 £75.31
Total costs: 2016 vs 2015 +2% +31%
% more at local mini-mart +54%

 

Source: Post Office. Data relates to exchange rate on 26 May 2016.
Prices were researched for Post Office Travel Money by Monarch, apart from Cyprus (Cyprus Tourism Organisation), in resort supermarkets and local mini-marts. Prices quoted are based on supermarket costs and represent an estimate of one week's consumption for a family of four. Local currency prices were converted to Sterling using the prevailing Post Office Money exchange rate.

Menorca, Spain

Self-catering on a shoestring

 

Supermarket prices Local mini mart prices
5 x Loaf of bread £5.62 £8.22
1 x Butter (250g) £1.36 £1.63
1 x Jam (450g) £1.78 £1.82
2 x Kids breakfast cereal (500g) £2.64 £3.88
5 x Milk (1 litre) £5.00 £5.43
4 x Orange juice (1 litre) £3.04 £4.19
2 x Eggs (6) £2.02 £2.25
2 x Cheese (250g) £4.34 £4.34
2 x Ham (4 - 6 slices) £4.11 £4.34
2 x Tomatoes (1kg) £2.00 £2.29
4 Pizza (9") £10.82 £13.95
1 x Toilet rolls (4) £0.93 £1.51
1 x Sugar (1kg) £0.76 £0.85
1 x Tea bags (40) £2.02 £2.71
1 x Coffee (100g) £2.95 £2.98
1 x Barbeque brisquettes (5kg) £3.33 £3.87
1 x Water (6 x 1.5 litre) £0.97 £2.17
2 x Coca-Cola (2 litre) £2.02 £3.41
2 x Beer (6 x 330ml) £3.07 £4.65
2 X Wine (75cl) £2.79 £1.86
TOTAL COSTS £61.57 £76.35
Total costs: 2016 vs 2015 +13% +15%
% more at local mini-mart +24%

 

Source: Post Office. Data relates to exchange rate on 26 May 2016.
Prices were researched for Post Office Travel Money by Monarch, apart from Cyprus (Cyprus Tourism Organisation), in resort supermarkets and local mini-marts. Prices quoted are based on supermarket costs and represent an estimate of one week's consumption for a family of four. Local currency prices were converted to Sterling using the prevailing Post Office Money exchange rate.

Crete, Greece

Self-catering on a shoestring

 

Supermarket prices Local mini mart prices
5 x Loaf of bread £3.88 £5.04
1 x Butter (250g) £1.08 £1.94
1 x Jam (450g) £1.36 £1.55
2 x Kids breakfast cereal (500g) £2.33 £5.97
5 x Milk (1 litre) £2.91 £6.40
4 x Orange juice (1 litre) £2.79 £4.65
2 x Eggs (6) £2.33 £2.71
2 x Cheese (250g) £4.65 £4.65
2 x Ham (4 - 6 slices) £2.93 £4.48
2 x Tomatoes (1kg) £2.09 £2.33
4 Pizza (9") £6.17 £12.06
1 x Toilet rolls (4) £2.05 £2.71
1 x Sugar (1kg) £0.58 £0.78
1 x Tea bags (40) £1.36 £1.55
1 x Coffee (100g) £1.55 £2.33
1 x Barbeque brisquettes (5kg) £3.87 £4.65
1 x Water (6 x 1.5 litre) £1.94 £3.49
2 x Coca-Cola (2 litre) £1.55 £2.71
2 x Beer (6 x 330ml) £6.98 £6.20
2 X Wine (75cl) £4.11 £7.58
TOTAL COSTS £56.51 £83.78
Total costs: 2016 vs 2015 -13% -19%
% more at local mini-mart +48%

 

Source: Post Office. Data relates to exchange rate on 26 May 2016.
Prices were researched for Post Office Travel Money by Monarch, apart from Cyprus (Cyprus Tourism Organisation), in resort supermarkets and local mini-marts. Prices quoted are based on supermarket costs and represent an estimate of one week's consumption for a family of four. Local currency prices were converted to Sterling using the prevailing Post Office Money exchange rate.

Ayia Napa, Cyprus

Self-catering on a shoestring

 

Supermarket prices Local mini mart prices
5 x Loaf of bread £3.88 £5.04
1 x Butter (250g) £1.40 £1.74
1 x Jam (450g) £1.55 £1.78
2 x Kids breakfast cereal (500g) £5.12 £7.75
5 x Milk (1 litre) £4.85 £5.43
4 x Orange juice (1 litre) £3.10 £4.65
2 x Eggs (6) £2.33 £4.34
2 x Cheese (250g) £2.48 £3.41
2 x Ham (4 - 6 slices) £2.17 £3.10
2 x Tomatoes (1kg) £1.24 £1.55
4 Pizza (9") £10.85 £15.51
1 x Toilet rolls (4) £1.55 £2.33
1 x Sugar (1kg) £0.78 £1.36
1 x Tea bags (40) £0.89 £1.55
1 x Coffee (100g) £1.94 £2.52
1 x Barbeque brisquettes (5kg) £3.88 £5.43
1 x Water (6 x 1.5 litre) 1.43 £2.33
2 x Coca-Cola (2 litre) £3.88 £5.43
2 x Beer (6 x 330ml) £8.53 £10.85
2 X Wine (75cl) £3.88 £7.75
TOTAL COSTS £65.73 £93.85
Total costs: 2016 vs 2015 -5% +5%
% more at local mini-mart +43%

 

Source: Post Office. Data relates to exchange rate on 26 May 2016.
Prices were researched for Post Office Travel Money by Monarch, apart from Cyprus (Cyprus Tourism Organisation), in resort supermarkets and local mini-marts. Prices quoted are based on supermarket costs and represent an estimate of one week's consumption for a family of four. Local currency prices were converted to Sterling using the prevailing Post Office Money exchange rate.

Self-catering can be a great way to save money on holiday

Andrew Brown of Post Office Travel Money said: "Experts are already saying that demand is surging in destinations like Spain and Portugal* and hotel packages may soon sell out. This could mean that self-catering may be the best option left to families who have yet to book. If so, they should do their homework and check where grocery staples for a self-catering holiday cost least before choosing their destination to keep to their budget."

"Self-catering can be a great way to save money on holiday. However, our research found that while families spend an average of £136 on self-catering provisions, over half of them admitted to overspending their overall budget on beach holidays by around £178**."

"One way to avoid this is by shopping in the cut-price supermarkets that are springing up in top Eurozone resorts. We estimate that on an average grocery spend of £136, canny families could save themselves as much as £50, depending where they choose to holiday."

"Another way to save money is to plan ahead when changing pounds into Euros. With the average family spending budget on a holiday abroad now standing at almost £700***, it makes sense to take advantage of the better rates available for higher value transactions in our branches or on our website."

Self-catering continues to offer great value for money

Gary Anslow, Sales Director for Monarch's holiday division commented: "Self-catering continues to offer great value for money. The most frequent request to our exclusive Monarch Concierge service, after the best beaches to visit, is for information on the best value supermarkets in the area, so holidaymakers are clearly looking to make the pound in their pocket stretch as far as possible. Self-catering accounts for a third of Monarch holiday bookings in destinations such as The Algarve, where our customers have access to a huge range of great value supermarkets and restaurants."

Order your travel money

Holidaymakers can purchase Euros over the counter at more than 10,000 Post Office branches. Up to 80 currencies, from Australian Dollars to Vietnamese Dong, can be ordered online before 3pm on a working day to get free next working day delivery to your home or one of 11,500 Post Office branches across the UK. We'll buy back any currency that you don't use.

 

Definitions

Helping you understand our research

Post Office research by Populus (1-3 April 2016) among 2,099 UK adults found that 1,393 people will be taking a holiday abroad this year and 34 per cent (470) say it will be a self-catering one.

†† Post Office Travel Money Self-Catering Holiday Report: local resort prices were supplied by Monarch and the resulting pricing are based on exchange rates on 25 May 2016. A breakdown of costs can be found in the tables attached.

††† Post Office barometer research found that mini-marts in the Algarve are 27 per cent more expensive than a Lidl supermarket.

^ Post Office research by Populus (1-3 April 2016): Of the 187 families who have taken a self-catering holiday in the past five years, 48 per cent shopped exclusively in local mini-marts, for a variety of reasons

^^ Post Office research by Populus (1-3 April 2016): 17 per cent of the families surveyed did one large shop at a supermarket and bought everything for their stay.

^^^ Seven of the eight supermarkets surveyed for this year's report were branches of Lidl while Eroski was used in Majorca.

* Travelmole report on summer holiday shortages, 24 May 2016 cites GfK Leisure Travel Monitor data and intelligence on bookings from travel agent Barrhead Travel.

** Post Office research by Populus (1-3 April 2016): £136 is the average spend for the 86 per cent of families who purchased provisions for their self-catering holiday. Note: 14 per cent of families self-catered but ate out in resorts.

*** Post Office research by Populus (1-3 April 2016): £694.47 was the average spend for families (282) who have been on a family beach holiday in Europe in the last five years.

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