Prices for package holidays and flights to popular destinations have jumped by hundreds of pounds compared to last year, according to new Which? research, potentially putting a getaway out of reach for families contending with cost of living pressures.
The consumer champion found those booking a summer 2023 package holiday between 1 November 2022 and 3 January this year would have paid 19 per cent more on average than for a summer break in 2022, according to data from Travelsupermarket.com
When Which? compared the average prices for six popular destinations (Spain, Greece, Portugal, Italy, Turkey and Cyprus) it found Greece had seen the steepest rises. A week’s holiday cost on average 30 per cent more than in 2022, with an average price tag of £867 per person for summer 2023. Italy, Spain and Turkey have likewise seen prices rise by a fifth or more.
Nonetheless, better value destinations can still be found. Of the six popular destinations the consumer champion looked at, Portugal had the smallest rises in price, with the cost of a week’s holiday rising by seven per cent on average, to £705. Despite the significant rise in average costs, Spain still offered the cheapest getaways, with a week’s package holiday costing £693 per person.
Which? also examined data on flights and hotels, to see how much those who prefer to put together their own trip might expect to spend on a holiday this year. Flights have seen the most significant increases, with prices this Easter up a whopping 51 per cent on average* compared with 2022.
Using data from airfares analyst Skytra, the consumer champion analysed prices for direct flights to 15 popular destinations in Spain, France, Italy, Greece and the US from six of the UK’s busiest airports. It found Italy and Greece have seen the most significant rises, with airfares up a staggering 71 per cent in both cases. The US, which has the highest average fares at £1,527 per seat, saw the smallest price increase, at just under a third (31%).
Using data supplied by Kayak, the consumer champion also compared the average price of booking three and four-star hotels in Easter 2022 and Easter 2023. On average, it found that UK hotel rates have risen by almost a fifth (19%), from £100 to £119, with many hotels facing not only increased energy bills, but also the need to pay higher wages amid staff shortages.
Meanwhile international hotel rates (defined as those outside of the UK and Europe) have risen by a massive 23 per cent on average, from around £138 over Easter 2022, up to £170 on average for Easter this year.
European rates have seen the smallest increases, with an average rise of 10 per cent, from £108 in 2022, to £119 this year, bringing them in line with average rates for the UK.
For those able to plan ahead, the consumer champion recommends booking early to ensure the best price.
Rory Boland, Editor of Which? Travel, said:
“Travellers are likely to experience significantly higher prices than they’re used to for a trip away this year, with huge demand for holidays combining with inflationary pressure to create a perfect storm of spiralling costs. Flights in particular have seen some of the steepest price rises so far, with our research finding flights to popular destinations including Greece and Italy up 71 percent compared to last year.
“If you need to book a certain destination or dates, such as during the school summer holidays, book as early as possible to ensure the best price. Opting for an all-inclusive break may also be worth considering, as you will be protected from currency fluctuations, and have the assurance that expenses like food and drink are already covered. If you can be flexible on when and where you go, you’ll still be able to find deals throughout the year, so it’s worth shopping around.”
Notes to editors:
Tips for booking a holiday at the best price:
-Travelling outside of the peak season can usually yield cheaper prices. The so-called ‘shoulder seasons’ of May to June and September to October generally still have favourable weather conditions, without the summer school holiday price tag. Which? found that the average price of a seven-night package at Easter with the UK’s largest operators, Tui and Jet2, was as much as £300 cheaper per couple than in the summer holidays. Travel earlier, in February half-term, and average costs are £650 less.
– Booking an all-inclusive trip gives you the assurance that most of your holiday costs are covered in the up-front price you pay. You also have the added advantage of being protected from currency fluctuations. Data from Travelsupermarket shows Spain and Portugal to be the cheapest destinations for all-inclusive holidays. The average price of a 7-night all-inclusive holiday in Spain in summer 2023 was £868 – over £200 cheaper per person than a week in Cyprus or Italy.
– Holiday providers can legally levy extra charges of up to 8 per cent of your holiday, if certain costs, including fuel and certain taxes, go up between the time of booking and the time of travel. By booking with a Which? recommended provider such as Jet2holidays, Kuoni, Trailfinders, Inghams and Hays, travellers can have the confidence of knowing that the price they are quoted is the price they will pay, as all five firms have committed to not levying surcharges this year.
– If you are not booking a package, wherever possible, book directly with the hotel. When Which? called 10 hotels in cities as far afield as Tokyo and Sydney, half matched or undercut the cheapest online rate. The biggest difference was a night at a luxury Paris hotel, which offered a rate £67 less than the cheapest rate found online. Even if hotels are only able to match the price, they will often throw in a freebie, like a bottle of wine, as a gesture of goodwill.
Package Holiday Data
Data from Ice Travel Group, parent company to travel comparison site travelsupermarket.com. 2023 prices based on clicks from 1 November 2022 – 3 January 2023 for holidays in summer 2023. This is based on travel between 1 July – 31 October 2023, 7 nights duration, all boards.
2022 prices based on clicks from clicks on the site from 1 July to 30 September 2022, for holidays of 7 nights duration, all boards, between 1 July – 31 October 2022.
|Destination||Avg Price Summer 2022||Avg price Summer 2023||Change 23 vs 22|
Data supplied by Kayak. The overall average hotel rates are based on the average rates for one night in a double room in 3 and 4-star hotels only during Easter, broken down by domestic, European, and long-haul international destinations. Search dates for 2022 rates: 01/01/22 – 17/0422. Search dates for 2023 hotel rates: 01/09/22 – 21/12/22
|Easter 2022 (11-17 April)||Easter 2023 (3-9 April)||Easter 2022 vs 2023|
|Destination||2022 average price*||2023 average price*||2022 vs 2023 % change (median)|
Airfares analyst Skytra shared the average price of airfares three months ahead of Easter 2022 and 2023 with Which?. Each price is the average of outbound and inbound fares between the UK airport and the holiday destination.
*Median increases are used to summarise ‘average’ price change. Which? compared the average price of direct flights to 15 popular destinations in Spain, France, Italy, Greece and the US (Malaga, Palma de Mallorca, Tenerife, Paris, Lyon, Nice, Rome, Naples, Venice, Corfu, Crete, Thessaloniki, New York, Las Vegas, Orlando) from six of the UK’s busiest airports: Heathrow, Manchester, Birmingham, Gatwick, Luton and Stansted. In total, Which? compared the average price of 69 direct flight routes. 63 out of 69 flight routes the consumer champion checked had gone up compared to last year.
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