Holiday prices to popular destinations jump by hundreds of pounds

holiday  Natural caves and beach, Algarve Portugal. Rock cliff arches of Seven Hanging Valleys and turquoise sea water on coast of Portugal in Algarve region
Portugal had the smallest rises in price, with the cost of a week’s holiday rising by 7% on average, to £705. Photo: PA/Alamy

Booking a summer 2023 holiday to a popular destination like Greece or Spain will cost on average 20% more, a blow to UK households under the cost of living squeeze.

Consumer body Which? compared the average prices for six popular destinations (Spain, Greece, Portugal, Italy, Turkey and Cyprus) and found Greece had seen the steepest rises.

A week’s holiday in Greece cost on average 30% 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.

Flights have seen the most significant increases, with prices this Easter up 51% compared with 2022.

Plane fares rose by 44.1% in the year to December, the largest increase since the late 1980s, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The consumer body looked at prices for direct flights to 15 popular destinations in Spain, France, Italy, Greece and the US from six of the UK’s busiest airports, using data from airfares analyst Skytra.

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It found Italy and Greece have seen the most significant rises, with airfares up a staggering 71% 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%).

Travellers are also facing more expensive hotels across the board. Using data supplied by Kayak, the consumer body 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 – outside of the UK and Europe – have risen by 23% 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%, from £108 in 2022, to £119 this year, bringing them in line with average rates for the UK.

“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% compared to last year,” Rory Boland, editor of Which? Travel, said.

Read more: Holiday rip-off: Solo travellers being charged up to 87% more than couples

“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," he added.

For those determined to book a summer break, 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 7% 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, data from Travelsupermarket.com used by Which? showed.

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