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Holidays to popular destinations cost up to 70% more this year

Paloma Kubiak
Written By:
Paloma Kubiak

Holidaymakers heading overseas this summer could fork out hundreds of pounds more compared to last year, research reveals. Here are five tips to keep prices down.

Flights to Italy and Greece have soared by 71% compared with 2022, while short haul flights to France and Spain are up 45% and 38% respectively.

According to the study by campaign group Which?, flights to the US have leapt 30%, adding £350 for Easter getaways, meaning a seat now costs £1,527.

But while the cost of flights has been increasing since Covid restrictions were scrapped, Which? also found package holidays are pricier now compared to last year.

It compared prices of 13,000 package holidays and found deals to Spain, Turkey and Italy have jumped by 20% or more since last summer.

A seven night package to Greece this summer costs an average of £867 per person – £200 more than last year.

Despite prices increasing 20%, Spain was still the cheapest destination with a week’s holiday costing £693 on average. Which? said Portugal also remains a “good value option for 2023” as prices have risen by a lesser 7%.

Meanwhile, hotel stays are also pricier, with room rates up by nearly a fifth in the UK as they grapple with spiralling food and energy costs, as well as wage rises amid staff shortages.

Which? said the average cost of a night in a three or four-star hotel this Easter came to £119 on average. Last year it was closer to £100 a night.

Over in Europe, the rates mirror the UK at £119 a month, but they’re 10% higher than last year.

However, for hotel stays further afield, holidaymakers have to dig deeper as the average cost has increased from £138 to £170 on average in Easter.

Five tips to bag a bargain holiday

Below, Which? shares five tips to help keep down the cost of your holiday:

1) Book early to lock in the price

If demand plummets as the cost-of-living crisis bites, prices could come down – but indications are that prices will continue to rise. Booking early guarantees your price and gives you the greatest choice of departure times, locations and accommodation. Some operators only require a small deposit (from £25 a person), but you might still incur fees if you cancel, depending on your operator’s T&Cs.

2) Avoid surcharges

Package holiday providers can legally levy extra charges if certain costs go up, such as changes in fuel prices. However, these Which? recommended providers have guaranteed not to in 2023.

3) Time your trips

If you’re not tied to the school holidays, you’ll always find the best price/weather combo in May/June and September/October. A seven-night package at Easter with Tui or Jet2 was at least £300 cheaper per couple on average than in the school summer holidays. A May half-term getaway was £250 less and February half-term was £650 cheaper.

4) Consider all-inclusive

All-inclusive holidays protect food, drink and activity costs against currency fluctuations. Data from Travelsupermarket.com shows Spain and Portugal are also the cheapest destinations for all-inclusive. The average price of a seven-night holiday in Spain, everything included, was £868 – more than £200 cheaper per person than a week in Cyprus or Italy.

5) Call the hotel direct

Booking sites charge the hotel a hefty commission, so it pays to pick up the phone. When we called hotels in cities as far afield as Tokyo and Sydney, half undercut or matched the cheapest rate online. The best saving was £67 on a night at a luxury hotel in Paris. Even if hotels only match the price, they may throw in a freebie like a bottle of wine or breakfast.