A Post Office Travel Money Family Holiday Report found that holidaymakers who want to curb their spending on children's extras would be well advised to consider resorts in the Eastern Med or the Balkans where the price tag can be under half the cost in more expensive destinations in the west of Europe.
Families travelling to Marmaris can expect to receive £96 more in Turkish lira on a £500 foreign exchange transaction at the Post Office.
At £57.37 for ten beach items which include sun cream, insect repellent, ice cream, sun lounger, beach towel, pedalo and banana boat ride, the Turkish resort is one of five in the Eastern Med and the Balkans where fun in the sun has the least impact on the holiday purse.
Other affordable locations are Sunny Beach, Bulgaria (£63.56); Crete, Greece (£69.88); Limassol, Cyprus (£69.90) and Porec, Croatia (£73.75).
The only Western European resort to break that stranglehold is the Costa del Sol (£63.11), the cheapest in the eurozone.
The report also found that pester power by kids set parents back £184 on holiday, which explains why two-thirds of families who set a budget overspend by nearly a quarter. 92 per cent splash out almost £39 on ice creams, up 28 per cent year-on-year, while other budget busters are water park visits (£61), pedalo rides (£31) and beach gear like buckets and spades, swimming goggles and lilos (£53).
While the Eastern Med and the Balkans look good value, families visiting Ibiza (£97.12); Sorrento in Southern Italy (£114.17) and Nice in the South of France (£117.78) can expect pester power to have more of an impact on the wallet.
Meanwhile, when it comes to eating out, Sunny Beach in Bulgaria is by far the cheapest resort, costing £35.735 for a snack lunch and evening meal with drinks as well as a coffee, beer, wine and cola. The same items could cost three or four times as much in other resorts. In Portugal's Algarve the cost is £61.62, in Limassol, Cyprus it is £82.06 and in Marmaris, the cost rises to £83.71 for food and drink.
Families can expect to pay over £100 for the food and drink items in the most expensive resorts surveyed: Majorca (£100.70), Corfu (£116.91), Nice (£138.13), Ibiza (£144.86) and Sorrento (£163.20).
Psst... These are the alternative holiday destinations to visit this summer
Psst... These are the alternative holiday destinations to visit this summer
It's time to soak up the sunshine on a summer holiday and this year, we're looking beyond the beaches of Ibiza and the tavernas of Crete. With the help of travel site momondo.co.uk we've rounded up the best destinations for an alternative holiday in July, August or September.
Whether you're looking to get cultural in overlooked capital city or discover waterfalls, mountains and tiny towns away from the seaside crowds, you'll love these unconventional summer holiday locations...
About 3km north of mainland Noord-Holland, Texel is the largest of the Dutch Wadden Sea Islands and a dune-smothered wonderland. White-sand beaches engulf a heart of wilderness reserves and forests, with the occasional village thrown in. With horse-riding, kite surfing and salt marsh hiking galore, it’s a fitness lover’s paradise, and there’s plenty to entertain the family. Head to Ecomare, where you can watch seals and porpoises being fed, then snap a picture with the vivid red lighthouse at the island’s far north.
Surrounded by mountains and nestled deep in an emerald valley, Medellin has long shaken off its Pablo Escobar days, growing into a vibrant, cosmopolitan jewel of a city. Brand new infrastructure, including a metro system, hillside gondolas, parks and museums speak to its rich cultural heart. Nicknamed the 'City of Everlasting Spring', it offers perfect weather year-round. El Poblado’s Parque Lleras, a park with a perimeter of bars and restaurants, is where you want to be in the evenings. Visit in August to check out the famed Feria de las Flores, the Flower Festival.
Duck across the Morbihan Gulf to an island paradise measuring just a few kilometres in all directions – and home to just a few hundred people. Tranquil, low-key and picturesque, Brittany's Ile-aux-Moines is perfect for a lazy day or two away from it all. Tiny white traditional houses and vanishingly small bars and boutiques line the narrow alleyways of the built-up area around the port. As you head further south, the cobblestones give way to fig tree-lined bicycle paths, and you can catch some rays at the Grande Plage and at the beach near Goret. The entire island is free of cars, so breathe deeply and enjoy that clean air.
Forming the arch of Italy’s boot, Basilicata is draped with forests and mountains and kissed by the warm Tyrrhenian and Ionian seas. Its blissfully quiet countryside is studded with tiny villages and the remnants of volcanic activity. Lake Grande and Piccolo sparkle at the base of the extinct Mount Vulture, while the Sassi di Matera, ancient dwellings thought to be the oldest in Italy, are a sight to behold. Explore Ancient Greek and Roman ruins in the towns of Armento and Venosa, and visit a museum in a castle in Melfi on a trip to this alternative Italian region.
Kotor is a UNESCO-listed medieval masterpiece with an abundant heritage. Ringed by massive stone walls and looming mountains, the red-capped city of Kotor feels protected against the march of time. About an hour south of Dubrovnik, it offers churches dating back to the 12th century and narrow streets. Grab a stuffed burek to snack on while you explore, take your time over a coffee al-fresco, or book a cruise around the picturesque bay.
With its laid-back Mediterranean vibe, Lugano is an Italian-speaking city offering a holiday-friendly mix of boutique shopping, boat cruising and funicular riding. It’s a relaxed spot for a weekend away, brimming with cafés, bars and promenades. The old town hugs Lake Lugano, magnificent against its mountainous backdrop. Indulge your passion for cocoa at the Museo del Cioccolato Alprose, grab a coffee at the Grand Café al Porto, stroll City Park with its centrepiece Villa Ciani and check out the town’s quirky Mario Botta-designed Cherry Building.
What better place for a summer holiday than a jaunt to the self-proclaimed City of Sunshine? Nestled on the banks of the Tisza, Szeged is a laid-back university town lined with al-fresco cafés and featuring surprise palaces and cathedrals. Stroll the Stefania promenade for exquisite river views, and nod along to the strains of the musical fountain at Dugonics Square. In the evening, Dóm tér, the city’s main square, transforms into a massive open-air stage with shows playing every night throughout the summer.
Presiding over massive lake Müritz in northern Germany, Waren is an out-of-the-way spot a few hours from Berlin. A ghost town just a few years ago, it’s suddenly bursting with activity: a new marina and a profusion of new hotels and restaurants mean you’ll have plenty to keep yourself entertained, while the area’s natural beauty has been left well enough alone. Explore the nearby national park bursting with eagles and ospreys, or saunter through the cobblestone streets of the red-roofed old town – be sure to stop off for some fish-stuffed bread rolls and Italian-style ice-cream.
Matarraña blooms with olive trees, vineyards and pine forests. It’s just three hours away from Barcelona but feels a world away. Ancient, tiny towns perch like mountain goats on the hillsides, ibex roam about, and cave paintings and prehistoric settlements lurk waiting to be surveyed. Explore Puertos de Beceite Natural Park, cycle the abandoned La Via Verde and cool off at the El Salt waterfall in La Portedella. Refuel by nibbling on cured ham, goat’s cheese and walnuts – and toss back some local wine.
Often overlooked in favour of Paris and Berlin, Croatia's capital city offers quaint, historic charm alongside new bars, restaurants and boutique clothing stores. Stroll Maksimir Park, drink in the soaring spires of the Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary and snack on farm-fresh food at the Dolac Market. Kids will love a visit to the Museum of Illusion and you can escape the heat to explore the city’s literal underworld with a stroll through the Grič Tunnel.