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Avoid paying over the odds for your holiday

Our latest research into travel costs has revealed that holiday prices can jump as much as £3,000 in one day, before falling again the next with no rhyme or reason.

We’re all wary of holiday rip-offs, knowing prices can soar if you book late or travel during school breaks but we’ve discovered exactly how much prices fluctuate day to day in a 2 week period.

We looked at a basket of 10 package holidays from different travel operators for a family of four – with one child aged five and one aged seven – all departing from Gatwick Airport.

Tracking these holidays over 14 days showed some big variations in price. This means that if you don’t plan ahead and try to compare the rate over a few days, you and your family could end up paying over the odds for your next holiday.
A holiday to Disney shot up by to £9,053 from £5,683 the previous day – a 54% rise from the first date it was being checked.

A week in the Blue Lagoon Village, Kos rose by 39% – from £3,948 to £5,481, before dropping down the next day.

We also found holidays which drop in price depending on when you book – with a week in Rhodes costing up to 24% less, dropping from £5,912 to £4,509 and a week in Gran Canaria falling by 14% from £3,312 to £2,857 before climbing back up again.

Half-term prices soar

The news will be a further blow to consumers following the recent Supreme Court ruling where father Jon Platt challenged a fine for taking his daughter out of school during term time. The courts ruled against him, leaving families with the choice of paying extreme holiday prices or not having a holiday at all.

In February, we compared 120 return flights from eight airports across the UK and found that holidaying during school holidays costs an average of NINE times more than the same flight earlier in the month.

Our latest research has confirmed that this practice continues with the average holiday rising by £1,072 between July and August and £1,715 between June and August, increases of 34% and 69% respectively.

Avoid the price lottery

Most people understand supply and demand and that during peak travel times such as the school holidays, they will pay a bit more but there seems to be no rhyme nor reason to the way holiday prices change and buying a summer holiday, really is a price lottery.

The way some holidays are being priced is not fair on families and these extreme cases need addressing by the travel industry.

While the holiday price lottery continues, holidaymakers should take other steps to ensure they are getting the best value.

Try to track the price of your holiday over a few days, before you book, so that you can pay for your trip when it isn’t at peak price. Follow our other travel tips so that you can make sure to get more out of your holiday once you arrive.

Travel further this year by planning like a pro

Follow our tips on planning your holidays like a pro and your money will travel much further this year. Even if flight prices do go up and down from one day to the next, you and your family can still experience more with some smart planning.

? Currency tip: You book the flight and hotel in advance but leave travel money to the last minute – that’s a mistake. Sign up to our Rate Alert service to find out when the exchange rate is in your favour.

✈️️ Flight tip: Set up price alerts through flight search services such as Skyscanner or Kayak and they’ll email you when it’s cheaper to buy tickets for your dream destinations.

? Accommodation tip: Many hotel comparison sites won’t show you the actual price you pay until the final step. Make sure that you’re comparing like for like rates, including any local taxes or charges for card payments.

? Dining tip: Eating like a local throughout your trip will mean that you can enjoy more for your money. Try out the restaurants that are full of locals or, if you are feeling adventurous enough, restaurants that don’t even have menus written in English.

Social dining for travellers is a modern way to experience traditional cuisine in people’s homes, cooked and shared by locals themselves. Platforms like VizEat connect travellers and local hosts in more than 70 countries.


Take control of travel money on your next trip with a FairFX Currency Card. Manage on your money on the go with ease through the mobile app and website, spend wherever you see the Mastercard® Acceptance Mark in over 210 countries.

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Mariette Ferreira

Mariette Ferreira

Mariette heads up marketing at FairFX. She loves travelling, scuba diving and South Africa, but she's yet to combine all three in one.


  1. Avatar

    Excellent concept. Can you do the same but adjusted for elderly retired couples ?

    1. Avatar

      Thanks Rex, we’ll have a think about how we can expand this to include more people.

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