Holiday hotspots charging over the odds for sun cream

Mary's picture
Authored by Mary
Posted: Wednesday, July 31, 2019 - 10:23

Some of the sunniest destinations in Europe are charging far more for sun scream than vendors in the UK – resulting in many British holidaymakers paying over the odds to stay protected. A poll commissioned by online travel agent Holiday Hypermarket has revealed the scale of the problem. Among the key findings were:

  • 25% of Brits don’t take any sun lotion at all when travelling abroad
  • 44% take just a single bottle, while 90% take two or fewer
  • A failure to adequately prepare could end up costing many families in excess of £100

In certain destinations, like Ibiza, holidaymakers are charged a considerable premium for their sun lotion. Many tourists are then faced with a choice between paying over the odds or failing to adequately protect themselves against the sun.

How much sun lotion should we be using?

According to NHS guidelines, an adult in the sun should be applying five applications of two tablespoons each day, which works out at four 200ml bottles per week. The survey revealed that most of us fall well short of this target. It asked specifically how many 200ml bottles each respondent would take on a one-week holiday – and 44% said they only take one bottle with them, while 25% said they take no suntan lotion with them at all on holiday.

What’s the cost?

In the UK, we enjoy some of the lowest prices per bottle on sun lotion in Europe. According to the Post Office Holiday Costs Barometer, the average 200ml bottle in Britain costs around £4.50. When we compare this with the overseas equivalent, the cost of failing to prepare quickly escalates.

In popular destinations like Ibiza, Greece and Cyprus, the price is considerably higher, at £17.45, £13.15 and £12.71 per 200ml bottle respectively.

And if a family of four only takes four bottles to Ibiza (when you should be taking 16), then you’ll end up £155.40 out of pocket (the figures in Halkidiki and Limassol are £108 and £97.52 respectively). Many tourists balk at the cost of sun lotion before heading out, and tend to invest in less of it. As these findings have revealed, this is often a false economy.

The table below shows the average cost of sun lotion in package holiday destinations across Europe, plus the extra cost of buying eight bottles in that destination compared to the UK:

Craig Duncan of Holiday Hypermarket says: 'Cost is one of the most important considerations for any holiday, yet Brits are underestimating the amount of sun cream they need and then wasting hundreds by stocking up abroad.

'A British family can spend an eye-watering £200 to buy extra lotion for a two week holiday in Ibiza. That could easily cover a few delicious family meals, a room upgrade or new holiday clothes.

'Buying enough sun cream at a supermarket in the UK is one of the most effective money-saving holiday hacks there is!'

Check out the infographic below that illustrates Holiday Hypermarket’s research:

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