As more families choose all-inclusive packages to cut the cost of kids’ meals and drinks, new research for the Post Office Travel Money All Inclusive Holiday Report reveals that wallet watchers who stick to what is included in their all-inclusive package could save more than 25% in Marmaris compared with the cost of a week’s bed-and-breakfast holiday in the Turkish resort with meals added.

Similarly, in Mallorca the cost of a week’s all-inclusive package without any added expenditure was £508 (24%) lower than the equivalent B&B trip.

However, all-inclusive spendthrifts who splash the cash in local bars and restaurants could find their trip sets them back hundreds of pounds more than they bargained for - and the majority of families do exactly that.

The research found that almost two-thirds of parents spent an average of £271 on meals, snacks and drinks in resorts outside of their all-inclusive hotel – including £67 on eating out. And seven-in-ten families admitted spending an average of £321 on long-haul all-inclusive holidays.

To establish the impact of this extra spending, Post Office Travel Money compared summer prices for a week’s holiday in ten European hotspots. When the average expenditure on food and drink was added to the price of an all-inclusive package, a family week away in a B&B hotel, with meal and drinks costs included, was significantly cheaper in seven of them. Only Crete, Mallorca and Marmaris proved cheaper for an all-inclusive holiday.

The biggest potential family saving is in Malta, where canny travellers could save a third (£646) by swapping an all-inclusive holiday for a bed-and-breakfast one. The research also found big savings in Spain’s Costa del Sol (£465) and Costa Blanca (£344).

Andrew Brown of Post Office Travel Money said: “All-inclusive holidays are becoming increasingly popular with families because of the potential to control spending. In fact our research shows that 11% of families travelling abroad this year will be taking an all-inclusive holiday for the first time. “However, holidaymakers should also be aware our report reveals that spending on top of paid-for packages is on the increase. Since most families will pay for extras on their all-inclusive holidays it is important to carry enough foreign cash to the cover all eventualities.

“Our latest research found that only two-in-five families took enough cash with them and didn’t have to change more money abroad. As a result, almost one-in-five incurred charges for withdrawing cash at an ATM abroad and one-in-seven incurred transaction charges when they used their credit cards.”

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