The online travel agent Holiday Hypermarket has conducted a poll* of 2,000 British holidaymakers. Some of the most interesting findings concern our use of sun lotion – or rather, our failure to take enough of it with us when we travel.
The key takeaways are as follows:
- A quarter of Brits take no sun lotion abroad at all
- Almost half take just one bottle
- 90% take two or fewer
- Sun-cream prices overseas can dwarf those in the UK
Put all of those factors together and you’ve a recipe for a big overspend. This is particularly the case for visitors to the more popular package-holiday destinations, where the price of sun lotion can be three or four times higher than in the UK. It’s clear that British tourists are either forced to overpay for sun cream – or they’re not applying enough lotion.
Sun-lotion requirements: how much do we really need?
The survey asked how many 200ml bottles each person takes on a week-long holiday. The NHS recommends** four bottles per adult, which works out at two tablespoons of sun cream applied five times every day.
How much extra are we spending?
There’s a cost to this failure to prepare, but it’s among the hidden costs of holidaying that might escape the attention of most tourists. The Post Office Holiday Costs Barometer*** suggests that Britain is among the cheapest places in Europe to buy suntan lotion. An average 200ml bottle of factor-15 sun cream costs around £4.50.
So, how much does an equivalent bottle cost overseas? In places like Bulgaria and Portugal, the cost was actually a little lower. But in others, like Ibiza, the price shot up nearly fourfold, to £17.45 per 200ml bottle. In Halkidiki, Greece the average cost was almost as outrageous at £13.15; in Limassol, Cyprus, the figure was £12.71.
When we account for the number of bottles the average family of four needs to use over a week-long holiday, this price difference can quickly multiply into three figures. Even if we take just four bottles rather than the NHS-recommended 16, the figure goes up to £108, £97.52 and £155.40 in Halkidiki, Limassol and Ibiza respectively. In order to stay entirely covered, this cost can add considerably to the price of a week’s fun in the sun.
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.
|Location||One bottle: average cost for 200ml SPF15 branded sunscreen||Eight bottles: total cost of buying at holiday destination||Eight bottles: difference in cost compared to buying in UK|
|LISBON COAST, Portugal||£7.02||£56.16||£20.16|
|SUNNY BEACH, Bulgaria||£2.34||£18.72||-£17.28|
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!’
See the infographic by Holiday Hypermarket below: