Anyone planning to take a family summer holiday in August could pay more than double the amount paid by a family taking the same holiday in September.
Huge holiday price hikes
New research from Which? Holiday found that a Virgin Holidays break to Jamaica increased by 181% in August compared with the same holiday in September.
A family of four staying at the Sunset Beach Resort in Montego Bay, departing on 21 August 2010, would pay £7,343. The same holiday on 4 September 2010, would cost £2,611 – a whopping £4,732 less. The price differed again in early August, costing £3,833 on 17 August. But, this is still 47% higher than the price of the September travel date.
Higher summer holiday prices common
Virgin Holidays is not alone in significantly increasing prices during the August peak season. A Thomas Cook holiday to Puerto Pollensa in Mallorca would have cost 78% more in August than in early September – £1,719 compared with £996. And a family holiday to Mallorca with Thomson would have cost 73% more (£1,721 compared with £996).
Thousands of families affected
A survey by Which? Holiday found that 34% of UK adults who took a holiday in the last 12 months did so during July and August. 60% of those surveyed said they took their last holiday during the school holidays.
When Which? Holiday contacted the tour operators they said that prices reflect supply and demand, with family-friendly destinations being more popular at peak times.
But, Which? Holiday Head of Research, Rochelle Turner, said that such price hikes were excessive: ‘We all know there is a higher demand for holidays at this time of the year. But it is families who suffer. How can a tour operator justify an increase of 181% on the same family holiday? This seems like profiteering.’
Which? Holiday compared online prices for a week-long holiday for two adults and two children in August and September. The comparison looked at prices for holidays in Jamaica, Turkey, Mallorca and Egypt.
Find out more about your rights if your package holiday has been significantly changed.
Subscribe to Which? Holiday today
For hints and tips on how to avoid paying too much for your holiday subscribe to Which? Holiday today or call 01992 822800 to claim your FREE trial of Which? Holiday magazine.
For daily consumer news, subscribe to the Which? RSS news feed here. If you have an older web browser you may need to copy and paste this link into your newsreader: https://www.which.co.uk/feeds/reviews/news.xml . Find out more about RSS in the Which? guide to news feeds.