PRICES for package holidays and flights to popular destinations have risen by up to 30% raising fears that family getaways are being pushed out of the reach of many families in the cost of living crisis.

New research has revealed that those booking a summer 2023 package holiday between November 1, 2022 and January 3 this year would typically pay 19% more than they would have in the summer of 2022.

According to the research comparing average prices of six popular destinations using data from Travelsupermarket.com - the steepest rises in average prices were to Greece where a seven night holiday rose by 30% in a year. The average price tag was £867 per person for summer 2023.

Italy, Spain and Turkey have also seen prices rise by a fifth or more.

The research carried out by the consumer organisation Which found that Portugal had the smallest rises in price, with the cost of a week’s holiday rising by seven per cent on average, to £705.

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Despite the significant rise in average costs, Spain still offered the cheapest getaways, with a week’s package holiday costing £693 per person.

They analysis of flights found prices this Easter soar by a "whopping" 51% on average* compared with 2022.

Using data from airfares analyst Skytra, the consumer champion analysed prices for direct flights to 15 popular destinations in Spain, France, Italy, Greece and the US from six of the UK’s busiest airports.

It found Italy and Greece have seen the most significant rises, with airfares up a "staggering" 71% in both cases. The US, which has the highest average fares at £1,527 per seat, saw the smallest price increase, at just under a third (31%).

Using data supplied by Kayak, a comparison of the average price of booking three and four-star hotels in Easter 2022 and Easter 2023 found that UK hotel rates have risen by almost a fifth (19%), from £100 to £119, with many hotels facing not only increased energy bills, but also the need to pay higher wages amid staff shortages.

Meanwhile international hotel rates - those outside of the UK and Europe - have risen by a massive 23% on average, from around £138 over Easter 2022, up to £170 on average for Easter this year.

European rates have seen the smallest increases, with an average rise of 10, from £108 in 2022, to £119 this year, bringing them in line with average rates for the UK.

Rory Boland, editor of Which? Travel, said: "Travellers are likely to experience significantly higher prices than they’re used to for a trip away this year, with huge demand for holidays combining with inflationary pressure to create a perfect storm of spiralling costs. Flights in particular have seen some of the steepest price rises so far, with our research finding flights to popular destinations including Greece and Italy up 71% compared to last year.

“If you need to book a certain destination or dates, such as during the school summer holidays, book as early as possible to ensure the best price. Opting for an all-inclusive break may also be worth considering, as you will be protected from currency fluctuations, and have the assurance that expenses like food and drink are already covered. If you can be flexible on when and where you go, you’ll still be able to find deals throughout the year, so it’s worth shopping around.”

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Separate Which analysis found that solo travellers frequently face significantly higher per person costs and reduced choice when booking holidays.

Single supplements are a widely accepted practice within the travel industry, with these extra charges often levied by holiday operators to cover the costs associated with a solo traveller occupying a room intended for double use.

However the consumer organisation found that those enjoying the freedom of a solo trip are regularly paying significantly more per person than those travelling as a couple, sometimes even when opting for a smaller room designed for single occupancy.

Figures from travel association ABTA indicated that as many as one in 10 (11%) travellers holidayed alone between August 2021 and 2022 so hundreds of thousands of people may routinely be paying over the odds.

They found that taking into account all holiday and accommodation types, a solo traveller holidaying with one major holiday company would pay almost half as much more (47%) than someone holidaying as part of a pair, with the average cost coming in at £1,147, compared with a per person cost of £781 for a couple.

Those booking with another holiday company meanwhile were found on average to pay 36% more for their trip than those holidaying as a pair, with solo travellers paying £1,320 for a week’s trip, in contrast to the £970 paid by those in a couple.

Which? tips for booking a holiday at the best price:

-Travelling outside of the peak season can usually yield cheaper prices. The so-called ‘shoulder seasons’ of May to June and September to October generally still have favourable weather conditions, without the summer school holiday price tag. Which? found that the average price of a seven-night package at Easter with the UK’s largest operators, Tui and Jet2, was as much as £300 cheaper per couple than in the summer holidays. Travel earlier, in February half-term, and average costs are £650 less.

- Booking an all-inclusive trip gives you the assurance that most of your holiday costs are covered in the up-front price you pay. You also have the added advantage of being protected from currency fluctuations. Data from Travelsupermarket shows Spain and Portugal to be the cheapest destinations for all-inclusive holidays. The average price of a 7-night all-inclusive holiday in Spain in summer 2023 was £868 - over £200 cheaper per person than a week in Cyprus or Italy.

- Holiday providers can legally levy extra charges of up to 8 per cent of your holiday, if certain costs, including fuel and certain taxes, go up between the time of booking and the time of travel. By booking with a Which? recommended provider such as Jet2holidays, Kuoni, Trailfinders, Inghams and Hays, travellers can have the confidence of knowing that the price they are quoted is the price they will pay, as all five firms have committed to not levying surcharges this year.

- If you are not booking a package, wherever possible, book directly with the hotel. When Which? called 10 hotels in cities as far afield as Tokyo and Sydney, half matched or undercut the cheapest online rate. The biggest difference was a night at a luxury Paris hotel, which offered a rate £67 less than the cheapest rate found online. Even if hotels are only able to match the price, they will often throw in a freebie, like a bottle of wine, as a gesture of goodwill.