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  • 91% of people do not pack enough sun lotion for their holiday
  • 69% of families need to buy eight more bottles for a seven-night holiday
  • It costs £103.60 more to buy eight bottles of sun cream in Ibiza than in the UK
  • Buy sunscreen in the UK to save 

As Brits embark on their summer holidays, they’re discovering that the sun isn’t the only thing causing a burn, with the cost of stocking up on sunscreen abroad sometimes reaching more than £100 for a family of four.

A survey of 2,000 people by online travel agent Holiday Hypermarket has revealed that Brits who are skimping on sun cream are paying a heavy price when they head abroad. Suntan lotion costs are significantly lower in Britain than they are most places on the continent, which means Brits are being forced to bump up their spending money when they head away.

25% of respondents revealed that they take no sun lotion on holiday, while 44% of respondents only take one bottle per adult. This is well below NHS recommendations* and means that 91% of those surveyed do not pack enough sun lotion for their holiday, forcing them to pay over the odds while away.

How much sun lotion do we need?
The NHS recommends that sun cream should be applied five times per day, with two tablespoons of lotion required to cover an adult body. This means that a family of four should get through 12 bottles during a week-long holiday.

However, Holiday Hypermarket’s survey** found that almost 90% of respondents said they take two or fewer bottles. Only 2% of respondents took four bottles per person, with 1% taking five bottles and 6% taking six bottles or more.

What’s the cost of buying abroad?
The Post Office Holiday Costs Barometer*** has revealed that buying abroad is a false economy, even if flyers get extra space in their luggage by not taking it with them. The average price of 200ml of branded factor 15 sun cream in Britain is £4.50, which is far cheaper than in Ibiza where the price is £17.50 and Halkidiki, where the price is £13.15.

This means that, in comparison with British prices, if a family had to buy eight bottles of sun cream to reach the NHS recommended number of 12 bottles, they’d need to pay £103 more in Ibiza and an extra £69 in Halkidiki. By buying abroad, British holidaymakers could be left red-faced in more ways than one.

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
UK £4.50 £36 n/a
IBIZA, Spain £17.45 £139.60 £103.60
HALKIDIKI, Greece £13.15 £105.20 £69.20
MAJORCA, Spain £13.15 £105.20 £69.20
LIMASSOL, Cyprus £12.71 £101.68 £65.68
ALICANTE, Spain £12.28 £98.24 £62.24
BENIDORM, Spain £11.93 £95.44 £59.44
SLIEMA, Malta £11.51 £92.08 £56.08
ZADAR, Croatia £9.23 £73.84 £37.84
POREC, Croatia £7.29 £58.32 £22.32
LISBON COAST, Portugal £7.02 £56.16 £20.16
MARMARIS, Turkey £6.67 £53.36 £17.36
CORFU, Greece £6.31 £50.48 £14.48
PAPHOS, Cyprus £6.25 £50.00 £14.00
CRETE, Greece £6.14 £49.12 £13.12
TORREMOLINOS, Spain £4.82 £38.56 £2.56
ALGARVE, Portugal £3.94 £31.52 -£4.48
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:

Sun Cream Shy Brits Infographic

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