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Brits getting stung abroad by pricey sun-cream fees

30th July 2019 Print

British holidaymakers are being stung by pricey sun-cream fees abroad, with the cost of buying all the bottles they need while away potentially rising to over £100 for a family of four. 

In a survey of 2,000 people by online travel agent Holiday Hypermarket, it was found that suntan-lotion costs are much lower in the UK than they are in popular package holiday destinations. This means that Brits are forced to bump up their spending to buy extra protection when they’re on their break.

25% of Brits said they take no lotion on their holiday and 44% take just one bottle per adult, well below NHS recommendations of 12 x 200ml bottles for a family of four*.

How much sun lotion do we need?

The NHS recommends that for a week-long holiday in the sun, lotion should be applied five times each day: twice before going out and after EVERY swim. But, a Holiday Hypermarket survey** found that almost 90% of families take two or fewer 200ml bottles of sun lotion with them on a week-long holiday. 

What's the cost of buying abroad?

The Post Office Holiday Costs Barometer*** has revealed that Britain is one of Europe’s cheapest locations to buy suntan lotion. In Britain, it found that the average price is £4.50 for 200ml of branded factor 15 sun cream.

This is significantly cheaper than many of our favourite holiday destinations. Ibiza burns people the most when it comes to the cost of sun cream, as the same product is priced at £17.45. This means that if a family of two adults and two children took four bottles on their break, they’d have to spend an extra £103 on eight bottles during their stay to reach the NHS-recommended number of 12 bottles. 

It’s a similar story in Halkidiki in Greece where a bottle is £13.15, or an extra cost of £69. This is also true in Limassol in Cyprus, where the price is £12.71 or an extra £65 compared with British prices. 

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.


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





IBIZA, Spain




























ZADAR, Croatia




POREC, Croatia












CORFU, Greece




PAPHOS, Cyprus




CRETE, Greece








ALGARVE, Portugal









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!'

For more information and an infographic explaining the survey results, visit,