The price of a family sun holiday over the Halloween mid-term break has soared by up to 22pc at peak times, an Irish Independent price survey can reveal.
However, an analysis of prices has found that a family can save up to €2,300 by flying a week earlier, and save hundreds by flying on a Sunday or midweek.
Irish schools will take their first break of the next school year in the week after the October Bank Holiday.
Our survey, carried out on Thursday, found a family of four flying to Lanzarote on Saturday, October 29, for seven nights return with Ryanair on the Family Plus baggage option will pay €3,244 – but the same flight a week earlier comes in at €1,897.
The cost to a family of four for return flights to Tenerife, leaving from Dublin on Saturday, October 29, is priced at €3,244 with Ryanair and €3,862 with Aer Lingus.
But the same flights the next day, Sunday, are priced at €1,894 with Ryanair and €2,410 with Aer Lingus.
A week earlier, on October 22, a seven-day Ryanair return flight for four comes in at €1,522.
The same weekend with Aer Lingus, flights leaving on Sunday, October 23, for seven days are priced at €1,210.
Figures compiled for the Irish Independent by Paul Hackett, president of the Irish Travel Agents Association (ITAA) and CEO of travel agency Click&Go, show popular sun holidays in the Canary Islands are significantly more expensive this year compared with the same period in 2019.
“So far, October mid-term holidays are ranging 18-22pc higher than the equivalent holidays for mid-term 2019.
“Part of the problem is the mid-term is quite late this year, from Friday, October 28, to Sunday, November 6, so it is really the first week in November.
“The airlines switch to their winter schedule on October 29, which rules out many summer routes like Majorca, [and] the Algarve. So the choice will be limited.
“All the Canary Islands are very expensive, but Gran Canaria, if you were cheeky and took the kids out of school on Thursday (October 27), you would save a shed load of money.
“Once you are going Saturday or Sunday you can see the prices really climbing. If you can travel outside these peak times, you can still find value.
“But there is incredible value now for Morocco that week – people don’t automatically think of Morocco for family holidays, but there is fantastic value. And weather-wise, it will be really good because you are pretty much in line with the Canaries.
“A Ryanair flight to Agadir on Sunday (October 30) is still great value.
“Also, Madeira is a stunning destination, and there is so much for families to do. The weather will still be very good as it’s only north of the Canary Islands.
“There are deals now for two adults for €600 on Sunday, October 30 – if we were looking for Gran Canaria, it would be an absolute fortune.”
In our price survey, the price per person to fly to Gran Canaria on October 30 is €719 each.
Pent-up demand from those who did not travel abroad in 2020 and 2021 is believed to be partly to blame for the rising costs, allowing airlines and hoteliers to hike prices.
But Mr Hackett said there were still options for families to get value.
“We are two years out of travelling and two years out of practice.
“If consumers come into any travel agent, they will find a great deal because they are really tuned in to where the value is.
“Even when you look at all the horror stories of cancelled flights this week, I know what we are able to do for our customers.
“We had a girl yesterday on her own in Austria. She had a great week and got a text from Aer Lingus to say her flight was cancelled, and we were able to deal with it within an hour.
“We told her to stay on the train she was on already to Munich and continue for a further hour to Memmingen, and she landed back in Dublin within 10 minutes of her original flight time.”