While it may be tempting to book a vacation over the holidays, you'll likely be paying a premium to do so — and it may surprise you just how much more accommodations cost during peak travel times.
A new study from Compare the Market Australia shows how much more tourists will pay to visit popular, family-friendly destinations over school holidays based on Tripadvisor hotel prices for seven-day stays and activity prices for one-day bookings. The prices are based on a family of four, with two adults and two children (one aged five and the other aged 10).
The most expensive place to visit during the peak travel times is Rovaniemi, Finland, with hotel and activity prices climbing by a jaw-dropping 230 per cent and 15 per cent, respectively. The report's authors note that the popular destination is known as the "official" home of Santa Claus, which makes it a highly sought-after spot for holiday family destinations with its famed "SantaPark."
Sun-worshippers seeking a dose of vitamin D flock to Australia's breathtaking Gold Coast for family vacations. While there isn't an increase in prices for theme parks and wildlife attractions, accommodations skyrocket during peak travel times, increasing a staggering 111 per cent.
Orlando, home to the "The Most Magical Place on Earth," Walt Disney World, rounded out the top three priciest destinations during peak season. While the hotel prices during off-peak travel times weren't as drastically higher, there was still a significant difference at 51 per cent. Additionally, the Floridian city had the highest increase in activity prices among all the countries analyzed, with a 17 per cent jump during peak travel times.
Vienna, Australia followed Orlando in fourth, with Billund, Denmark ranking fifth.
Will you also pay a premium for a Vancouver hotel during peak season?
On the other end of the spectrum, hotels in Barcelona, Spain, only increased a modest six per cent during peak travel times. Vancouver also had a modest markup, with an eight per cent increase for a Vancouver hotel during peak season and no change in activity costs.
Nairobi, Kenya only had an 11 per cent difference in prices between off-peak and peak travel times, with no difference in the activity prices.
In fact, eight of the 12 cities in the ranking do not adjust their activity prices between seasons, but all of them increased their hotel charges, according to Compare the Market Australia.