By Angela Rees
Pester power is causing parents to spend more on holiday than they bargained for, a survey has shown.
On average, mums and dads set aside £669 to cover costs while abroad but end up overspending by around £72.
Some 21 per cent of parents let their children decide where to go on holiday, and 45 per cent choose beach holidays at the request of their offspring, according to Post Office Travel Money.
More than 80 per cent of parents spend money on ice-cream and drinks for their children, while 60 per cent visit theme or water parks just to keep them happy.
The poll also found that 43 per cent of parents were persuaded to dine in fast-food restaurants on holiday, while 37 per cent returned to the same destination because their children liked it rather than because they wanted to.
The kind gestures didn't stop there, as 24 per cent even took one of their children's friends on holiday to give them someone to play with.
Paying for all the extras partly outstripped the benefit of lower prices in holiday hotspots such as Bulgaria, Spain, Portugal and Greece, the survey found.
Post Office Travel Money compared prices at 12 destinations, including the UK resort of Bournemouth.
The cost of items such as food, drink, ice-creams and buckets and spades was found to be at its lowest at Sunny Beach in Bulgaria, where the 12 selected items totalled £76, while it was at its highest at Sorrento in Italy, at £176.
Bournemouth was one of the more expensive destinations, at £139, although in a separate survey it was found to have the cheapest water park prices at Splashdown Poole.
The 12 items were nearly 12 per cent more expensive in Bournemouth this year than last. In contrast, prices in Crete were nearly 19 per cent lower this year, while the Costa del Sol in Spain was more than 15 per cent cheaper.
Andrew Brown, from Post Office Travel Money, said: "Our latest report makes it clear there are still wide variations across Europe in the cost of holiday items that tip the family budget into the red.
"The good news for families is that there is strong competition for business in many resorts - particularly between restaurants and bars - and this has resulted in lower prices in some holiday hotspots. However, pester power can soon empty the family purse so we recommend that holidaymakers set a budget for kids' items and stick to it."