ACCOUNTANTS are warning that holidaymakers could be paying too much for their winter breaks.

The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) says that under new pricing systems many items which were previously integral parts of holiday packages have now become optional extras. ACCA says the headline price is not necessarily what holidaymakers will ultimately pay and that pricing is also less clear and more difficult to compare between holiday companies.

Andrew Harding, Executive Director of ACCA UK, said: "With new types of pricing structures due to cost competition from low-cost airlines, holidaymakers should make check-lists of items which may or may not be included in the final prices of their holidays.

"In trying to offer consumers more choice, tour operators are confusing holidaymakers even more.

"It is now very difficult to compare prices directly, as it is not always clear what the brochure price refers to. Extras which may not be included in the final price of the holiday include:

Meals and drinks on flights.

Transfers on arrival.

Car hire.

Cost of insurance for car hire.

Where cars are included in the price, they may be too small so that it is necessary to pay to upgrade.

Mr Harding went on: "For those travelling in the European Union, travel insurance costs could be reduced by filling out form E111. "Holiday-makers often forget that they

already have emergency healthcare cover in EU states and may be spending

money unnecessarily when purchasing travel policies.

"Remembering to pick up forms from local post offices and completing them by providing National Insurance numbers, will ultimately help keep travel costs to a