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Average holidaymaker overspends by £500 whilst on holiday

Average holidaymaker overspends by £500 whilst on holiday

A new poll by the UK’s fastest growing online independent travel agent has revealed that the average British holidaymaker spends £500 more than they planned to whilst on holiday, with most blaming the ‘cost of food’ for their overspending.

Latest research from one of the leading online independent travel agencies in the UK has revealed that the average British holidaymaker spends £500 more than they originally planned whilst on their holiday abroad.

Online travel agency carried out the poll as part of ongoing research into the holiday habits of people in Britain, with an aim of discovering more about spending habits on holiday. 1,229 people from Britain responded to the poll, each of whom had been on holiday in the last 3 years.

When asked, ‘During your last holiday, did you spend more than you planned to?’ the majority, 71%, said ‘yes’. These respondents were then asked to estimate how much they had gone over their original spending budget by and the reasons why they thought they had accidently overspent.

According to the results, the average holidaymaker spends £500 over their original spending money budget. The majority of those who overspent, 55%, were ‘self catered’ on their last holiday. When looking into the reasons why this had happened, the top five most common causes for overspending, as stated by respondents, were;


·      Cost of food – 31%
·      Alcohol – 23%
·      Impromptu excursions – 16%
·      Public Transport – 9%
·      Gifts for people back home – 8%

Of the respondents who selected ‘other’ and then specified what had been their main cause of overspending, reasons included ‘upgrading in their choice of accommodation’, ‘spending money on clothing’ for themselves whilst on holiday and costs for ‘unexpected medication’ abroad.

Of those who overspent on holiday, a quarter, 24%, used a credit card to access more funds, whilst 31% said that they took extra money ‘just in case’ which they had originally planned not to spend. When those who had overspent were asked, ‘Did you realise right away that you had gone over your spending money budget?’ 51% admitted they didn’t know until they returned home to the UK.

Chris Brown, co-founder of, commented on the findings:

“It’s always a good idea to set a budget for spending money, but it can be really hard to stick to that, because you never really know how much food, excursions, drinks and general day-to-day costs will amount to. I’d always recommend working out an initial budget for spending money so you can stick to that as much as possible, but then always have back up in the form of a credit or debit card if you can.

“One of the easiest things to do, to avoid overspending or running out of money altogether, is to go all inclusive on your holiday. You’ll always know then that, at the very least, you’ll always have food and drink for the duration of your holiday. Any money you take can then just be used on the odd day trip or gifts!”