Just one in six (16%) UK adults make a holiday budget and stick to it
Travellers spend £668 more per week than they would at home on average, equating to the cost of another holiday*
A fifth (22%) say ‘unexpected charges’ take them over their budget
Four in ten (41%) wait until after their holiday, or until their next statement, before checking holiday spend
Wednesday 2 August 2023: Half of UK adults (50%) say they overspend when holidaying abroad, with a tenth (11%) of them going into debt as a result. The ‘head in the sand’ approach to holiday spending may be responsible for travellers’ debts; just 16% of holidaymakers make a budget and stick to it, according to a survey of 2,000 UK adults by Starling Bank.
Nearly half of the holidaymakers surveyed (45%) say the reason they overspend is because they ‘just want to enjoy themselves’ when away, but three in ten (31%) get caught out by things being more expensive than anticipated, with food (54%), day trips (38%) and drinks (36%) having the biggest sting.
The ‘head in the sand’ approach continues when it comes to keeping track of holiday spend. Less than a third of travellers (28%) check their bank balance daily while abroad, with four in ten (41%) waiting until the holiday is over, or until their bank statement comes through to look over their total spend. More than a third (37%) say they are ‘surprised’ about their holiday outgoings when they do check their bank balance.
A fifth of UK travellers (22%) also say ‘unexpected charges’ take them over their planned spend. The top five unexpected costs travellers experience are:
Buying things they forgot to pack (25%)
Bank charges (23%)
Local or city taxes (23%)
Accommodation taxes (16%)
Airline fees (12%)
This overspending can have a serious impact on the return home. More than one in seven (15%) report that as a result of overspending, they have been forced to cancel future social plans. Nearly one in ten (9%) have struggled to buy groceries, 8% have had to borrow money from friends and family to tide them over, and 7% have even struggled to pay their rent or mortgage.
Rachel Kerrone, Brand and Marketing Director at Starling Bank said: “Setting a holiday budget and frequently checking your bank balance might not sound like fun, but it can help soften the post-holiday blues by reducing the worry of overspending. It’s helpful to know exactly how much and where you have spent upon your return using insights from your banking app; understanding your holiday spending habits can give you a better idea of how much to budget for future trips.”
Overall, travellers spend nearly £100 (£95.40) more per day on holiday than they would at home, in addition to travel to and from accommodation at their destination. This additional spending averages at £688 during a one-week trip, which equates to the cost of another holiday*. Meals out (£20.20), experiences (£17.60) and travel at the destination, such as taxis (£16), are the top three things that contribute to increased spending.
With a Starling account you can pay by card or withdraw cash abroad with no fees from Starling, using Mastercard’s foreign exchange rate** .