A Post Office Travel Money survey has found that over half of holidaymakers spend more money than their budgets allow when they are away from home. Some 56% of Brits surveyed admitted to regularly overspending when they go on holiday.
Eating out seemed to be the most likely area travellers will spend more than they plan. One-third of respondents said they spend almost £70 more than budgeted when buying drinks. They also tend to overspend on sightseeing by an average £75, souvenirs by £70, supermarket food by £61 and visits to theme parks or water parks by £60.
However, eight of ten complained about hidden charges or poor exchange rates when buying foreign cash. Their biggest complaint was using ATMs abroad, with two in five parents saying this was a big irritation to them. Also, one of three said that changing money at hotels or resorts is more expensive than they expect. The second biggest complaint was poor foreign exchange rates at UK airports.
However, Post Office Travel Money estimated from its findings that about 1.7 million travellers will wait until they arrive at the airport to exchange their money for foreign currency this year. Using prices from seven airports in the UK, researchers estimate that passengers will waste an average £13.18 exchanging £266 to euros due to bad airport exchange rates and commission charges for lower value transactions.
Post Office head of travel money Andrew Brown says their research shows that too many families are hit with paying out more than they planned on trips overseas. Their message is that all expenditure has to be planned out carefully, he added.
This research follows a study from Visa last month revealing that British holidaymakers spend the most on visits to the UAE. Last year, they spent a total US$489.5 million, an 11% increase on the year before. It was also found that they spent an average $3 more per transaction, with most purchases made at discount stores, airlines and quick serve restaurants.
Meanwhile, more research revealed by Post Office Travel Money earlier this week showed that Spain and Portugal are the best places for self-catering holidays. The cost of 20 supermarket items for a family of four on a one-week holiday were compared in 12 different destinations. It was discovered that the items cost just £56.67 in Mallorca but £104.29 in Limassol, Cyprus. The other cheapest places were (in order): Algarve, Portugal at £57.78; Costa Blanca, Spain at £65.31; Menorca at £66.71; and Gozo at £70.12.
Brown said that the variations in supermarket prices means families should check local prices before booking. Although self-catering holidays can save on budgets, the destination has to be carefully considered. Mallorca and Portugal are the best valued options, while spending budgets won’t go as far in Greece, he added.
Last month Post Office Travel Money revealed the cheapest places to drive for European holidays. Andorra costs the least at £1.13 per litre for unleaded, followed by Luxembourg and Spain at £1.21 per litre. The most expensive was Norway, followed by Italy, France and Belgium.
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