As millions of British families gear up to get away for the Easter holidays, it’s been revealed they will need a “buffer budget” of more than £530 to cover unexpected expenses.
Families are willing to spend 13% more on their 2017 holiday – shelling out on average of £3,133 for a family of four.
But two-thirds will struggle to keep within their self-imposed sunshine break budget – with more than one in 10 admitting they don’t keep track of what they are spending and then get a shock when they come to settle the bill at the end of the trip.
UK holidaymakers are most likely to get caught out by having to pay for additional food and drink outside of their original booking, and by charges when withdrawing money abroad.
Nearly a fifth have at some point had to pay for replacement accommodation, and a sixth have had to pay for new flights.
It all adds up to needing a buffer of £536, according to research by Atol, the holiday protection scheme.
Top 10 unexpected holiday costs:
- Food and drink bills
- Charges when withdrawing money
- Parking charges
- Additional car hire costs
- Airport transfers and shuttles
- Excess baggage
- Airplane food and drink
- Phone roaming charges
- Internet charges
- Sporting equipment hire
“Holidays are a great way to relax and switch off, but this can all be ruined if people overspend whilst abroad,” said Simon Read, personal finance expert for Atol.
“While we know budgeting and finances are not a top holiday priority it is important not to lose control completely.
“Foreign currency, changing exchange rates and excitable family members can all lead to budgeting confusion whilst away.”
Simon Read’s top tips for keeping your holiday budget on track
- When comparing flights make sure you take into account ‘hidden’ costs such as baggage or seat selection.
- Always check what is actually included within a full-board holiday, especially smaller items such as food and drink.
- When booking make sure that your break is Atol-protected. Look for the Atol symbol on travel company websites or brochures and don’t forget to take your certificate with you.
- Ensure you know your holiday budget before you go and use a foreign currency pre-payment card to know exactly what exchange rate you’ve paid.
- Make sure you check the airport and resort fees – some resorts charge up to £10 a day which can prove an eye-watering £140 extra per person on a two-week break