Holidaymakers spend £2.8bn before leaving the airport

The Momentum UK Team 06 August 2012

Britons will rack up a total of £15bn on travelling abroad this year with almost £3bn of that being spent on duty-free at the airport before they’ve even jetted off, according to Asda Money.

Stocking up on last-minute essentials at the airport costs the average Briton £50, with 25% of people spending £100. 42% of parents spend in excess of £100 on essential items such as products to help keep children occupied on the journey.

Billions spent on day-to-day holiday expenses

The cost of holiday travel and accommodation are the least of many holidaymakers’ worries. While many Britons are spending billions on holiday packages, it is the price of enjoying the sun when they arrive that can cost a ‘fortune’.

Taxis, excursions, souvenirs and smaller costs such as ice creams and drinks account to an average of £218 per Brit per holiday with some spending significantly more. Eating out abroad is the most expensive cost for Britons, accounting for more than £100 of their holiday money.

Falling into the trap of using credit and debits cards abroad can also be costly, with an average of £6 being charged for flashing the plastic on holiday.

Kirsty Ward, Head of Asda Money said:

“Holidaymakers are planning on spending a fortune on a much needed break this summer but on top of flights, accommodation, outings and more, they are spending billions of pounds in preparing and enjoying themselves once they hit the sunshine.”

Kirsty commented on the fact that financial decisions made abroad can come back to haunt consumers when the holiday is over:

“Mums and Dads need to make sure they are budgeting way ahead of their trip and to not over spend before and during as they could come back to a financial mess.”

Holiday protection

Unforeseen occurrences such as medical issues and cancelled flights can end up costing holidaymakers more than the holiday itself. A recent study by the Money Advice Service (MAS) showed that the average cost of medical treatment for holidaymakers is £2,040.

Research by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) found that 4,000 people required hospital treatment abroad last year. Nearly half (48%) of holidaying Brits did not realise that medical bills incurred must be paid by individuals unless they have travel insurance.

The MAS found that 34% of the holidaymakers taking a summer break this year have no intentions of purchasing any travel insurance, which may be able to offer protection to travellers for a number of issues from cancelled or delayed flights to medical issues.

A spokesperson for FCO commented:

“Every year thousands of British travellers seriously regret not taking comprehensive travel insurance to cover costs if things go wrong.”

“Medical treatment abroad can be expensive and to avoid being faced with large bills you must ensure that you are fully ensured.”