How Much Do You Shell Out On Holiday?
Even though our money is tight right now, 42% of us are spending exorbitant amounts at airport shops before we even get on our holiday flights. Most of us spend between £50-£100 on sun cream, meds and airport novels at duty free shops in the airport terminal.
This makes a total of £2.8bn spent before we even make it onto the plane. This is on top of the £15bn we spend taking holidays abroad. After flights and hotel stays, we add another nearly £270 for other costs.
Asda Money’s Kirsty Ward advises, “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.” Even with the terminal shops being duty free, they’re not going to be cheaper than your neighbourhood superstore.
Much of the terminal spending is to keep our children quiet and entertained. But what parents don’t know that ahead of time that children stuck at a gate or on a cramped flight will get restless? I pack a little rucksack for each of the little ones with games, colouring books, crayons, biscuits and the like. We avoid the airport shops like the plague. They’re costly, crowded and unnecessary.
Adding to the cost of holiday-making is purchasing money at the airport rather than your local bank branch. Ward added, “Our research has found that despite knowing they won’t get the most competitive rates, a fifth of people continue to purchase their holiday money at the airport, last minute or at the ATM once they’re away.”
A consumer study by Which? of 21 different money providers found that the cheapest source for travel currency was Eurochange and the most costly was Travelex at the airport. Other airport bureaux such as TTT and American Express were also much more expensive because they tack on commission on top of already unfavorable exchange rates. Surprisingly, the Post Office was a bargain if you dealt online, but not in person at a branch.
Which? editor Martyn Hocking cautioned, “Thinking ahead and changing your money before you travel means you’ll avoid getting stung at the airport – head to a city centre bureau de change or go online for the best deals.”
More than half of people surveyed by MSN UK said they overspend on holiday by an average of £75. Alcohol was a big source of overspending, accounting for £70 of budget busting. The survey showed other sources of our chronic overspending are sightseeing (£75), souvenirs (£70), theme or water parks (£60) and supermarket food (£61.)
What’s hitting many Brits so hard right now is that our family belt-tightening has been weighed against our urge to flee the Olympics madness, so many are taking holidays they hadn’t properly budgeted for just to get out of the city.
A recent study by the Post Office indicates that we waste roughly £21million buying currency last minute at the airport. That’s a massive money waster, isn’t it? Think how much more holiday-making we could enjoy if we avoided the airport shops and commissioned currency changers!
So next time you’re gearing up for a holiday, get your currency changed ahead of time, get your sun cream and beach reading at your superstore, pull together a little fun-pack for your wee ones and save your money for your actual holiday. Better yet, if you’re due a PPI refund, use that to splash out on a nice trip for your family!
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