Do you get your holiday spending money amount right?

Posted by Sue Anderson, 10th Sep 2013

Judging how much money you need to take on holiday with you can be really tricky, especially if you're on a self catering break and will need to buy all your meals each day. We started wondering how common it was for people to overestimate or underestimate the amount of money they'd need on holiday.

In our latest survey, we polled 2,132 people from the UK. Everyone we spoke to was aged 18 or over and they had all been away on a holiday abroad in the past year. We asked lots of questions about the money they spent whilst away on their vacation.

Third of holidaymakers underestimate spending and withdraw cash

When we asked, 'Did you end up underestimating how much money you would need to take on your last holiday?' 34% of those taking part admitted that they didn't take enough. That's a really easy mistake to make! When we asked what they did once they realised they were short of money, two thirds, 67%, said that they had withdrawn more foreign currency from an ATM on holiday to keep them going. Wise, but potentially dangerous!

A fifth, 21%, of the people who had underestimated the amount of money they'd need said they had borrowed money from someone else they were on holiday with at the time to tide them over and the remaining respondents claimed they just 'got by without extra cash'.

Average holidaymaker that underestimates holiday spending money does so by '£50'

Anyone who told us that they'd underestimated how much spending money they would need on their last trip abroad was asked how much money they were short of, roughly. The average answer stated by these people in the poll was '£50.00' in pound sterling equivalent. So, people were quite close to the amount, but just a little way off.

71% of those taking part admitted that they had thought certain items and services at their last holiday destination would have been cheaper than they turned out to be, such as the cost of meals and items in shops. It can be a bit of a shock, particularly if you're looking to buy English brands of food in shops, which usually have a much heftier price tag than here in the UK.

29% of those taking part claimed that they took just the right amount of spending money on their last holiday abroad, whereas 37% claimed they took too much. Of those that overestimated the amount of money they'd need and took too much, 88% had been on an all inclusive trip. You really don't need as much spending money on an all inclusive trip, as long as you stick to drinking and eating in the hotel and don't venture out too much for meals when all of that is provided as part of your package.

Our best advice when it comes to gauging how much spending money you should take on holiday would be to set a budget for each day. Do a bit of research into the cost of various things in the resort you're travelling to, such as average meal prices and excursions, so that your budget is as realistic as possible each day!
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