How long does it take to save for holiday spending money?

Posted by Sue Anderson, 11th Mar 2013

Deciding you want to go on holiday is all well and good, but then you have to start planning the financial side of the trip. You've paid for the accommodation and flights, but now you need to get your spending money saved up, ready to buy all the ice cream, cocktails and souvenir fridge magnets you can get your hands on.

In our latest poll, we wanted to find out how long it tends to take people to save up for their holiday spending money. Putting a bit away each month is a great start, but depending on how much you want to take, it can take longer for some people than others.

Here at, we polled 1,726 people over the age of 18 who had been on a 7 day holiday abroad in the past 12 months and asked them all about their spending money for the trip and how they tended to prepare, financially, for a holiday.

Average family of four takes £1,200 spending money abroad

When we asked people how much money they'd taken on their last holiday abroad (7 nights), the average amounts stated by those taking part were £800 per couple, £1,200 per family of four and £500 per person for those not going on a family or couples holiday.

Average Holidaymaker Spends 6 Months Saving for Spending Money

When looking at how long it tended to take people to come up with their total holiday spending money, the average amount of time stated by those taking part was '6 months'. Even so, 67% of those taking part admitted they hadn't managed to save up as much money as they had wanted to for their last holiday.

Most holiday spending money goes on food and drink

We asked people what they tended to use most of their spending money for whilst on holiday and the results were as follows:

Food/drink - 26%

Excursions/activities - 22%

Clothes - 18%

Souvenirs/gifts - 16%

Taxis - 11%

Spending money normally works out to be the cost of your accommodation and flights all over again, so it is a fairly big chunk of the overall expense. We'd recommend starting to save as early as possible, as then you don't have to save such high amounts each month. Even if you haven't booked your holiday yet, but you know you're going to go away, just start saving early! Sometimes, all inclusive options are much better, because you barely need any spending money at all.
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