UK families to spend 13% more on holiday this year

British families are ready to spend 13 percent more on their holiday this year compared to last year, with a family of four now set to spend an average of £3,133 on their annual break, according to new research from ATOL.

The ATOL research also revealed that nearly two thirds of holiday makers (61 per cent) struggle with budgeting on holiday and unexpected holiday costs turn out to be quite huge. A family of four holidaying abroad should set aside an average of £536.80, to cover unexpected costs – the equivalent of two return flights to the Canary Islands or a four day pass to Disneyland Paris, the Civil Aviation Authority noted in a report.

UK holidaymakers are also most likely to pay for additional food and drink outside of their original booking, and by charges when withdrawing money abroad. Nearly a fifth of UK holiday makers (18 per cent) have had to pay for replacement accommodation, and a sixth (16 per cent) have had to pay for new flights.

According to the research, the top 10 unexpected holiday costs are food and drink bill, 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 and sporting equipment hire. The survey of 2,000 UK adults who holiday abroad was conducted in March by Mortar on behalf of ATOL.

Commenting on the research. Andy Cohen, Head of ATOL, said: ‘Holiday costs can mount up quickly, while you’re enjoying your holiday, making it very easy to overspend.

‘Our research also showed the unexpected can happen, and over their lifetimes nearly a fifth of consumers (18 per cent) have had to pay for replacement accommodation and a sixth (16 per cent) have had to pay for new flights.’

Simon Read, personal finance expert, added, ‘Holidays are a great way to relax and switch off, but this can all be ruined if people overspend abroad. 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 when you are away.

‘However, by taking simple steps such as checking for ATOL protection or setting a daily allowance, people can manage their budgets better while on holiday and avoid those unexpected costs that can dampen the end of a holiday.’