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Keep an eye on your holiday spending

Keep an eye on your holiday spending

Category: Travel

Updated: 27/07/2015
First Published: 27/07/2015

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

How much do you spend when you're on holiday? Probably more than you plan to! It seems that many holidaymakers find it difficult to set the right budget, and as a result, will often overspend.

A third of travellers exceed their holiday budget…

Research from Travelex has found that a third (31%) of British holidaymakers go over budget when travelling abroad, often because they didn't budget effectively in the first place. The figures show that 38% of respondents have run out of currency while travelling abroad, and 39% have had to whip out a bank card or withdraw emergency cash to cover unexpected costs. Just think of what you're being charged for those unexpected foreign payments!

This can really have an impact on your holiday enjoyment, not to mention your bank statement. The survey found that 59% of respondents admitted to not being fully sure about how to properly budget for a trip abroad, while 69% said that being able to budget more easily and effectively would allow them to enjoy their holidays more. Clearly, something needs to change!

Budgeting may be the key to holiday enjoyment, but it can also be one of the most difficult things to get right. Underestimate your costs and you'll always overspend, but if you over-budget and squirrel away too much, there's a chance you'll just spend the extra anyway.

It all comes down to being able to set a realistic budget – and then sticking to it. It's no use planning to spend a pittance if you're heading to a luxury destination, and likewise, there'll be no need to build up a huge holiday fund if you're heading somewhere that can give you a three-course meal for £5. This is where research comes in.

Hopefully you'll thoroughly research your destination before you jet off anyway, but we mean more than just looking for things to add to your itinerary. Try to find out how much things like meals and drinks typically cost, for example, as well as the cost of activities and attractions, and that way you can plan a daily budget more easily.

Another option is to utilise modern technology. For example, Travelex has created an app that lets travellers see how much other people have spent, on average, during trips to their chosen destination, and this kind of first-hand experience could be a great way to help you budget effectively. Take a look at your app store or browse online to find other options – you never know what handy tools you may come across.

… so don't be one of them!

However, one of the best ways to keep an eye on your holiday spending is to opt for a pre-paid travel card. All you have to do is load them up in advance with your chosen currency, and you can then use them as you would any other debit or credit card. As an added bonus, they typically come with far better foreign usage rates than regular cards, and once you've reached your limit, that's it – no more spending.

It could be a great way to reign in your spending as you can't spend more than you've budgeted for, something that could be easily done with a traditional credit card, which has no such limit (there'll be a credit limit, of course, but hopefully you won't max out your card on holiday spending money!).

Plan wisely, spend wisely and have the right solutions to help, and hopefully you won't come back from your relaxing break with a larger-than-expected hole in your bank balance!

Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.