Average overseas holiday now costs more than £1,400 per person

12 July 2014

The average overseas holiday now costs £1,404 per person*, according to new research from Halifax.

This represents an inflation busting** 7% increase in the last year, and can largely be attributed to greater discretionary spending on things like food, drinks, and entertainment while away, rather than higher transport and accommodation costs.

At £359.45 the average per person spend on food, drinks and entertainment while on away overseas now represents around a quarter of the cost of the whole holiday.

Rise in overseas holidays

The research also found there’s been an increase in the number of people taking their main holiday abroad in 2014, with 56% of us heading overseas this year (compared to 45% in 2013).

However, this doesn’t mean people are no longer worried about value for money when going away. When it comes to booking their most recent holiday overseas almost half (44%) said they shopped around for deals when booking, with 19% saying they booked as early as possible to take advantage of ‘early bird’ discounts.

As such, only 5% of people said they’ve been leaving it to the last minute to book their holiday, with more than two thirds (38%) of those who are going abroad or who have been abroad for their main holiday claiming they booked it at least six months in advance (up from 31% in 2013).

Cash advance

As to how holiday-makers are paying for things while abroad, the majority still favour cash over cards, with 52% saying they used currency bought in advance for the majority of their ‘spending money’.

However, 12% report using their credit card for their spending in the main, with credit card usage lowest among 18-24 year olds (7%) and highest among the over 65s (18%). Conversely, while 8% of holiday-makers used a debit card to withdraw cash at a foreign ATM, the practice is highest among 18-24 year olds (13%) and lowest among the over 65s (7%).

Toby Rougier, managing director of credit cards, Halifax, says:

“The ‘feel-good’ factor being generated by the growing UK economy may now be filtering through to the number of people taking holidays abroad and how much they are spending when they get there. In the last year we’ve seen a clear increase in peoples’ discretionary spend while they’re away, particularly on food, drinks and entertainment.

“But while people may be spending more money while they are away, this doesn’t mean they don’t want to get value for money. While we’ve seen more people booking in advance to try and get a better deal on their holiday, they could also save money and protect their purchases by taking a fee free credit card abroad such as the Halifax Clarity Credit Card.”


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