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Brits spend a quarter of disposable income on holidays

Paloma Kubiak
Written By:
Paloma Kubiak

The average British family holidays twice a year, spending more than £6,000, which represents a quarter of the household disposable income.

Holidays typically cost £855 per person each time though a quarter of holidaymakers splash out £1,000 or more.

Based on this amount, a family of four could be paying out £3,420 each time they go away so two breaks a year can cost up to £6,840.

According to the Nationwide’s spending report which analysed 500 million digital transactions made by its members in the first three months of 2018, this equates to a quarter of a family’s budget. Or it represents three months’ disposable income, based on the average wage of £27,300 (£2,275 per month).

The building society report also revealed that half of Brits (of 2,000 surveyed) aren’t willing to forgo anything in order to go on holiday. Four in 10 paid for their last holiday using savings while a third used their current account.

A quarter said they had to borrow money to go on holiday, including credit card (15%), personal loan (4%), while 3% said they borrowed money from family and friends.

Of those who borrowed money for their holiday, 88% said this was the only way they could afford to go away.

For others, sticking to a budget while away can be a problem as six in 10 Brits overspend, with more women (68%) than men (55%) admitting to going over budget. Typically, this adds £250 to the holiday cost.

As such, the average Brit takes three months to pay off a holiday, while 11% said it took more than six months. Those aged 55 and over said it only took them two months on average to pay it off, compared to the three months it takes those aged 25 to 34 and 35 to 44.

When asked about holiday regrets, a quarter said they spent too much money while 21% said they didn’t have enough money to enjoy themselves. A further fifth regretted spending so much on their holiday.

Scott Manson, Nationwide’s head of banking and payment strategy, said: “Holidays are about enjoying ourselves and spending quality time with loved ones. We all want to ensure we have a good time, which means it’s very easy to ditch the budget in favour of relaxing and having fun.

“But with many people saying they have to borrow money to be able to go away, it’s important that full costs are considered when setting a holiday budget, including the extras, such as excursions and the items you need to buy before you go.”