Is there no such thing as cheap family holidays?

cheap family holidays

cheap family holidaysIt seems too many parents are failing to effectively plan their finances for so-called cheap family holidays, as research suggests more than half overspend their budgets while away on breaks.

As many as 56% of us admit we regularly blow our budget on holiday by almost £75 on average, with the most common cause being meals out, according to Post Office Travel Money.

A third also said that money spent on drinks plays a major role in overspending by almost £70.

Sightseeing (by £75 on average), souvenirs (by £70), supermarket food (by £61) and visits to a water or theme park (by £60) were also found to be tell-tale reasons for blowing the family budget on holidays.

If you are saving up for cheap family holidays you should budget well in advance - four months is a good distance away to start saving and planning your holiday budget.

Hidden holiday charges

It is always important to take into account any hidden costs while on holiday when exchanging money or taking cash out. Especially considering that as many as 80% of participants in the survey had experienced bad exchange rates and extra charges when buying foreign money.

However, an even larger irritation for holidaymakers is the ATMs abroad, which two in five parents complained about, while a third bemoaned the unexpected costs of exchanging cash at their hotel or resort.

And even though it is estimated that roughly 1.7 million holidaymakers will buy foreign money when they get to the airport this year, the second largest annoyance of those surveyed was in fact the poor exchange rates available at British airports.

Indeed, researchers estimate that an average of £13.18 is wasted when purchasing euros worth around £266 at UK airports because of their poor rates and hidden charges - so it is well worth planning to shop around and exchange your money well in advance of departure.

Head of travel money at the Post Office, Andrew Brown, said: "Our research shows that far too many families take a pounding by paying out more than they budgeted on trips abroad.

"The message has to be to plan all expenditure carefully."