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Brits fail to budget for summer breaks

15th August 2011 Print

Research from M&S Money has revealed that despite holidaymakers feeling the pinch this year, 40 per cent don't budget for their summer holiday, leaving themselves open to over spending. In addition, almost a third (32 per cent) of holidaymakers believe they will spend more on holiday this year than they did last year.

Brits are not willing to compromise when it comes to their holiday with nearly a quarter of those that don't budget believing they shouldn't have to as it's their one luxury for the year. A further 14 per cent never stick to budgets, so believe there's no point in setting one, while one in 10 don't know how much every day items cost at their holiday destination so can't plan ahead.

However, in the current economic climate the majority of people realise they need to make some kind of cut back, with 63 per cent planning to do so, even if they don't plan a strict budget; 12 per cent of holidaymakers plan to cut the length of their holiday, and one sixth (15 per cent) will spend less on in-flight and airport shopping.

Holidaymakers are also compromising on the type of holiday they choose in a bid to save money on eating out and hotel dining; 12 per cent said they will stay in self catering accommodation, with a further 11 per cent planning to stay in all inclusive resorts.

With the value of sterling dropping against popular UK holiday destinations, particularly those in the euro zone, eight per cent of holidaymakers plan to take ‘home comforts' in their luggage, such as tea and coffee, in a bid to reduce costs on arrival.

James Yerkess, Head of Travel Money at M&S Money, commented: "The summer holiday is the one time of the year when people really relax and enjoy themselves so it's easy to get carried away and overspend, but this can easily be avoided by putting together a simple budget for your holiday essentials and then you'll know how much you've get left to splurge on those holiday luxuries.

"With the nation's finances stretched this year, there's even more reason for people to budget for their holiday and consider their spending before going away."

Follow James' top tips to get the most out of your holiday money:

Look at the exchange rate not just the cost of the holiday - poor rates can mean that bargain holiday isn't necessarily such a good deal 

Plan your holiday budget so you know how much your holiday is going to cost and how much currency you need

If you're getting your currency on the high street choose a provider with a large number of currencies on demand - the majority1 have just 57 per cent availability which means you'll need to make multiple trips to order and collect

Don't rely on internet rates if buying in-store - many providers have different online and high street rates

Don't leave your holiday money until the last minute - airport bureaux offer less competitive rates

Marks & Spencer Travel Money is available at bureaux de change in M&S stores across the country online at