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Holiday Spending Report

The nation needs a holiday, and Brits look set to flock abroad this year. The latest Post Office Travel Money Spending Report found taking a break’s high on our list of lifestyle priorities.

We’ve shared highlights from the report here – including how rising costs and an increase in overspending means holidaymakers need to plan their budget wisely.

Two women laughing, enjoying each other's company, behind them, the sea view from above

Sun, sea and spending

Each year, the Post Office Travel Money Holiday Spending Report shares the latest research into consumers’ holiday spending and behaviour.

In 2023, our partners Yonder asked over 2,000 UK adults if they planned to take an overseas holiday this year. The response was resounding: more Britons than ever are choosing to take trips abroad despite the pressures of living costs and price increases.

The latest report also reveals how Britons will fund their holidays abroad and how overspending is a growing holiday habit even when a budget is set. We’ve shared the key findings here. And, to get deeper into the details, you can download the report in full.

Key findings include:

  • The number of Britons taking a holiday abroad has increased year-on-year. 57% say they'll take an overseas trip this year despite cost of living pressures

  • Holidaymakers have concerns about holiday finances. Worries about the cost of accommodation (84%) and flights or ferries (82%) slightly outweigh fears about the UK cost of living (78%)

  • More than 27% of families will dip into their savings to afford a holiday abroad, and 16% will delay spending on a car or home improvements to help fund their trip

  • Almost two-in-five Britons expect to increase their holiday spending budget and overspending levels by families have risen by 53% since 2019

  • Two-thirds of holidaymakers (rising to 71% of families) said they'd been 'ripped off' by unexpected charges – including on credit or debit card transactions and using ATMs. 20% of families were annoyed about being charged multiple times for ATM cash withdrawals

  • All-inclusive trips will remain popular this year –but the amount holidaymakers spend on extras has risen by over 20% since last year

  • The proportion of travellers paying extra for food and drinks in their all-inclusive resort has quadrupled in the past nine years

Who’s heading abroad this year – and what for?

Here, we’ve listed the proportion of adults and families who told us they’re planning overseas holidays in 2023, plus the types of breaks abroad they plan to take.

  All respondents Families
Total planning an overseas holiday 57% 66%
City break 40% 37%
All-inclusive holiday 36% 38%
European beach holiday 33% 36%
Long-haul holiday outside Europe 24% 23%
Self catering holiday 23% 24%
Motoring holiday 9% 11%

Weighted base: From 2,080 UK adults surveyed, 1,191 in total and 470 families are planning a holiday abroad this year

Go deeper with our full findings

Travel money: buy before your fly

When you’re getting your travel essentials together, remember you’re likely to get a better rate on travel money if you buy it before you get to the airport. Check the exchange rate for where you’re heading and try to by when you’ll get the best value from your foreign currency. 

With Post Office, you can order travel money online and either collect in any branch or have it delivered to your door. You can buy selected currencies in 7,000 of our branches. Or you can load your holiday funds onto a handy, secure, prepaid  travel money card.

Travel insurance: safeguarding your trip

Don’t forget to get good travel insurance for your trip too. If you’re travelling to an EU country, a Ghic or Ehic will provide some medical cover, but they don’t safeguard against everything. It’s important to find a policy that offers the protection you need, including coronavirus cover and for any activities you’ll be doing while you’re away. 

Where will your money go furthest?

If you’re looking for destinations where your holiday money will go a little further, why not read our Post Office Travel Money reports about exactly that? We’ve a Holiday Money Report and Long-Haul Report plus a City Costs Barometer for tips on the best-value city breaks. Plus, check our guides on how to take a European city break on a budget and hot destinations throughout the year – for holidays ideal for a nation in need of one.

Always check the latest travel advice

The requirements of UK travellers visiting and returning to different countries can change at short notice. Check the latest Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) advice for your destination regularly, as travelling against this advice may invalidate your travel insurance. 

Discover more in the full Post Office Travel Money Holiday Spending Report

About the research

Consumer research by Yonder for Post Office Travel Money among 2,080 UK adults aged 18+ (28-30 April), of whom 1,294 have been on a holiday abroad in the past five years and 1,191 are planning to do so this year (711 of the survey sample were parents and 483 of these had been on a family holiday in the past five years, with 470 planning to do so this year).

Data is weighted to be representative of the population of Great Britain. Targets for quotas and weights are taken from the PAMCO survey, a random probability F2F survey conducted annually with 35,000 adults. Yonder is a founder member of the British Polling Council and abides by it rules.

Other travel products

  • Travel money

    Wherever you're going, pick up your holiday money from Post Office with 0% commission and competitive exchange rates.

  • Travel Money Card

    One prepaid Mastercard® that stores up to 22 currencies and can be managed on the go with our travel app.

  • Travel insurance

    Protect your trip with cover for cancellation, curtialment, emergency medical costs and more.