The real cost of going on holiday

Holiday money

British holidaymakers will spend £282 on clothes, grooming and other holiday preparations on average this summer, according to research from credit card company Capital One.

This is almost as much as the average cost of their flights (£296), and not far off the average amount spent on accommodation (£350).

Clothing and swimwear accounts for the biggest pre-holiday expenditure, at £53 on average. Travel insurance (£29), accessories including sunglasses and hats (£21), duty free purchases (£21) and electronics (£17) are the next most expensive pre-holiday essentials.

Meanwhile, 12 million sun-seekers plan to use a credit card while abroad this summer, according to uSwitch, and they could rack up fees of £27 each in the process.

Typical average exchange rate transaction fees of 2.75% and ATM withdrawal charges of £3 per time are largely to blame.

However, those planning to use debit cards could also face even heftier fees. Not only will they have to pay a 2.75% transaction fee, but they will also be charged a 'purchase' fee of around £1.25 per transaction.

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Michael Ossei, personal finance expert at, says: "Taking action now and snapping up the cheapest travel cards could save you hundreds from the cost of your trip. There are credit cards on the market that charge no transaction fees when you use them abroad – these are the ones to go for."

"Alternatively consider a prepaid currency cards which offer the same flexibility for purchases and withdrawals as a debit or credit card with fixed charges. These cards can offer very good exchange rates as well as the security that you can only spend what you load onto the card," adds Ossei.

Most popular pre-holiday purchases:

Clothing and swimwear £53
Travel insurance £29
Sunglasses, hats & accessories £21
Last minute duty free purchases £21
Electronics £17
Hair & beauty treatments £15
Make-up, cosmetics & toiletries £15
Luggage & travel accessories £14
Sun creams £13
Gym membership, fitness classes & personal training £12
Medicines and vaccinations £11
Books, magazine & music £11
Toys & games (none electronic) £10
Diet products e.g. slimming aids, specialist foods £8
Guide books/translation books £7
Source: Capital One credit card

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Cruising, the best kind of holiday. Esther Rantzen's feature laid out all the pluses to cruising but missed one very important point. Single passengers!!Travelling on your own can be expensive. Some cruise lines offer single cabins or state no single supplement. This is not actually correct. If you compare the price of two in a similar cabin against your own you will see yours is more expensive per person!
The best suggestion if you want to cruise is use a cruise club. I have done this for many years both with my late wife and as a single passenger. On the first cruise on my own the first ship was full so choosing another I made the booking. Several months later, 5days before sailing I received a phone call saying a cabin was available on the first ship I had tried to book. The offer and discounts were so good I could not refuse, they had kept my preference on file result a fabulous holiday
My most memorable cruise was two years ago taking my children and grandchilren to celebrate my 70th birthday again through the cruise   club, great discounts. Go on get sailing!!