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Why the true cost of your holiday could be £1,000 more than you think

Holiday costs infographic

- On average Brits spend £691 on a summer holiday, but the true cost is actually £1,748 when you factor in things like insurance, clothes, transport and pet care

- Overlooked holiday costs include £141 on new holiday clothes, £109 on pet care, and even £83 on pre-holiday tanning

- TrustedHousesitters has partnered with finance advice service Boring Money to provide money-saving tips to reduce your holiday spend

New research has revealed the true cost of a summer getaway for UK holidaymakers is actually £1,057 more than they had originally budgeted for.

Pet and house-sitting company TrustedHousesitters spoke to over 2,000 UK holidaymakers and found that the average amount we spend on travel and accommodation for a summer holiday is £691 per person. However, when you take into account costs that are often overlooked when budgeting for a break, like pre-holiday beauty treatments, insurance, pet care and spending money, the true cost increases to a massive £1,748 per person.

Forgotten Holiday Costs

The largest expense on top of travel and accommodation for a summer break is spending money, with Brits taking £421 away with them on average. This is followed by clothes (£141), pet care (£109), car hire (£93), insurance (£93), pre-holiday tanning (£83), holiday toiletries (£81), new shoes (£80), transport to and from a UK departure location (£77) and pre-holiday hair appointments (£64).

Other holiday costs that people often overlook are buying new books, selfie sticks, pre-holiday beauty treatments, new music speakers, camera equipment and the use of airport lounges.
To help Brits reduce their holiday spend, TrustedHousesitters has partnered with Holly Mackay, the CEO of financial advice service Boring Money, to provide 10 top tips on how to slash the true cost of a holiday.

Holly commented:

“The findings show it can quickly add up when it comes to the cost of a holiday. But, at the same time, it’s easy to apply little changes to bring the potential cost back down to something more manageable. Whether it’s trimming costs on airport travel by booking early or looking beyond the traditional options when it comes to pet care, there’s a lot you can do to stop your holiday spending from spiralling out of control.”

Pet care is the third most expensive outlay for holidaymakers

TrustedHousesitters provides a cost-effective alternative to the traditional and often very expensive options like kennels. With just one annual payment of £89, pet owners can enjoy unlimited pet care all year round, so they’re free to go away as often as they like, safe in the knowledge that their dog, cat, bird or even horse is being looked after by a trusted house sitter in the place they’re happiest – their home.

For animal lovers who are keen to travel more, using TrustedHousesitters also removes the need to pay for accommodation which can vastly reduce costs. Instead, sitters get to explore a new location with minimal outlay (just one annual payment of £89), and they can travel as many times as they like throughout the year, and get the added bonus of a pet to play with and look after.

Tim Lyons, CEO of TrustedHousesitters commented:

“Everyone deserves a holiday, and we believe it’s one of the greatest ways you can treat yourself. However, going overboard on spending could make the experience more stressful than it needs to be, with the potential of returning home out of pocket.

This is part of the reason why our service exists: to help both pet owners and pet-loving sitters significantly reduce travel costs and enjoy holidaying a whole lot more. Plus, with more pet owners giving their pets a staycation through the service, we’re helping to make pets much happier too”.

Find out more here:

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For more information, please contact Liam Beauchamp or Angela Laws on or call 03302 232 544.

Notes to Editors

Survey conducted in June 2019 by Censuswide on behalf of TrustedHousesitters to 2,023 residents of the United Kingdom who go away on holiday

About TrustedHousesitters

TrustedHousesitters is the pet care solution keeping pets happy at home while helping people to travel since 2010. Its members pay just once a year to connect and exchange home and pet care for the chance to stay with pets in unique places. With neither owner nor sitter charging money, it’s a special exchange that helps owners travel with peace of mind while pet-loving sitters get to experience life somewhere new.

Based in the UK, TrustedHousesitters has members in over 130 countries and is the largest house and pet sitting platform of its kind.

True Cost of Holidays - Data

Sunbeds before you go away
Fake tan- spray tans and DIY options
New clothes for your holiday
New shoes for your holiday
New sunglasses for your holiday
New jewellery for your holiday
Teeth whitening
Getting your hair done - cutting, colouring, treatments etc.
Getting your nails done- manicure, pedicure, gels, acrylic etc.
Additional beauty treatments- facials, eyebrows, waxing, lashes, Botox etc.
Travel insurance
Car hire for when you're away
Pet care- getting your pets looked after whilst you're away
Spending money for whilst you're away
Selfie sticks
Books- eBooks and paper books
Music speakers
Cameras and camera equipment
Use of departure lounges
Transport to and from the departure terminal (airport, train station, ferry terminal etc.)

Money-Saving Tips

Think you’ve stuck to your holiday budget…? Don’t forget it can still get blown by a whole host of things that don’t seem to count when you’re locking in travel and accommodation costs. Keep your holiday extras in check with these top tips from Holly Mackay, CEO of finance advice site

1. Early birds halve the price
If you’re flying somewhere, don’t forget the additional costs of getting to the airport. Book trains or coaches as far ahead as possible for the best price. As an example – the Heathrow Express will set you back £25 if you book on the day, but just £12.10 if you book 90 days in advance.

2. Spend it on fun, not exchange fees
Don’t leave changing currency for the airport, where rates can be abysmal. Ideally, set up an account with a company like Revolut or Monzo, which have competitive exchange rates while offering free card transactions and cash withdrawals abroad (though 2-3% fees do kick in once you’ve withdrawn more than £200 from foreign ATMs in any given month). Alternatively, use a comparison site like to find who will give you the most foreign bang for your British buck.

3. Happy pets and a happier purse
Got a four-legged friend that you’ll need to leave behind? A kennel can set you back up to £36 per day per dog, while a cattery can cost over £21 per day per cat. Why not check out pet sitting options instead? For just one annual cost of £89 TrustedHousesitters will connect you with referenced, reviewed and verified sitters who will look after your pets whilst you’re away.

4. When in Rome, roam. When not in Rome…
If you’re travelling outside of Europe, don’t forget to turn ‘data roaming’ off on your phone to avoid unexpected charges. Even if you’re not actively making calls or checking the internet, your background notifications will be coming through your data and could end up costing you dearly.

5. Don’t let holiday meds bite
Travelling somewhere exotic? You might need to take antimalarial medication, but you don’t need to pay the top price. Make sure you shop around for the best deal. Online prescription and delivery services from the likes of Superdrug can sometimes work out much cheaper than your local pharmacy.

6. Vaccinate yourself against clinic costs
And on the holiday pills and jabs front – don’t forget that many vaccinations are free on the NHS. Get organised and book yourself in at your GP, as opposed to paying up to £200 or more to get them at a travel clinic.

7. That soggy sandwich costs how much?!
If you’re on a flight where food isn’t included, grab a sandwich before you fly. A meal deal on Easyjet will set you back £7, while the equivalent from Boots will come in under £4. Same applies for trains, where food options are often limited and irritatingly pricey.

8. Tax-free shopping? It’s your duty
Fancy some new sunnies for your trip? The latest It-bag or some high-tech headphones? If you’re flying outside the EU, your airport shopping will be duty-free (20% cheaper). You can reserve certain items for collection in-store at places like, or

9. Say no to expensive H2O
Drinks at the airport / train station / motorway services / [insert relevant location here] are
not cheap. Save money and the environment by asking cafes or bars to fill your own bottle
with tap water.

10. Trim your toiletries costs
They may be small, but the price tag ain’t. Travel-size toiletries often aren’t much cheaper than their full-size cousins, so make sure you get things on 3 for 2 deals. Or decant your products from home into bottles that are 100ml or less.