Exclusive email offers

Sign up for special offers direct to your inbox

Sign up now

We treat your privacy very seriously!

Related content


Like us

Holiday Spending Money

How much money should I take on holiday?

Never beaten on price

What do you need to budget for?

Determining how much spending money you'll need for your holiday isn't the most exciting part of travel planning, but it’s got to be done. But once you sort your spending money budget, you'll be able to relax and enjoy the best bits of your perfect budget holiday. Check out our guide to holiday spending money below to help work out how much you should be taking: according to our research - an average family of four spends between £100 and £150 per day on holiday.

Food & Drink

mother and child eating

If you’re not staying all-inclusive, you’ll need to think about the daily intake of breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks for everyone in your group. How many times will you eat out? Are you self-catering? Are your kids ice cream monsters? You’ll save some cash if you can do a couple of local supermarket shops and make some of your own meals.

Have a guess at how many bottles of water, soft drinks, coffees and alcoholic drinks you’ll need to buy every day for your family. Scary, isn’t it?! Again, supermarkets in your resort will generally be the cheapest places to buy water, soft drinks and booze.

Activities and Excursions

Group on friends on kayak holiday.

If you’re one for the giant banana, hiring a boat or scuba diving, you’ll need to check out the cost before you go. You’ll often get a better price by booking activities online in advance with a local provider, rather than waiting for the tour operator offering in-resort. The same goes for local sightseeing trips. To save more money you can also investigate public transport at your destination and plan your own days out. It is worth keeping in mind that most standard travel insurance policies don't include cover for sports, be sure to include costs for sports travel insurance if you plan on taking part in activities such as kayaking, horseback riding, or hiking.


Calculate how much you plan to allow you and your family for gifts, souvenirs, clothes and beachwear, plus holiday essentials such as sun cream and your daily sun-lounger fee. Don’t forget those last-minute purchases at the airport on your way home.


Holiday transport

Allow some spending money for travel once you’ve arrived. If you’re not on a package holiday, you’ll have to pay for your transfers between the airport and your accommodation. You may well take a taxi or two if you’re trying a restaurant off the beaten track or exploring a new city. For day trips you organise yourself, you’ll need to budget for local bus and train fares. You might like to hire a car or a jeep for a day or two, once you’re there. It’s advisable to book car hire in advance from home, due to the small print minefield which causes problems for many holidaymakers.

Take your holiday money in a variety of forms, including a currency card, credit cards and cash. For more help with your spending money planning, Thomas Cook has a brilliant holiday budget calculator to help you estimate how much cash you’ll need depending on your destination, family size and length of your holiday.

If you found this post on holiday spending money helpful, you may want to read more of our Before You Go articles. Also check out our travel blog for additional inspiration and travel tips to make your holidays hassle-free!

If you enjoyed this post like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter or subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Written by Maxine Clarke: a writer, mummy, missus and campervan-lover. Used to travel, now enjoys a good holiday! Follow her on Twitter.