We’re all paying for a summer holiday: on high-interest credit cards

30 August 2007
According to Experian, approximately 12 million people from the UK get into debt paying for their annual holiday, and those that pay for holidays or holiday expenses on credit cards could end up paying high interest – an average of 17 per cent – long after the holiday is over.

Research from travel insurance company InsureandGo shows that the average UK holidaymaker spent £837 on holiday this year, with 3.1 million people, or 15%, claming to have spent more than £1,000. It revealed that Scots spent the most on holiday, while those from the Midlands and Wales spent the least.

The company’s managing director, Perry Wilson, said: “We all know that we tend to spend more when we’re on holiday than we would at home, but I’m sure many people would be shocked to find out that the average expenditure was over £800, which can often be as much as the cost of the flights and accommodation.”

Although 2.3 million people managed to pay off money they borrowed for last year’s holidays within a month, many are left paying debts more than a year on. Moneyexpert.com advises people to take time planning finances when booking holidays, to pay off as much debt as they can as quickly as possible and to make use of interest-free transfer deals when needed.

“If your credit card is as red hot as your tan, there are 'after-sun' treatments which can help you pay off debt as quickly as possible”, says Moneyexpert.com. The company recently revealed that approximately 1.4 million Brits are still paying off debts from holiday breaks in 2006.

In order to avoid long-term and expensive debts, holidaymakers could use balance transfer deals, giving them an interest-free year to pay off credit card debts. Low-rate loans could be another viable option.

Some companies have launched pre-paid travel cards which not only help to prevent fraud, but can incur lower fees than using debit cards.

Find out more about credit card debt