A British Airways Holidays travel report has revealed the nation’s holiday habits and the true cost of a trip abroad.

The report has revealed 45 per cent of the total cost of a trip abroad will go on pre-holiday pampering, new clothes, extras at the airport, food and drink and items when away.

The average cost of a holiday for a family of four is £4,260, yet only just over half of that (£2,328) will go on flights and accommodation.

For single travellers the cost of extras soars, with a hefty 55 per cent of the total cost (£1,477 of £2,627) going on shopping, beauty treatments, eating out and excursions.

In a nod to better times financially for the nation, a significant 13 per cent of our annual salaries are expected to go on breaks away this year.

Claire Bentley, managing director of British Airways Holidays, said: “We were really surprised by just how much money goes on pre-holiday shopping, pampering and other extras compared to the cost of the holiday itself.

“The research shows that holidaymakers need only cut back on discretionary spend to be able to afford a dream trip away.

“Booking an all-inclusive package, with meals and drinks included, is a great way to keep track of spending or opting for a self-catering villa is another way in which families and larger groups can keep costs down.

“Almost half of Brits book their big holiday at the time when they can get the best deal and with beach breaks from £149 and city breaks from £119 per person during our January Sale customers can jet off somewhere exotic for the same price as a ‘staycation’ in the UK.

“We know January is the time when many of our customers are shortest of cash so they can secure their trip away with a deposit of just £150, and pay the rest up to ten weeks before departure.”

Report summary

  • A huge 45 per cent of the total cost of a family holiday goes on shopping and extras
  • 5.8 million (12 per cent) Brits will book their summer holiday in January
  • Brits will go on an average of four trips in 2016
  • Those booking their summer holiday in January will splurge more than £11 billion on ‘extras’
  • 13 per cent of annual salaries expected to be spent on holidays in 2016
  • Staycation costs as much as a holiday abroad
  • Nearly a quarter have sacrificed socialising and nearly one million have forfeited their wedding to afford a trip away