By Daniel Hunter

New research from credit card company Capital One reveals holidaymakers’ extensive and costly efforts to prepare for their summer breaks, as they spend a collective £12 billion on clothes, beauty treatments, fitness regimes and other pre-holiday essentials.

Capital One conducted the research to celebrate its new Aspire World credit card, which offers fee-free foreign transactions on spending abroad and up to 1.25% unlimited cashback in transactions made within the UK.

The research reveals that the average British holidaymaker spends £282 preparing for their summer break abroad. This is almost equal to the average cost of their flight (£296) and not far off the average amount spent on accommodation (£350).

Clothing and swimwear is the biggest pre-holiday outlay, costing the average sun-seeker £53. Travel insurance (£31), accessories like sunglasses and hats (£21), last minute duty free purchases (£21) and electronics (£17) are the next most expensive pre-holiday purchases.

In an attempt to get the perfect beach body, 10 million (24%) British travellers go on a pre-holiday diet, 10.6 million (25%) increase the amount of exercise they do and 2 million (5%) even undertake a detox before they go away. As a result, British holidaymakers shed an average of 7.6 pounds before they reach the beach, equivalent to just over half a stone each or a collective 77 million pounds.

Ensuring they have plenty of time to prepare for their trip, 29% of Brits book time off work specifically to complete their pre-holiday treatments and purchases. Collectively, this amounts to 16 million days off work each year.

“To celebrate the start of the summer, we’ve launched our new Aspire World credit card, which is designed specifically for those who want to be rewarded for their spending at home and ensure their money goes further when overseas," Michael Woodburn, Marketing Director, Capital One said.

"The cashback element offers customers money in return for spending in the UK as they prepare for their travels, whilst fee-free foreign transactions mean holidaymakers can spend with confidence whilst they’re away.”

On a regional basis, holidaymakers from London spend the most preparing for their trip at £463, while those from the West Midlands and South East spend the least at £229.

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