Three out of five British holidaymakers overspend while away and more than one quarter are subsequently alarmed by how much they spent.

The average tourist exceeds their planned holiday spending by £133, according to a consumer survey published this morning, with half doing so because they feel worth it, one third because of the excitement of being away and one in ten because they miscalculate or do not understand the exchange rate.

The findings, part of a Quarterly Savings Survey by financial services firm NS&I, suggest 20% of UK consumers fail to consider their financial situation before booking a holiday and one third do not worry about how much they spend.

Of those who spend too much, 57% do so on gifts, souvenirs and clothes, and 23% on incidental costs such as transport to and from their hotel.

A nasty surprise awaits 26% when they return, but it does not appear to discourage most people booking another holiday – almost one third confess to thinking about their next holiday even before arriving home and one in five say they book holidays spontaneously or at the last minute.

NS&I senior savings strategist Dax Harkins said: “Holidays are costing Brits a lot more than many bargain for. People need to think past simply enjoying themselves and plan their finances.”