Planning to head overseas this year for a well-earned break? Despite best intentions, many of us could end up spending far more on holiday than we meant to, according to new research from Post Office Travel Money.

With an average holiday spending budget of around £360 per person to cover costs like meals, drinks and sightseeing, the survey found that over two-thirds of people who set a budget end up overspending anyway - typically to the tune of nearly £100 per person.

But despite this tendency to bust the budget, just one in 16 (6%) people planning trips this year say they are going to increase their budget to cover higher prices in resorts, or to allow for fluctuations in the spending power of the pound abroad.

Here’s how to make sure you really can save, rather than splurge...

1. If you have not already picked your resort, find somewhere cheaper

Over three-quarters (76%) of holidaymakers say resort costs are a worry and help determine their choice of destination, the Post Office found.

Their holiday costs barometer suggests Bulgaria’s Black Sea resorts are a particularly good bet. Portugal also offers particularly good value, although the Post Office’s research suggests prices in the Algarve have been on the rise compared with last year.

Andrew Brown, of Post Office Travel Money, says: “If you are planning to holiday in Europe and haven’t already booked, make sure you do some homework and check prices for meals, drinks and other tourist staples in the destinations you are considering. 

"To get a true picture of what your trip will cost, it is important to add resort costs to the package price as our research shows you can save hundreds of pounds by picking a destination where the cost of living is cheaper. Even if the package price is low, high resort costs can bust the budget.”

2. Choose a place where the exchange rate is in your favour

Sterling may still be weaker against the Euro than in recent years, but there are destinations where the pound will still pack a punch. Turkey is a good example, while the Dominican Republic is a good bet as its peso has dropped over 11% against sterling since this time a year ago, according to the Post Office.

3. Take note of what other holidaymakers think

Places that have been tried and tested by others are a great way of finding value. Research found that 57% of people had been to Spain on holiday, and nine in 10 of them said it offered great value for money.

Further afield, Thailand and the United States received the thumbs up from holidaymakers who had been to these countries, with 80% of past visitors rating them good value.

4. Weigh up ‘all-inclusive’ packages carefully

Three in 10 holidaymakers are heading off on an all-inclusive package this year, the Post Office’s research found.

But some who had been on all-inclusive trips previously said they were surprised about extra costs they ended up facing, with one in 10 families saying not everything they’d thought was included ended up being covered.

Some said they weren’t happy about having to pay for internet use, while others ventured out to restaurants, shops and bars outside the resort.

Among those who had paid out for extras on their last all-inclusive holiday, they said an average of £112 per person had been spent.

5. Set a realistic budget

Be realistic about your costs, to avoid your budget spiralling out of control and potentially incurring extra fees to pay on plastic or withdrawing cash from an ATM.

One solution could be to load money onto a pre-paid multi-currency card, which you could use for another trip elsewhere if you still have money left over after your holiday ends.

If you do use plastic abroad, be wary about agreeing to pay in sterling when in shops or restaurants - as this could end up costing you more than if you paid in the currency for your holiday destination.

Brown says: “Our research found that only two in five families took enough cash with them and didn’t have to change more money abroad.”

6. Try to resist pester power

Parents told the Post Office that they spend an average of almost £170 on kids’ beach items. Avoid pester power by setting the kids an up-front budget and let them decide how to spend it.