The infuriating reason why women spend more on pre-holiday shops than men

Just make them unisex and be done with it

holiday pink tax
(Image credit: REX/Shutterstock)

Just make them unisex and be done with it

The flights have been booked and the accommodation is all sorted, but there’s still one last dent you’ll have to make in your paycheque - pre-holiday shopping. We’re talking about toiletries, swimming costumes, just-in-case meds, make-up and that one inevitable splurge (we just really like nice summer dresses, okay?). However, it turns out that women are more likely to spend way more than men before a getaway on holiday essentials and it all boils down to the cursed pink tax.

According to the Office of National Statistics, 67.7 million Brits head overseas for the holidays and an eye-watering £529 million is spent on toiletries and pharmaceuticals alone in preparation.

Across the UK, 754 women and 623 men were quizzed by on what their key toiletries would be for a ten day holiday. From there, they compared the price differences between the same toiletries marketed for men and women. Infuriatingly, it turns out that ladies are more likely to spend 21% more than men just on the basics with disposable razors putting the final nail in the coffin. The full breakdown is in the graphic below.

holiday budget

According to the study, an eight pack of female disposable razors from an unnamed brand would set you back £2.69, whereas a men’s pack of ten would cost 60% less at just £1.45. Men’s razors are also taxed at a zero-rate, since their shaving products are viewed by the government as a necessity. Like sanitary products for women, except those are still being taxed. (No bitterness here.)

Martin Smith, the MD of, pitched in, ‘The way products are marketed these days has got out of hand, the only difference in the two disposable razors seems to be the colour. What is more, is that there is a zero-tax rate in the UK regarding male razors, yet there is still a tampon tax. Whilst individual retailers have been decreasing the price of their products, brands hold a responsibility over how much they are supplying their products for. Not to mention, action can and should be taken by MP’s and more authoritative figures.’

holiday pink tax

(Image credit: Moviestore/REX/Shutterstock)

Moving away from holiday essentials, another study by Silver Tree Jewellery also revealed that a woman’s average holiday wardrobe is generally worth £5,500 versus a man’s £3,200.

Based on a study of 1000 holiday goers, it turns out that people will generally spend £216.26 just on new clothing and 82% of us will just dive straight in without a budget. The Office of National Statistics revealed that we spend £1,832 million on holiday clothing alone, so it looks like all that risky budgeting business really adds up.

Megan C. Hills

Megan is a freelance journalist who covers entertainment and all things lifestyle, with a particular passion for fashion, beauty, travel and Keanu Reeves stories. She has previously worked on staff for titles including Marie Claire UK, CNN Style and The Evening Standard and has written for titles such as Bustle UK, Wallpaper*, Forbes and Hong Kong Tatler. She splits her time between London and her hometown Hong Kong, where she currently lives with the love of her life - an elderly dog named Poppy - and her husband.