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Lieke Braadbaart

Online Writer
Published: 26/01/2018

Going abroad and having to use a different currency can be confusing. So confusing, in fact, that nine in 10 Brits will inadvertently overspend while on holiday abroad this year, blowing their budgets by quite a bit in the process.

This is according to Travel Money Club, which found that British travellers will be blowing their budgets by more than 54% this year, as one in four survey respondents admit they'll likely run out of cash currency by day three of their holiday. While some do this because they don't know what they're spending, others simply don't care.

Londoners were found to be the most liberal with their foreign cash, with 75% admitting that they regularly overspend on food and alcohol, as well as souvenirs. In contrast, only 29% of Welsh holidaymakers fail to stick to their budget.

With 75% of respondents not knowing the foreign currency exchange rate before converting their pounds, it's perhaps no surprise that some have paid more than £20 for a single alcoholic drink. Indeed, one in five holidaymakers have unintentionally spent 50% or more in extra charges on a glass of wine or pint of beer. This results in some Brits spending as much as £200 more than anticipated on gifts and other purchases while abroad.

"Foreign currency is a minefield for holidaymakers if they don't know what to look out for," Don Clark, founder of Travel Money Club, commented. "Familiarising yourself with the current conversion rates and reading the small print on charges and commissions will prevent unexpected surprises when buying foreign currency. Our study revealed that 33% of holidaymakers don't know whether it's better to pay in local currency or sterling when paying on card, which can lead to paying far more for food, drinks and souvenirs than expected."

As our travel credit card page suggests, it's generally better to pay in the local currency. Most importantly, the 45% who said they have no idea how to get the best deal or if there are hidden commissions involved would do well to read our guide on how to make your travel money stretch further.

What next?

Consider a travel credit card if you're not sure you'll be able to stick to your budget but want to keep your costs to a minimum, or a prepaid travel card if you know exactly how much you'll need to spend abroad.

Don't forget to organise travel insurance, just in case something goes wrong.


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