UK Travellers Pay Too Little Attention to Holiday Currency

A quarter of UK travellers will run out of cash currency by day three of their holiday, because they've no idea what they're spending, according to a new poll

A further one in three frivolous travellers will run out of holiday money by day seven, with half admitting to not thinking how they’re spending, and a third forgetting to budget.

The research by Travel Money Club reveals nine in 10 UK travellers will overspend on holiday abroad this year because they’re either confused by the exchange rate or simply don’t care, making summer escapes an expensive affair.

The poll shows some holidaymakers spend as much as £200 more than anticipated on gifts while abroad, with alcohol and local spirits, jewellery, handbags, and sunglasses most commonly hitting travellers’ purses. And one in five British holidaymakers have unintentionally spent 50 per cent or more on a glass of wine or pint of beer, without realising, resulting in some paying more than £20 for a single alcoholic drink.

Millennials lead the way when it comes to currency confusion, with one in four ‘forgetting’ to budget, and a third admitting that they don’t ever think about how much they spend on their travels.

The survey also shows that 75 per cent of travellers don’t know the foreign exchange rate before converting their currency, with 45 per cent saying they’ve no idea how to get the best deal or if there are hidden commissions involved, and one in three don’t know if it’s better to use cash or credit cards while abroad.

It seems Brexit is responsible for much of the currency confusion, with eight out of 10 saying the problem has got a lot worse since Britain voted out, sending exchange rates spiralling. Over a third of cautious will be eating and drinking out less on holiday due to Brexit, while 40 per cent will go on fewer excursions and activities abroad.

Don Clark, founder of Travel Money Club, said: “Foreign currency is a minefield for holidaymakers if they don’t know what to look out for. 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 per cent 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.”

Londoners are the most lax with their holiday currency, with 75 per cent admitting they regularly overspend on food and alcohol, as well as splashing out on slogan t-shirts and sombreros. Conversely, the Welsh are the canniest with their currency – with only 29 per cent failing to stick to their budgets.

Don continued: “Despite our best efforts to relax and unwind while abroad we should have an idea of budgets to ensure we don’t fall short and run out of currency mi