Travellers cancel out 26% flight and accommodation savings with 35% currency overspend

British travellers are cancelling out the savings made on last minute holiday deals with their relaxed attitude to travel money exchange, according to research.

Holidaymakers save an average of 26% when booking hotels between one and three months in advance*, yet overspend by up to 35%** when buying their travel money at airport kiosks, found the research by leading foreign currency provider Travel Money Club.

55% of Brits admit to buying their currency the day before or while abroad leaving them at the mercy of steep exchange rates and hidden charges***. This type of stealth commission on foreign currency exchange totals £1.15 billion per year according to a report by Travel Money Club.

Half of travellers said they had spent more than anticipated while on a last minute holiday abroad.

The majority of savvy Brits check the prices of flights and hotels via price comparison websites before travelling, while just 10% shop around for their travel money.

Don Clark, Founder of Travel Money Club, said: “Despite grabbing a bargain on their travel and accommodation, holidaymakers often overlook the savings that can be made on shopping around for their holiday money. The research shows that travellers in a rush are overspending by 35%, roughly the same amount as they are saving on their plane ticket and hotel by booking last minute escapes.

“Being mindful of current exchange rates and where to get the most for your money means hasty travellers are less likely to cancel out their thrifty travel savings. Using price comparison websites and shopping around in the same way travellers do for their air fare will make it easier to compare exchange rates, exchange commissions and savings.

“Travellers can also curb overspending while abroad by always opting for the local currency when paying on credit and debit cards. Paying in pounds sterling allows the place of transaction to set their own conversion rate which is often very poor in comparison to bank rates. Certain cards also carry fees for international exchange further eroding savings on cheap flights and accommodation.

“For example, a foreign currency withdrawal of £200 using a credit card while at an ATM abroad can result in a £12 charge, with some debit cards also liable to charges of £10. Research shows paying the bill in pounds sterling costs tourists £500 million per year**** more than paying in the local currency.”

Brits aged 25 to 34 years old are most likely to delay booking until the last minute, with men even more likely to do so than women.


* Kayak, 2018

** Starling Bank, 2018

*** YouGov, June 2018

**** FairFX,, 2018


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