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Brits spend £1 billion of foreign currency at airports

Airport ShopsDesperate British holidaymakers spend almost £1 billion worth of foreign currency at airports every year just so they don’t have to bring it home with them, a new report by the Money Advice Service (MAS) claims.

In a survey of 2,229 UK adults, the MAS found that unless Brits have over £52 of foreign currency in their pocket they don’t believe it’s worth the trouble of converting it back to sterling when home.

Splashing the cash

In total, Brits spend £941 million worth of foreign currency at airports every single year; equating to £14.27 per traveller.

Perhaps more shockingly, less than 49% of Brits will bother to look around for the best rate when it comes to exchanging currency while 33% will simply pop into their local Bureau de Change.

Meanwhile, one in 10 tourists will change their money at the airport where rates can be 10% lower than the best offer available.

Running out of money

The report also found that a startling number of Brits – 34% – run out of cash completely while they’re abroad with 51% of this number stating their funds usually run dry by the fifth day of a seven day trip.

The research also found that the average British holidaymaker will spend £80 a day while 42% admitted to getting “carried away” and spending more than expected.

Andy Webb, Money Expert at the MAS, said that while holidays are the perfect time to relax and enjoy yourself it’s also important to be savvy about money.

That means investing in suitable insurance policies to cover your trip – such as European travel insurance – and ensuring you have enough cash to support yourself whilst away

Date Created: 15 July 2015

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