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Half of Britons go over holiday budget due to currency conversion confusion

76% of determined Brits will continue to holiday abroad despite Brexit uncertainty. 62% don’t know how much they will be charged for using their credit or debit cards abroad; 47% of people will go over their holiday budget as a result of this confusion.

Confusion over foreign currency is costing Brits cash, according to new research. The study, which was conducted by 118 118 Money, also found that even with the financial implications of Brexit, the majority of Britons (76%) will continue to go on holiday, despite 60% already noticing an impact on their foreign currency.

Of those UK residents travelling abroad, the research found that 18-24-year-olds are those most concerned about Brexit impacting their travel plans with 65% admitting to this being a worry.

A staggering two thirds of Brits (64%) struggle to understand currency conversion rates. Similarly, almost two thirds (62%) of Brits also have little or no knowledge of the costs their financial providers will charge them for using their cards abroad. Despite this, 15% of Britons will continue to opt for this method of payment while on holiday.

35-44-year-olds are the most confident age group when it comes to understanding currency conversion rates with 60.7% saying they have little concerns, however, over a fifth (21.3%) will go over budget as a result of this confusion. Those falling in to the 25-34-year-old category are the least confident in their conversion skills, with almost a quarter admitting to not fully understanding the system.

Nearly half of UK adults surveyed (47%) also admit to going over their holiday budget as a result of currency and card charge confusion. In another study conducted by 118 118 Money, one in three people admitted to going over their holiday budget by £100-£250 due to these costs.

The study also found that there is a clear generational shift when it comes to attitudes towards spending money abroad.

In somewhat of a disregard to the advances in cards and ATMs, travellers’ cheques are still a surprisingly popular method for 45-54-year-olds, with almost one in 10 (9.3%) opting for this method of payment.

Comparatively, credit cards are the top option for 25-34-year-olds with nearly a quarter (23.1%) using them as their main payment method abroad.

David Goodman, 118 118 Money, commented on the findings: “Many Brits are going over their holiday budget according to our research, some quite significantly, which can be attributed to not fully understanding currency conversion rates and the additional fees of using their cards abroad. This confusion may lead to poor value for money and left-over cash."

By fully researching any potential charges you may face when using a credit or debit card abroad, you might be surprised to find that it can often be a better option than using foreign currency, depending on your provider.” 

News Editor - TravelDailyNews Media Network | + Posts

Tatiana is the news coordinator for TravelDailyNews Media Network (, and Her role includes monitoring the hundreds of news sources of TravelDailyNews Media Network and skimming the most important according to our strategy.

She holds a Bachelor's degree in Communication & Mass Media from Panteion University of Political & Social Studies of Athens and she has been editor and editor-in-chief in various economic magazines and newspapers.