The average Aussie traveller is losing up to $500 every time they go on holidays through unknown transaction fees, lost or stolen cash, or by not budgeting properly, new research shows.
Despite our love of heading overseas, it seems we’re not very responsible with our money while abroad.
One in 10 Australians admitted to being impulsive and reckless with their money while overseas, according to new Mastercard research.
According to the research, over a quarter of us (26%) came back from our holidays with travel money regret, while over a third of us have experienced a money woe while overseas.
Not understanding currency conversions caught out 39% of Aussies, while 31% said getting caught up in holiday mode made them spend more. Not tracking spending (24%) and poor planning (25%) were the other reasons for being left out of pocket.
Despite this, 41% of us still run the risk of being left out of pocket by only travelling with cash.
The research found that Asia was the most common country for money woes (43%) followed by the UK (11%) and the US (10%).
Mastercard Australasia division president, Richard Wormald said a prepaid travel card could help alleviate these mistakes.
“Every traveller wants to enjoy their holidays but sometimes money mishaps can happen and are at times unavoidable. With a little bit of knowledge, there are some great ways to outsmart travel money, such as a prepaid travel card,” Mr Wormald said.
“We’d encourage everyone to take the time to look into the different options available to them, such as the Cash Passport Platinum Mastercard card that can be used just like a credit or debit card overseas, only with your own prepaid funds.
“Travellers get the security of a separate card and spend can be tracked and managed online, anywhere, any time. With 11 currencies and locked-in rates, it also helps avoid getting stung with currency fluctuations while away.”
The research found that while 16% of Australians organise their travel money as soon as their trip is booked, 20% make their arrangements the week before.
About 3% admitted to leaving it to the very last minute at the airport, despite airports offering the worst exchange rates and charging higher in fees.
It comes as the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) found that Australians holidaying or sending cash overseas are being stung by high currency conversion fees.
The ACCC has released a guide to help consumers avoid high currency conversion fees. It warns that travellers can pay a steep price for leaving their purchase of foreign cash to the last minute and buying at the airport.