Research from ING has found the average Australian tourist spent $92.62 per overseas trip on transaction fees over the last 12 months.

Nearly a third (31%) of Aussies paid north of $100 in international fees in the last 12 months.

That's despite most of the bigger banks offering a range of no fee travel cards, including all of the big four.

Other banks, including ING, offer rebates on international fees to eligible customers who meet certain conditions.

The research found up to 13% of those who travelled abroad last year didn't even know that using their Australian debit or credit card in another country would incur fees.

"We encourage Aussies to confirm with their banks what fees they might be subject to while on holiday, ahead of time," said Matt Bowen, Head of Consumer and Market Insights at ING.

A typical international transaction fee adds about 3-3.5% to the price each time you buy something, so it can quickly add up.

They aren't restricted to transactions when travelling, either; buying from an overseas-based website can still trigger the fee, even if the site looks Australian. 

How does a travel card work?

A travel debit card allows you to convert Aussie dollars into local currency free of charge, then paying using the card.

These transfers can often be done quickly and painlessly through banking apps, and some providers allow you to load up multiple currencies on the same card.

At Commonwealth Bank for example, you can convert AUD into 13 different currencies all on the same card.

However, there are often still fees to withdraw cash from local ATMs.

Alternatively, some banks offer some customers rebates on international transaction fees, meaning you can still use your everyday card abroad.

For example, eligible Orange Everyday debit card customers at ING have $0 transaction fees on overseas purchases, as well as your first five ATM withdrawals.

To be eligible, each month you'll need to deposit at least $1,000 into the account from an external source, and make a minimum of five eligible transactions.

Other popular products include debit cards and accounts from Up Bank, ubank and Macquarie Bank.

Currency conversion rates may be slightly different based on whether the card is Mastercard or Visa; so too can ATM fees - for example, 7-Eleven ATMs in Japan don't charge fees if you withdraw cash with a Mastercard, not a Visa. 

A travel credit card works pretty much the same as a normal credit card, but with features better suited to travel which can include waived currency conversion fees.

Keep in mind though interest rates are typically higher than a card with fewer perks.

How much do you need for a Europe trip?

About 70% of respondents (based on the representative sample of 1,026 Aussies) were keen on hitting Europe in time for their summer, but weren't able to.

Affordability was the biggest hurdle, cited by 61%, with the average Aussie expecting to need about $10,490 for a two week trip.

However, the average amount respondents said they were willing to spend was only $8,866, about 15% less.

That might mean forgoing tourist favourites like Amsterdam, Paris and London, typically among the most expensive destinations, to get the trip done on a budget.

Read more: How much to save for a Europe trip

Picture by Soroush Karimi