Tourism

Here’s where Aussies are wasting the most of their travel dollars

Are you always blowing your holiday budget? We’ve got some travel expenses you can avoid.

New data reveals that Aussies are spending unnecessary amounts of money on easily avoidable travel expenses – potentially putting a dent in their holiday budget before they even get off the ground.  And the more money spent on expenses, the less money for poolside cocktails, right?

The survey, comprised of 1000 travelling Aussies, was commissioned the InsureandGo – and uncovers the most common expenses that Aussie travellers are unnecessarily spending money on.

Respondents were presented with 15 actions that would incur avoidable costs, like exchanging currency at airport kiosks and withdrawing cash from credit cards, and were asked if they had carried out any of those actions while on holidays. Only 11 per cent of respondents said they did not incur any of the avoidable travel costs.

More than a third admitted they exchanged money at major airports – even though airport money exchange kiosks usually charge foreign transaction fees and mark-up their rates. For instance, someone that exchanges AUD$1000 at the airport into USD, Great British Pounds (GBP) or Euros (EUR) could be out-of-pocket by as much as AUD$33, AUD$40 or AUD$23 respectively. Think of the souvenirs you could buy!

One in four respondents said they had never used a dedicated travel card, which offers the advantage of locking in an exchange rate before you travel. With credit card foreign transaction fees having increased to almost three per cent in recent years, surprisingly, the results revealed a similar number of travellers (25 per cent of respondents) had withdrawn cash from their credit card at an ATM when overseas.

By withdrawing AUD$500 from an overseas ATM, travellers can be charged around $15, depending on the financial provider (we were charged $25 in Germany once, and would not recommend).

A failure to be savvy about pre-travel booking costs can also lead to significant out-of-pocket expenses: 24 per cent of respondents admitted to booking holiday flights just two weeks out from travelling – subjecting them to higher costs, as fares are generally higher closer to the departure date.

Other money-wasting habits Aussies make is paying additional fees to car rental companies to reduce their insurance excess (22 per cent of respondents admitted to doing this), rather checking if their travel insurance can cover them.

A further 22 per cent failed to consult comparison websites when booking accommodation to find the best price, and 21 per cent of respondents did not clear their cookies before searching for, and booking accommodation or flights. Pro tip: clearing your browser cookies is a fab way to get a better fare when booking flights and accommodation online.

Find the full list of avoidable travel expenses below – and plan accordingly for your next trip.

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