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Two thirds of UK holidaymakers worry about lack of spending money

23 Jul 2018

Running out of cash tops travellers’ list of worries

One third don’t take any foreign currency abroad

Almost two thirds of the 6.5m Brits who will head off on holidays abroad over the next month are worried about not having enough spending money, according to new research.

Researchers for first direct bank found that 63% of UK holidaymakers say their biggest worry is not having enough cash to spend. That is more than are worried about food poisoning, their pets being ill while they are away, or their home being burgled.

Six out of ten holidaymakers (61%) say they will be keeping an eye on their bank balance while abroad, and 58% expect to return home feeling guilty about how much they have spent.

Adding to Brits’ preoccupation with holiday finances rather than having a good time, the survey also found that:

  1. 65% fret about having a debit or credit card stolen 
  2. Two thirds (64%) lose sleep about accidentally losing cash abroad 
  3. Six in 10 worry about credit and debit cards being blocked or rejected during their trip 
  4. More than half ( 52%) are anxious about being able to find an ATM on holiday 
  5. Four in ten (39%) worry about arguments with their partner about money while they’re away 

Planning to relax

To combat these money worries, almost half (48%) of Brits – rising to 75% of millennials –going abroad this summer claim to have planned every detail of their holiday, with most saying they do so to make sure they stay within budget.

When it comes to how holidaymakers spend while away, almost two thirds (61%) will use a combination of cards and cash.

However, when it comes to pre-planning almost a third (30%) admit they don’t search out the best foreign currency deals as they pick up their holiday money at the airport. Most likely to leave buying foreign currency to the last minute are millennials, with two in three (64%) getting their spending money at the airport.

Overall, a third of UK holidaymakers (32%) claim they don’t take any foreign currency with them at all, using their debit, credit or pre-loaded cards.

Joe Gordon, head of first direct, said: “While the number of people worrying about money when they’re away is a concern, there’s plenty of things they can do to make this less stressful and allow them to enjoy their break.

“Planning what you intend to do on holiday can help with budgeting, but there’s also other simple things, like shopping around for the best foreign exchange rates before you go, and using your cards wisely while away.”

To help make the financial side of holiday planning worry-free, first direct has the following tips:

It is usually cheaper to get your travel money sorted before you go, and banks like first direct can deliver it to your door

A third of us rely on debit and credit cards while abroad, but when in the Eurozone remember to pay in the local currency, not sterling if given the option

Check your European Health Insurance Card is valid, and make sure you’ve taken out the right travel insurance – and get it when you book your holiday

Download a budgeting app before you go to make sure you don’t overspend, and don’t forget you can use your smartphone as an instant translator

Make sure your smartphone data allowance will cover you while you’re abroad and, as 60% of us worry about not having Wi-Fi, download a Wi-Fi finder app

Money worry support

first direct is committed to supporting people with money worries, and if anyone is worried about money, the best thing to do is talk about it.

If you’re a first direct customer you can talk to us or check your accounts and move money online or through the app 24/7. If you’ve got specific concerns about your accounts you can call the Credit Solutions team on 0345 6100 189 (available Monday – Friday 8am to 10pm, Saturday 8am to 7pm, and Sunday 9am to 10pm).

The sooner you share concerns, the sooner steps can be taken to help you.

If you’re not a first direct customer, or you’d prefer to talk to someone independent, there’s a number of organisations who can also help you, free of charge:

  • StepChange Debt Charity – free advice www.stepchange.org/Debtremedy.aspx 
  • The Money Advice Service website, including its excellent online Money Health Check www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en/tools/health-check 
  • National Debtline website www.nationaldebtline.org 
  • Citizens Advice Bureau www.citizensadvice.org.uk/debt-and-money