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18 January 2011
New research from AA Financial Services suggests that travellers preparing for their winter sports fix could make their money go further with better management of their holiday money.
The survey* shows that 18% incur bank charges by using their debit or credit card as their main means of spending on holiday.
More than half (55%) take cash, often bought at unfavourable exchange and commission rates.
15% left it late and didn't sort out their currency until they reached the airport (6%); or used an ATM (5%) or other source at their holiday destination.
Mark Huggins, director of AA Financial Services, says that with 2011 shaping up to be a good year for winter sports in Europe, travellers could typically be losing up to £30** through charges and poor exchange rates. He suggests that now would be a good time to consider better ways of managing their Euros, for example the AA's new Euro pre-paid card.
"The Sterling/Euro rate is poor enough without piling additional charges on top. Using overseas ATMs can be very expensive with between 2% and 3% typically being lost on bank charges."
Mr Huggins adds that while good deals can be had in the UK to obtain Euros in cash, security is also a real issue, pointing out that up to a fifth of all travel insurance property claims are for lost or stolen money. ***
Not only do you risk losing your cash but there is no comeback in the event that you're short-changed or something goes wrong with your purchases.
* Research carried out One Poll for AA Financial Services, November 2010. One Poll interviewed 2,000 people in an online survey
** Assuming 3% charges on £1,000 cash from ATM machines
*** Source: AA Travel Insurance