Holiday News|

£260 million Spent by Brits at ATMs

Person Withdrawing Money from ATMAccording to a poll by online travel agent Sunshine.co.uk, British holidaymakers spent about £260 million on ATM withdrawal fees last year while on holiday. About two-thirds (67%) of Brits withdraw cash using debit or credit cards while overseas and do so an average of five times. With it costing an average £2.75 for a single withdrawal, this means travellers using their cards on holidays abroad are spending about £13.75 per trip.

The Office of National Statistics’ (ONS) figures show 36.2 million holidays were taken abroad by Brits last year, and about 28.6 of those breaks had adults in their party. Therefore, the research suggests that about £263.46 million was spent for holidaymakers to retrieve their own cash. The survey also found that 53% of the 2,107 Brits who responded had a terrible surprise when they saw the fees they had been charged by ATMs upon getting home.

Sunshine.co.uk co-founder Chris Clarkson says there’s nothing worse than being hit with extra charges like ATM and debit/credit card withdrawal fees when arriving home from a relaxing holiday. The break already cost a fair amount to begin with. He advises Brits to make sure they have enough spending money to take with them and load it onto a prepaid card in order to avoid a scenario like this.

Meanwhile, a survey by Post Office Travel Money reveals that currency rates have improved, making cities in Europe more affordable for British holidaymakers. The pound is stronger against the euro than last year. It’s also strengthened against non-euro currencies, like the Polish zolty, Hungarian forint and Turkish lira.

Among destinations across Europe and the US, Riga, the capital of Latvia, is the best value for travel, drinks, meals, sightseeing, and one-night accommodation – at a total £121.47 for a holiday. The second best value is Budapest in Hungary at £129.72, where the pound is nearly 20% stronger than last year. The third best is Tallin in Estonia for £134.86, which is followed by Belfast for £172.80 and Dublin at £174.15. However, Stockholm is the most expensive city in Europe at £298.27 for a break, while New York is the most expensive city of them all at £331.33.

Post Office Travel Money boss Andrew Brown says their figures clearly show how the prices paid by travellers on holiday are linked to the value of the pound against different currencies. Local prices in Budapest this year are level with those of last year, but costs have fallen for British holidaymakers, he added.

Hotels.com director of communications Alison Couper says that some of the lowest decreases and increases in room rates are happening in the eurozone, while rates are rising in Eastern Europe. Prices have fallen in Berlin and those in Lisbon are staying rather level. This has helped keep both destinations competitive. Rome and Paris have also seen minimal increases in room rates, which the stronger pound has helped. Tourist hotels closer to home are also reasonably-priced, such as in Belfast and Dublin, she added. As a matter of fact, the Post Office Travel Money survey found that Belfast has the cheapest cultural attractions and the best value three-star hotels in Europe.

 

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