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Simple lack of currency knowledge costs half of Brits their holiday budget

A boy jumps into the water at the beach in Barcelona, Spain, Thursday, July 25, 2019. Parts of Europe saw record-high temperatures on Thursday as much of the continent was trapped in a heat wave, the second in two months. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
Half of Brits admit to blowing their holiday budget. Photo: AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti

Over half of all Brits are set to go over budget on their summer holiday, due to unexpected charges and lack of basic currency knowledge.

Half of Brits admitted they go over budget on their travels, in a survey of 2,000 holidaymakers by Riviera Travel.

One major pain point that often causes extra costs abroad is Brits’ lack of understanding of foreign currencies, the research revealed.

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When asked to convert six major world currencies into pound sterling, just 3% of Brits were able to do so.

One third of respondents were able to correctly identify the value of euros, while one in five knew the value of the US dollar.

British travellers regularly find themselves overcharged on holiday, with over half (51%) saying they have overpaid for something on a trip.

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Taxis are the number one thing Brits get swindled on, with over a quarter (26%) revealing they have paid far too much for a lift. Food and drink weren’t far behind, however, at 22% and 21%, respectively.

Souvenirs (14%), visitor attractions (12%), and tour guides (9%) also made the list.

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But Brits feel uncomfortable challenging high prices abroad. Just 44% of people said they are happy to haggle overseas.

Unexpected charges also play a part in using up holiday spending budgets. Over half (52%) of Brits admitted to being caught out by costs and fees they hadn’t anticipated.

Credit card charges are the most common unexpected expense. One in five (19%) Brits do not realise they face transaction, withdrawal, and spending fees when they use their credit card abroad.

READ MORE: How to avoid blowing your holiday budget

International charges for calls and texts (17%), data roaming (16%), city tax (14%), and baggage allowance (13%) fill out the top five.

The research revealed older travellers are savvier to these costs.

Just 42% of those over 55 have been hit by unexpected costs, compared to 77% of Brits aged 18 to 24.

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