BAD habits are causing nine out of 10 Australians to waste money on holiday expenses.
Whether it’s withdrawing cash from credit card accounts at overseas ATMs or leaving flight bookings until the last minute, new research commissioned by travel insurer InsureandGo has found that just 11 per cent of travellers have never been stung by easily avoidable expenses.
It found that:
• More than one in five did not compare accommodation prices online before booking.
• Almost 40 per cent of people had exchanged money at airports where fees and mark-up rates were high.
• Almost half of travellers used overseas ATMs where they could be hit by three layers of fees.
Others paid excess baggage costs, unnecessary car rental excess reduction charges, or paying for GPS navigation units when smartphones were just as effective.
InsureandGo managing director Raphael Bandeira said unnecessary spending was often caused by convenience.
“When you’re on holidays, you often want the quickest and easiest method of doing things, which can often be more costly,” he said.
“For instance, paying up to $40 a day to reduce the excess on your car insurance is a prime example of an unnecessary cost.” Instead, this could be covered by travel insurance for as little as $33.
“Other times, I think it’s due to a lack of education and understanding by Aussies about ways they can save money on travel,” Mr Bandeira said.
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Separate research commissioned by home technology company Nest has found that Aussies spend an average 14 days and $2950 on holidays each year. One in five say holiday finances are one of their top causes of stress.
Clinical psychologist Suzy Green said avoiding holiday planning might appear to free up time “but in the end it often comes back to bite us”.
“We’re often so busy trying to juggle so many different things in the lead up to and during our holidays — from work to family to who’s going to feed the pets — that we push simple tasks like sorting out our finances aside,” she said.
Dr Green said travellers should put together a holiday budget to know how much they could spend. “Ensure you factor in all aspects of travel, including transport, accommodation, food and any sightseeing. Knowing how much you’re able to spend each day will help ease financial stress,” she said.
Originally published as Holiday habits that hurt your hip pocket