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New data reveals unnecessary travel expenses incurred by 9 in 10 Aussies

December 11, 2018 Statistics & Trends No Comments Email Email

Whether it can be put down to hunger, boredom, or the simple thrill of going on a holiday, new data reveals that Aussies are spending unnecessary amounts of money on easily avoidable travel expenses – potentially putting a dent in their holiday budget before they even get off the ground.http://www.germany.travel/en/index.html

The findings come from a survey of an independent, nationally representative panel of 1000 Australian adults who travel[1], commissioned by world’s leading online travel insurer, InsureandGo (insureandgo.com.au). It sought to uncover the most common expenses that Aussie travellers are unnecessarily spending money on, to highlight avoidable costs.

Respondents were presented with 15 actions that would incur avoidable costs – such as exchanging currency at airport kiosks and withdrawing cash from credit cards – and were asked if they had carried out any of those actions while on holidays. Only 11 per cent of respondents said they did not incur any of the avoidable travel costs.

More than a third (39 per cent) of respondents admitted they exchanged money at major airports – even though airport money exchange kiosks usually charge foreign transaction fees and mark-up their rates by as much as 8 per cent[2]. For instance, someone that exchanges AUD$1000 at the airport into USD, Great British Pounds (GBP) or Euros (EUR) could be out-of-pocket by as much as AUD$33, AUD$40 or AUD$23 respectively[3]. Respondents in their 50s were the group most likely to allow airport currency exchanges to lose them money (45 per cent of respondents), compared with those in their 20s (33 per cent).

One in four (26 per cent) respondents said they had never used a dedicated travel card, which offers the advantage of locking in an exchange rate before you travel – despite recent talk of the Australian dollar falling. With credit card foreign transaction fees having increased to almost three per cent in recent years,[4]surprisingly, the results revealed a similar number of travellers (25 per cent of respondents) had withdrawn cash from their credit card at an ATM when overseas. By withdrawing AUD$500 from an overseas ATM, travellers could be charged around $15, depending on the financial provider[5].

A failure to be savvy about pre-travel booking costs can also lead to significant out-of-pocket expenses: 24 per cent of respondents admitted to booking holiday flights just two weeks out from travelling – subjecting them to higher costs, as fares are generally higher closer to the departure date.

Other money-wasting habits Aussies make is paying additional fees to car rental companies to reduce their insurance excess (22 per cent of respondents admitted to doing this), rather checking if their travel insurance can cover this.

A further 22 per cent failed to consult comparison websites when booking accommodation to find the best price, and 21 per cent of respondents did not clear their cookies before searching for, and booking accommodation or flights. Clearing your browser cookies is a great way to get a better fare when booking flights and accommodation online.

Raphael Bandeira, Managing Director at InsureandGo, says: “We know how much Aussies value a getaway, so it’s important that they do their research and plan before they travel, to ensure they don’t go over budget before they reach their destination. For instance, paying up to $40 a day to reduce the excess on your car insurance is a prime example of an unnecessary cost. Not only may overseas travel insurance cover the cost, but purchasing InsureandGo’s domestic travel insurance for as little as $33[6] can cover car insurance costs during your trip.

“InsureandGo also provides broad cover for multiple unforeseen incidents that have the potential to incur high costs, particularly in the case of lost luggage, theft, and unexpected medical care. In the instance that your baggage is lost or your flight is cancelled, and you don’t have comprehensive travel insurance, you won’t be able to recover some of the cost for new clothes or a hotel room – which would amount to another money-wasting expense.”

Common habits that Aussie travellers are wasting their money on % of respondents that have adopted these habits
Withdrawing cash from a debit card at an overseas ATM 49%
Exchanging money at the airport 39%
Never using a dedicated travel card, such as Qantas Cash or Cash Passport 26%
Withdrawing cash from a credit card at an overseas ATM 25%
Booking flights two weeks before travelling 24%
Paying car rental companies additional fees to reduce the insurance excess in the event of a claim 22%
Booking accommodation, without comparing prices on comparison websites 22%
Not clearing cookies before travelling 21%
Charging their credit card in Australian dollars instead of the local currency 20%
Purchasing a SIM card and/or data package at the airport 16%
Getting caught out at the airport with heavy luggage and having to pay extra baggage fees 16%
Renting a portable GPS navigation unit with your car rental 12%
Purchasing separate individual tickets to shows or amusement parks when there was a package offering 11%
Returning a rental car, without a full tank of petrol 7%

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