These are the top 15 ways Brits are caught out financially on holiday

By Richard Jenkins
Tuesday, 29th March 2022, 1:59 pm
Sky-high cashpoint fees and hidden data roaming charges are the top ways Brits get stung financially on holiday, according to research.

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A poll of 2,000 adults who have been abroad found more than half (53 per cent) were surprised with money matters overseas.

Another 28 per cent have had an unexpected holiday fee hit them in the pocket while they were staycationing in the UK.

And in total, 45 per cent of respondents are ‘dreading’ the reintroduction of roaming charges for holidaymakers in EU countries.

Sayed Hajamaideen, spokesperson for SMARTY Mobile, which commissioned the research, said: “People already spend large amounts of cash on holiday, but it certainly stings getting hit with unexpected charges.

“You can plan to the last Euro – or dollar, or rupee – but there are some things that can’t be legislated for.

“And when it comes to excess mobile bills, often you won’t see the damage until weeks after you get back, which can be even more annoying.”

Unexpected costs

In total, those who have been caught out financially on holiday estimate they’ve been forced to part with just under £200 per person on unexpected costs.

And this is despite spending just under four hours planning every possible circumstance to avoid these unnecessary fees.

Just under half (47 per cent) of holidaymakers consider it ‘very important’ to pre-plan a holiday long in advance, to avoid surprises.

Other common financial issues to plague Brits abroad include needing to pay for extra baggage and trying – and failing – to haggle with a market trader.

The study, conducted via OnePoll, also found another one in five have helped themselves to something from the minibar, only to be left wide-eyed when they calculated its cost.

Nearly a third (30 per cent) have had to get on the phone to ring their bank while abroad to try and sort out a financial issue.

This left 32 per cent with stress levels through the roof, 27 per cent with their bank account locked – and 24 per cent stranded without cash.

Sayed Hajamaideen added: “While everyone is feeling the pinch of the surging cost of living, SMARTY customers can be certain that they will never experience unwanted surprises on their mobile bills whether at home or abroad.

“We’re helping customers to navigate change by giving them control of their phone bill, with the power to flex their data plan depending on their needs.

“They will have one less money matter to worry about when they’re abroad in the EU as we’re staying true to our simple and honest values by not changing our EU policy."

15 ways Brits are caught out financially on holiday 

1.            Getting unexpectedly charged to use a cash machine

2.            Paying a fortune on data roaming charges on your phone

3.            Poor exchange rate to switch to switch to local currency

4.            Having a taxi bill much higher than you expected

5.            Having to pay for excess baggage

6.            Attempting to haggle but still getting fleeced on a product

7.            Taking something out of the minibar without realizing the price

8.            Getting to the cash point and finding out VAT wasn’t added onto the price tag

9.            A flight delay meaning you have to stay another night at a hotel

10.          Not realizing how much the airport transfer was going to cost

11.          Missing a flight and having to buy a new one

12.          Travel insurance not covering something I thought it would

13.          Had bank card skimmed after using shady ATM or contactless machine

14.          Losing your passport and needing to sort out a new one

15.          Encountering unexpected Covid-related Fit to Fly travel costs