A Fifth of UK Holidaymakers Head Abroad Without Arranging Travel Money in Advance

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The Post Office advises UK travellers to be aware of ATM fees when withdrawing cash overseas.

Recent research has revealed that a fifth of people who have travelled abroad in the last 12 months did not arrange their foreign currency before departing. Getting travel money from ATMs once overseas can result in hefty cash withdrawal and commission fees so the Post Office is advising those to travelling abroad to arrange their foreign currency before they go to the airport.

The research from Mintel also showed that 29 per cent of UK holidaymakers used debit cards and 12 per cent used credit cards while abroad to withdraw travel money in a local foreign currency. The report also suggested that many people only take enough foreign currency to get them through the first days of their holiday and then used cards to withdraw extra cash from foreign ATMs .

Using debit and credit cards to withdraw foreign currency from ATMs abroad can be costly, the Post Office warns. According to a recent report from First Rate Exchange Services, the average amount of equivalent sterling withdrawn from foreign ATMs is around £108. With commission fees costing on average around £6 for credit card cash withdrawals and £5 for debit card cash withdrawals, UK holidaymakers could therefore be wasting an estimated £326m in potentially avoidable fees on overseas debit and credit card cash withdrawals in a foreign currency.

The Post Office is reminding travellers that commission fees can be avoided by some pre-planning of foreign currency purchase prior to travelling. Some 32 per cent of holidaymakers admitted that failing to plan their foreign currency had resulted in overspending when withdrawing foreign currency abroad.

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