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Four in five Australians overspend when travelling overseas


8 June 2015

  • 83 per cent of travellers who have a daily budget for expenses say they overspend when overseas
  • Australians holiday for an average of three weeks and spend $4,679
  • Aussies can save on ATM fees with the Westpac Global ATM Alliance

New research has revealed four in five Australians go over budget when holidaying overseas, spending an average of $4,679 per trip.

Released today, the Westpac Global Travel Study revealed that although more than a third of travellers (36 per cent) have a daily budget when travelling, the majority are overspending on impulse purchases and avoidable incidental costs.

Specifically, the research showed 57 per cent of recent travellers made impulse purchases when on holiday, and on average travellers spent $309 on impulse purchases, with clothes (56 per cent), food (27 per cent) and souvenirs (25 per cent) the most popular items. 

Westpac's Head of Consumer Finance and Payments, Stephen Benton said, "We are a nation who loves to travel, with 6.8 million  overseas trips made by Australians every year. However, the research shows the majority of travellers are overspending when on holiday, which can often be avoided by research, budgeting and planning."

The Westpac Global Travel Study also revealed that although the majority of travellers (96 per cent) are watching their spending while on holiday, their main methods of monitoring are by tracking the physical cash they have left over (55 per cent) and mentally tracking their spend (37 per cent). Despite living in the digital age, just over a third (37 per cent) of people scrutinise their spending online and even less (22 per cent) use mobile apps.

"Global Travel Cards, such as Westpac's Global Currency Card, allow travellers to preload money onto a card that can be used to make payments in multiple currencies, lock in favourable exchange rates and makes it easy for you to monitor spending by easily checking your balance online or through the mobile app as you move between currencies," said Mr Benton.

"Tracking your spending can help to give you a clearer view on where your money is going. This will help you prioritise your funds to get the most out of your holiday by spending money on the things that matter most.

"Avoiding unnecessary costs will also help you to stay within your allocated budget. With 66 per cent of travellers concerned about the cost of international ATM fees when travelling, Westpac helps customers by saving them a combined total of $3.5 million in international ATM withdrawal fees each year through the Global ATM Alliance," added Mr Benton.

The research also shows 15 per cent of Australians run out of money while on holiday. When travellers do run out of money, the majority (57 per cent) of Australians will turn to their credit card, with 42 per cent dipping into their savings and a quarter (24 per cent) borrowing money from a friend or family member at home.

"It is a good idea to secure easy access to funds before you go on holidays to provide you with a secure back-up fund for any unplanned purchases or spontaneous decisions. The last thing any traveller wants when they're overseas is to limit their experiences due to poor budgeting and planning," said Mr Benton.

For further information on Westpac's travel solutions

For more information on the Global ATM Alliance