Friday 22 June 2018

Holidaying overseas? Here's How a lack of planning will burn you on that sun break

One third of holidaymakers expect spending to spiral out of control, a new survey suggests...

A crowded beach in Barcelona. Photo: Deposit
A crowded beach in Barcelona. Photo: Deposit
Charlie Weston

Charlie Weston

MOST Irish holidaymakers are heading to a sunny location this summer, but a lack of financial planning means many will get burned.

New research shows a third of those going away expect their spending to spiral out of control.

A quarter of those taking a summer break expect to come home to debt, according to a survey by iReach Insights for comparison site Switcher.ie.

The majority of people will take a holiday in the sun, with France, Spain, Greece and Italy the top destinations.

Just one in three will go farther afield to the likes of the US, Canada and Australia.

Half of travellers expect to spend between €250 and €1,000 on food and drink while they are away, while a third expect to spend that amount on shopping.

Few have set a holiday budget, according to the research for Switcher.ie.

A third of people say they often or always end up overspending while on holiday, with almost half saying they sometimes spend too much.

However, many come home with post-holiday headaches, with a quarter of consumers admitting to coming home from a holiday in debt.

The survey of 1,000 people also found that more than half of those leaving the country are unsure of charges like the fees imposed for using an ATM abroad, and direct debit charges for using a debit card in a shop or restaurant.

Around half of holidaymakers plan to take a small amount of cash to start off with and then use ATMs.

A large number will use their debit and credit card as normal.

There is a real lack of understanding around the fees that could be charged for doing so, according to the survey.

The majority of people either don’t know or aren’t sure of the charges for the likes of ATM withdrawals, using a credit card to withdraw cash, and paying by credit card or debit card in shops or restaurants abroad.

This could lead to some unplanned and unwanted charges, especially for the three in 10 consumers who are travelling outside of the European Union.

When you withdraw cash in a non-eurozone country, you are charged a percentage of the transaction value each time and you may have to pay a foreign exchange fee, too.

You also face similar charges for using your card to make payments in shops and restaurants.

Managing director of Switcher.ie Eoin Clarke said people are letting the prospect of a sun holiday cloud their thoughts on the need for good financial planning.

“Many of us are gearing up for holidays, and thoughts of sunshine are starting to eclipse other, less exciting, matters – like our finances,” he said.

“But that cheap break in the sun could end up costing holidaymakers more than they bargained for, simply because they’re not budgeting or planning how best to manage their money while away.”

He said that when it comes to holiday spending, it can be tempting to forego the budget and throw caution to the wind, but this can lead to a financial headache that will last much longer than your tan.

Read more:

Irish Independent

Travel Insider Newsletter

Get the best travel tips, deals and insights straight to your inbox.

Editors Choice

Also in Life