Brits are hoarding a shocking £60.78 at home in foreign currencies, but will only consider changing it back to British Pounds once that figure tips over £78.00.
The findings form part of research launched by Ramsdens Currency, which surveyed more than 1,000 UK consumers about their holiday money habits.
It found that the average UK holidaymaker typically brings home £60.66 in foreign currency after a trip away – a significant sum that could be spent elsewhere. Men are likely to bring home more cash than women (£65.22 vs. £56.29), as are those aged 16-34 and 55+.
Even though £60.66 is equivalent to the amount spent by an average household on food and (non-alcoholic) drinks for an entire week, less than a quarter of Brits (20.3%) change it back into sterling to spend on home soil.
The research found that respondents aged 35-44 are most likely to convert their cash, with those aged 45-54 close behind. Those aged 16-24 are least likely to exchange back into sterling despite bringing home the most currency at £72.60.
The reasons for keeping hold of Euros and other currencies were varied, with respondents often citing more than one. 61.8% like to keep it for their next trip, almost a quarter (24.9%) don’t think it’s enough to warrant exchanging, more than a fifth (20.3%) only have coins so don’t bother switching to pounds, and 17.8% think it’s generally just too much hassle.
The figures showed that the most common currencies we are likely to have lying around at home are Euros (68.7%), US dollars (32.4%) and other European currencies (8.6%). Over 8% say they have now defunct currencies like French Francs or Spanish Pesetas. Non-European currencies were less popular, with the Canadian Dollar and UAE Dirham selected by just 5.5% and 5.1% of respondents respectively.
Peter Kenyon, CEO at Ramsdens Currency, said: “It’s really surprising that so many people are reluctant to change their holiday cash back to pounds when they return home, despite sitting on more than £60 worth of currency. That’s a significant amount which would be better spent on a weekly shop or a nice meal out for two. “The barriers highlighted by our research, such as extra hassle and too little amounts, are easily tackled. There are great providers out there, like Ramsdens, who make the process quick and easy and offer great rates, helping to put Brits’ money back where it belongs - in their pockets rather than in a dusty drawer at home.” Ramsdens’ travel money is commission free, with rates checked daily to make sure customers get the best rate.
Ramsdens top holiday tips for savvy travellers
- Avoid the airports and exchange your currency ahead of time – our recent research showed consumers are ripped off by as much as €87.50 for every £500 exchanged by leaving it until the last minute to exchange
- If you’re flexible, it pays to compare the currency rates of different destinations, as well as the cost of travel and accommodation, before booking. Some destinations offer better bang for your buck than others