Brits waste £800m a year on un-exchanged currency

24th Jun 2010
Brits waste £800m a year on un-exchanged currency

A new study by the UK’s fastest growing online independent travel agent has looked into the amount of money tourists are losing out on by not exchanging their left-over foreign money back to British pounds, after returning from their holiday.

Latest research of 1,238 people from www.sunshine.co.uk has found that, on average, holidaymakers return home from vacations with the equivalent of £24 left over from their foreign spending money. 89% of the people that took part in the poll said they didn’t exchange the money back to British currency when they got home.

The poll aimed to find out how much tourists were losing out on each year by failing to exchange money back to British pounds when they came back from their trip.

When the respondents that said they didn’t change money back were asked to give reasons as to why, 32% said they ‘couldn’t be bothered’ and 47% said they would ‘keep it for the next holiday’.

With the total number of UK residents holidaying abroad standing at 37.2 million a year, according to the Office for National Statistic, and each respondent claiming to have the equivalent of £24 on average on returning from a vacation, sunshine.co.uk found there is a potential total of £794.5m worth of foreign currency left un-exchanged in the UK each year, on the basis that 89% of people do not exchange currency back on their return home.

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Of those that said they would keep the foreign currency for their next holiday as opposed to exchanging it, 37% admitted to forgetting to take the leftover money when it came around to their next trip abroad. 

Speaking about the findings of the poll, Chris Brown, co-founder of sunshine.co.uk, commented;

“Exchanging foreign currency back to British pounds can, evidently, be one of those things that a lot of people just don’t see the point of doing, but I think our study really brings home the fact that there is an awful lot of foreign currency floating around in the UK that isn’t being put to good use.

“It’s all well and good saying that you will save the currency for your next holiday, but as the poll shows; not everyone is good at sticking to this. It’s important to change money back to British pounds, as it really does add up if you don’t and it’s a huge waste. If you do have money left over, at least try and spend it at the Duty-free shops in the airport to get rid of it – then, the hassle of having to change it back is eliminated.”

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