The image of the laid back Aussie traveller may not be as accurate as we thought, with new research from HSBC revealing that Aussies abroad are conscientious about using the hotel safe, keeping copies of important travel information and pre-booking their itineraries. We’re just not quite as on top of things when it comes to getting the best bang for our buck on holiday spending.
The numbers coming out of HSBC’s Passport to Smarter Spending survey are pretty clear: Aussies prioritise safety and security while far from home. In fact, 61% prefer a detailed, pre-booked itinerary over arranging plans on the go.
Nine in ten Aussie travellers also carry extra copies of important emergency phone numbers or their card details. And when it comes to carrying money and valuables, more than half said they wear a concealed money belt to protect cards and cash, and four in five carry their funds on different parts of their person as a security measure.
The same number make use of the hotel safe to store valuables and two in three stash an extra card or some cash into their luggage to safeguard against a money emergency.
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So Aussies are clearly more meticulous planners than our laidback reputation would suggest - but according to Barnaby Jenkins, Head of Transactional Banking Products at HSBC, that planning doesn’t always translate to money-savvy spending habits overseas.
“Australians want to immerse themselves wherever they travel, however in reality they’re much more considered and comfort-seeking, meticulously planning their activities well in advance in order to make the most of their holiday,” he said.
“They’re looking for smart ways to spend and save, but unfortunately this careful planning doesn’t extend to their finances – with many unaware of the international transaction and foreign exchange fees that could be stacking up.”
Almost half of Aussies surveyed by HSBC said they’ve been charged a fee for exchanging Aussie dollars into foreign currency in the past year. To avoid this fate, two-thirds decided to withdraw local currency at an ATM, rather than converting at a currency exchange service and 91% shopped around for foreign currency before travelling.
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Despite taking these measures, 47% admitted they were unaware of the exchange rate applied to credit card transactions made overseas and nine in ten reported being hit with ATM fees or other hidden charges.
The solution? Find the right travel money option for you. Choosing a piece of plastic - whether it’s a dedicated travel card or an everyday credit card or debit card - with no international transaction fees and no foreign ATM fees can help you avoid adding unnecessary charges to your holiday bill.
Check out some hot travel debit card offers, including the HSBC Everyday Global Account which allows you to hold up to 10 currencies in one account and spend overseas with no ATM or transaction fees, in the table below.