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Younger holidaymakers opt for cash-only spending

24 Jul 2017

Almost half of 18-24 year olds going on holiday without any credit or debit cards

More than one in four UK holidaymakers will rely entirely on cash to cover their spending needs when they go abroad this summer, according to research by first direct .

Despite the flexibility and security provided by credit and debit cards, the survey of 2,000 adults found 29% of travellers plan to take only foreign currency on holiday this year.

The cash-only option is most popular among the under-35s, with 38% saying their holiday spending will be covered entirely by the foreign currency they take with them, with this figure rising to 45% of 18-24 year olds.

Joe Gordon, Head of first direct , said: “Most of us will want to have some cash to hand when we’re on holiday, but how much you need will depend on where you’re going and what you’re doing. Ordering travel money in advance can often be cheaper and more convenient than waiting until you go, but some activities – such as hiring a car – may still require a card to pay.

“Being able to use your cards or make contactless payments overseas can be more convenient and give you more comfort, security and protection than cash alone, so it’s always a good idea to take both cash and your cards. Also it’s good to let us know before you go so we can update our systems.”

Overall, a third (34%) of Brits will opt for a combination of cash and a credit or debit card, while just 6% prefer to take cash and travellers cheques.

Only 13% cover any part of their spending with travellers cheques, which have declined in both popularity and availability over the past 10 years.

In contrast, the availability and sales of prepaid currency cards have grown in the past two years but, according to first direct ’s research, fewer than one in 10 (9%) holidaymakers will take a prepaid card with them this year. And half of those will still take cash alongside the card.

Show me the (holiday) money

Which of the following best describes your preference when going on holiday?

18-24

25-34

35-44

45-54

55+

Take enough foreign currency in cash to cover all holiday spends spending needs

45%

31%

27%

26%

25%

Take a combination of foreign currency and travellers' cheques

2%

5%

6%

8%

9%

Take a combination of foreign currency and a credit or debit card

23%

29%

33%

37%

44%

Take only travellers' cheques

1%

3%

3%

2%

2%

Take a combination of travellers' cheque and a credit or debit card

3%

3%

3%

2%

2%

Use only a pre-paid travel card in the local currency

2%

4%

2%

2%

1%

Take a pre-paid travel card and some foreign currency

4%

6%

5%

6%

5%

Take a pre-paid travel card and travellers' cheques

1%

1%

1%

0%

0%

Take a pre-paid travel card and a credit/ debit card

1%

1%

2%

1%

2%

Take only a credit or debit card

1%

4%

4%

5%

4%

None of the above/No preference

17%

13%

13%

11%

7%

Prepare for all eventualities

Time spent preparing to go on holiday is never wasted. Sorting your foreign currency, travel insurance in advance means you can relax while you’re away. first direct has also recently launched an online fee free international payments service for internet banking customers, useful if you’re booking things direct.

Joe Gordon added: “first direct understands people have busy lives, so we’re here 24/7 in order to help customers with all their holiday finances at a time that suits them. And should they need us for anything while they’re away then we’re awake whatever time zone they’re in!”

first direct ’s top five tips for holidaymakers

  • Order your Travel Money online through first direct by 2pm for free delivery the next working day to your home address (or by 3pm over the phone).
  • Let us know when you're off on your travels, to reduce the chance of anything being declined while you’re away – you can do this online if you’d prefer.
  • If you’re looking to make international payments you can send money to over 160 countries – do this online and first direct wont charge you a fee.
  • If you’re going to Europe, remember your European Health Insurance Card, and don’t forget you can take out tailored travel insurance through first direct – single trip or annual multi-trip. It’s not just for medical cover, it’s also protection against things like cancelled flights, theft of personal possessions and lost baggage.
  • Remember to take your Debit and Credit Card and use your credit card abroad for large purchases as it gives you protection under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act.

ends

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first direct has recently celebrated 25 years as an innovator and leader in improving customers’ experience in the UK’s personal finance sector.  To recognise this milestone it approached the Future Foundation to pursue an original programme of research focussing on customer experience.


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