Nearly half of British tourists keep their money on them at all times

Two-fifths of British tourists carry all their holiday money with them at all times, rather than relying on ATM machines or hotel safes, a survey has revealed. The results from a recent poll of 1,391 British holidaymakers by sunshine.co.uk have prompted a warning from the Foreign Office.

“British embassies and consulates around the world are regularly faced with Brits who have run into financial problems when on holiday, many of whom are not covered by travel insurance,” said Steve Jewitt-Fleet, head of consular communications at the Foreign Office. “It’s important to remember, if you lose your money, we can help you get some transferred from home, but we can’t simply replace it.

“Taking out comprehensive travel insurance could significantly reduce the risk of having an exceptionally expensive break should you lose your money or become the victim of crime abroad.”

When asked to explain their reasons why money was kept on the person, 57% said they were concerned about leaving it at their accommodation due to the risk of theft, while 11% explained they undervalued the foreign currency and didn’t think about the true amount they were carrying. 72% claimed they did not trust banks and ATMs abroad.

Of those who did carry all their money on them at all times on holiday, the poll found that the average amount was the equivalent of around £300. When respondents were asked if they would carry £300 around with them back home in the UK, 78% of them said that they wouldn’t. When asked why, 34% said they would “fear losing it or having it stolen”, despite their apparent lack of concern about this on holiday.

Chris Brown, co-founder of travel agent sunshine.co.uk, said: “I can see why some holidaymakers would want to keep their money with them at all times, but I would strongly advise against it. Most hotel rooms have a safe in which travellers can keep their valuables and they are normally very secure.”

He added: “As far as ATMs abroad are concerned, most people don’t have a problem with them and they are usually perfectly safe. The only thing tourists should be aware of is the charges that come with withdrawing money abroad, as they can sometimes be very high.”

Remember to pack your cheap holiday insurance!
If you’re planning on taking advantage of a cheap holiday destination, don’t forget to pack your cheap holiday insurance before you go. You can get an instant quote and immediate cover by going online to 24/7 travel insurance. A 3-day break in Europe will cost you only £4.14* – perfect for a last minute getaway!

* Premium £4.14 includes Insurance Premium Tax based on an adult aged under 55 taking out a “Standard” Single Trip 24/7 travel insurance policy for 3-days in Europe excluding personal possessions cover and purchased within 14 days of departure date. Cover details and prices are correct at time of going to press (November 2010) and are subject to change.