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UK holidaymakers hoard nearly ?1billion in forgotten currency

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UK holidaymakers hoard nearly ?1billion in forgotten currency

UK holidaymakers could be sitting on a pot of cash of over £800 million in forgotten foreign currency, the equivalent of over 350,000 return flights to New York or 1.5 million family holidays to Spain. According to a study, each UK traveller has on average the equivalent of more than £40 in unspent holiday money left over from previous trips.The study of 1,000 holidaymakers, commissioned byAmerican Express Global Foreign Exchange Services, reveals that only eighteen per cent of UK travellers make a concerted effort to change back their unspent foreign currency. A number of reasons are given as to why they keep hold of their foreign cash:- 28% potentially equating to nearly six million British adults, are not changing their unspent currency upon returning home because they put it off to a later date- Nearly one in ten (9%) say they are too tired- 8% feel they do not have enough time- 2% potentially equating to 417,713  Brits are unsure where to go to get it changed backHowever, the most popular reason for not changing back unused holiday money for over half (53%) of respondents is commission charges, indicating that many may be unaware these can be avoided by simply utilising a buy back guarantee offered by many foreign exchange services. A guarantee can ensure that customers’ currency left over after a holiday can be bought back by the foreign exchange service at the same foreign exchange rate used on the day of purchase, commission free.Commenting on the findingsHelen Grace, VP, American Express Global Foreign Exchange Services said:“In today’s economic climate most holidaymakers have their eye on the budget when booking a trip, no doubt spending a significant amount of time researching the holiday market before booking. However, these same holiday makers are clearly missing a trick by not changing back their unused currency on their return home.”Fly buyIn an attempt to reduce the amount of currency brought home, the report also reveals that more than one in four (27%) UK travellers are spending the remainder of their left over holiday money on novelty chocolate, souvenirs and CDs as they pass through their holiday airport. It is the younger adults who are the most likely to do this, with over a third (36%) doing a spot of novelty shopping, compared to only one fifth of over 55 year olds.Helen Grace concludes:“The study reveals that across the UK there is a currency black hole, with kitchen drawers and pots holding onto forgotten foreign currency that could be converted back to sterling and spent on other things.”

First Content corp. (c) 2009