A fifth of travellers take no cash on holiday

4th August 2015


One in five holidaymakers rely solely on plastic when they travel abroad, new data reveals.

A study by Alphatravelinsurance.co.uk, found that  19% of holidaymakers do not take cash when travelling overseas, while 21% of those who carry cash take in excess of £500.

Worryingly, 23% of people do not check the cash limits on their travel insurance.

The survey’s respondents, who were an average age of 41, were found to be keen to head towards a cashless society with over a third (36%) of respondents stating that they use their debit or credit card.

However, with over four in five (81%) respondents stating that they use cash when abroad, it is still the payment method of choice.

In some remote locations only cash is accepted, leading many travellers to carry large sums. Alpha’s research found holidaymakers carried an average of £450 worth of currency.

Almost a quarter of people (23%) admitted to not checking the amount of cash that is covered under their travel insurance policy.

Having a choice of payment methods can be useful in case one payment method fails or is stolen.

Alpha found that over a quarter (28%) of people use at least three payment methods when going abroad, including cash and cards.

While travellers cheques may have fallen out of fashion, pre-paid currency cards are becoming more popular, especially when travelling across several countries. Alpha’s research found that 11% of travellers uses them, allowing them to use a card without being charged a fee on their transactions.

Chantelle Dadd, brand manager at Alpha, says: “It is interesting to see how many people are now choosing not to use cash at all when going on holiday. Debit, credit and currency cards can give you peace of mind but may not be accepted in more rural areas of the world which may explain why cash is still so widely used.

“Alpha always recommends that customers check the cash limits on their travel insurance policy documents to ensure that you are covered for the amount of currency that that you are planning to take. Travellers should also make sure that they keep cash on their person at all times when it is not securely locked in a safe.”

1 thought on “A fifth of travellers take no cash on holiday”

  1. george the first says:

    Currency cards can be expensive. I take two zero fee credit cards and draw cash on them. Then using online banking, repay when the cash transaction hits the account. Great exchange rates and no charges.

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