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The holiday hangover costing Aussies $4.6bn a year

Australian dollars

Australian holiday-makers go big and don’t want to go home, with 15 per cent of us failing to plan for post-holiday expenses and 58 per cent blowing the budget altogether.

That’s according to CommBank’s latest figures, released to coincide with the beginning of the northern hemisphere’s summer season.

According to the research, 58 per cent of Australian travellers return home from holidays having overspent by an average $1,554 per person. That’s a national total of $4.6 billion.

“Despite advice from family and friends and budgeting tips and tricks for travellers online, over half (55 per cent) said they made an educated guess when working out their holiday spending money. Even more concerning was that a third (33 per cent) aren’t putting aside extra spending money for unexpected expenses or overspend,” said Michael Baumann, CBA general manager of everyday banking and payments.

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“It’s always advisable to set aside emergency savings that can easily be accessed or transferred.

“It’s also important that travellers are realistic about what they can afford while travelling and keep track of their spending to ensure they are sticking to their holiday budget.”

Our bad habits in numbers

The research pointed the finger at Aussies’ “relaxed attitudes” to budgeting while on holiday.

  • 26 per cent don’t save any spending money before they go;
  • 21 per cent travel without a budget;
  • 36 per cent track their spending daily;
  • 28 per cent make up the slack when they get home by staying in or eating cheaply;
  • 15 per cent don’t factor in the recurring home expenses when they’re away, or for when they get home;
  • 67 per cent say they’re most likely to throw out the budget in the last few days of holidays;
  • 78 per cent of Aussies turn to emergency savings and credit cards when they run out of holiday cash;
  • 31 per cent of Gen Z travellers ask mum and dad for help when their holiday money runs low; and
  • 31 per cent consider fluctuating exchange rates a “real concern”.

CommBank suggested travellers make a plan for the regular expenses they occur while they’re away and have money put aside to cover them upon return.

The bank also suggested savers use holiday “downtime” to review spending, especially in the last few days.

“Make it easy to check in regularly on your holiday budget by choosing a travel money card that is easily accessible through an online app,” it added.

Carrying a wallet with local cash, a travel money card and a personal credit or debit card can help save travellers from having to phone a friend for emergency cash, while locking in the exchange rate through a travel money card can also save spenders from rate fluctuations and keep them in control of their spending.

The holiday hangover costing Aussies $4.6bn a year
Australian dollars
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