Brits stash £1.6bn of leftover holiday money in their homes

Published on 1 January 1970 by Raffick Marday

Brits are returning from overseas holidays with over £1 billion worth of leftover foreign currency – which they promptly forget about.

prepaid cardsThe research, conducted by travel search site Skyscanner, revealed that Brits come back from their holidays with £1.6billion, which is equivalent to €2billion.

According to a poll, which included 1,100 British travellers, the average amount of leftover holiday money amounted to £54 per person in various currencies which ranged from Cypriot Pounds to Thai Baht.

The survey showed that 89% of holidaymakers come back from their travels with leftover currency. Travellers stash an average of £60 in Euros and those returning from the USA tend to bring back an average of $67 – which amounts to $368 million, or $237 million, nationwide.

Despite bringing back a huge sum of money, one in three British holiday-goers forget to take their leftover currency with them on their next trip.

According to the research, the majority of the foreign currency is neglected in a drawer alongside items such as old batteries and spare light bulbs. In some more unique cases, it is used to make jewellery or decorate the coffee table.

Victoria Bailie, spokesperson for Skyscanner, said: "Many travellers like to keep a few notes and coins as souvenirs but we were surprised at how big that pot of foreign cash is. Collectively, it's enough for the UK to buy its own Caribbean island and a fleet of private jets to fly there."

Ms Bailie pointed out that many airlines or airports have charity collection boxes where leftover currency can be donated, and recommended that travellers check their drawers before leaving the house to go on holiday.

In order to avoid being left with foreign cash when you return from a holiday abroad – which could be put to use in sterling or risks being forgotten next time the holiday season comes around – it might be worth loading cash onto a prepaid credit card.

By planning in advance and loading a set amount onto a prepaid card, the likelihood of coming back with unwanted foreign currency is diminished.

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