Brits say they have lost up to £500 while travelling, due to poor exchange rates

British holidaymakers claim they have been left up to £500 out of pocket while travelling in the past – due to poor exchange rates, a study has found.

A study of 2,000 adults found that almost three in ten (28%) admit they find it difficult to stick to a budget while on holiday – with 32% not taking local exchange rates into consideration.

And the same number (32%) reckon that, as a result, they have lost money due to poor rate – to the tune of £90, on average.

It comes as the research found that 21% hope to travel abroad in the next 12 months, specifically to attend a live event – with 27% having done so in the past.

Some of the top events taking place in 2024 that Brits are keen to attend include Taylor Swift's Eras tour, Coldplay's Music of the Spheres Tour, and Andrea Bocelli's concert in Brazil in May.

However, more general international events that top their bucket lists include Oktoberfest, the Summer or Winter Olympics, and the Cherry Blossoms Festivals in Japan.

And a fifth of those polled (21%) would love to attend a FIFA World Cup match some day, while 16% are eager to dance the night away at the Rio Carnival.

However, as well as struggling to understand exchange rates while travelling, people also face challenges when it comes to how to travel to such events once abroad, and the best places to stay for them.

Thanim Islam, head of FX analysis at Equals Money, which commissioned the research, said: “These events that so many are travelling to are not just individual holidays – they are engines of economic transformation.

“Hosting major events, with worldwide appeal, inspires travellers to plan their next adventure, and invigorates local economies – whether it's a one-off concert, or an annual occurrence.

“These events can stimulate growth by creating jobs, boosting tourism, and nurturing local businesses. The economic impact can even cause local currencies to increase in value. This is a boost for locals, but can make exchange rates for travellers unpredictable.”

A third of those polled claim they would be happy to pay more for a holiday if they were getting expert and local insight on the destination from a travel agent. And 63% expect a travel agent to be able to offer advice on currency exchange rates when booking through them.

However, despite many experiencing difficulties organising an event, only one in ten have booked their trips via a travel agent, according to the figures.

Thanim Islam, from Equals Money, which specialises in international payments, added: “Checking for good exchange rates is an essential step in ensuring your hard-earned money goes further.

“Exchange rates fluctuate, and even the slightest variation can have a significant impact on your budget. This is also an issue for travel agencies themselves, which have to handle many transactions across different currencies each day.

“We help to create a consolidated, end-to-end payments journey for travel agencies, so they spend less time thinking about receiving and sending payments, and have more time to focus on delivering quality consultations.”


  1. A FIFA World Cup match
  2. The Summer Olympics
  3. Oktoberfest
  4. A UEFA Champions League match
  5. Rio Carnival
  6. F1 Grand Prix
  7. A UEFA European Championships match
  8. Cherry Blossoms Festivals
  9. Sydney New Year's Eve
  10. Chinese New Year
  11. Carnival of Venice
  12. Mardi Gras Festival
  13. St Patrick's Day in Dublin
  14. The Winter Olympics
  15. The Ashes
  16. Eurovision
  17. Day of the Dead
  18. ICC Cricket World Cup
  19. Super Bowl
  20. T20 World Cup
  21. Cannes Film Festival
  22. Tour de France
  23. Coldplay 2024 tour
  24. The Ryder Cup
  25. Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival
  26. Andrea Bocelli in concert in Brazil
  27. The Masters
  28. Rock in Rio
  29. Taylor Swift's Eras tour
  30. Burning Man

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