A third of travellers have been caught out financially abroad by picking the wrong insurance policy, getting stung by roaming charges – and pricey airport transfers. A poll of 2,000 adults, who have been abroad, found those who have been left out of pocket have found themselves around £200 down to date, due to unexpected fees and hidden costs.
The most common ways they’ve been stung include currency conversion fees (35 percent), data roaming charges (31 percent), and city taxes (27 percent).
And a disdain for pre-holiday admin might be partly to blame – with 27 percent admitting they avoid tasks like shopping around for good exchange rates, and arranging adequate insurance cover.
The study, by Virgin Media O2, which offers inclusive EU roaming to customers, found 55 percent of those hit with these costs in the past had less enjoyable getaways as a result.
More than a fifth (22 percent) were left with no choice but to cut back on spending for the remainder of their trip, while 18 percent were forced to use savings to cover the unplanned outgoings.
Other ways travellers have been caught out include ATM withdrawal fees, unexpected baggage costs, and overpaying for tours or excursions which were available cheaper elsewhere.
Roman Kemp, who has teamed-up with Virgin Media O2 in a video to help travellers prep for their breaks, said: “Before take-off we’d like to share some important safety with you – data roaming safety, that is.
“We’ve prepared some tips for you – the top four things to remember to avoid racking up a massive phone bill while on holidays.”
The study also found one in five holidaymakers have been caught out by data roaming costs on holidays.
And 53 percent of those with a mobile phone don’t know if their provider would charge them such fees if they were to travel abroad this summer.
However, 32 percent could find out the hard way – as they tend to forget to switch off data roaming when overseas.
It also emerged 61 percent were “disappointed” to see the return of roaming charges in European countries last year – with 46 percent claiming they “need” data roaming when visiting such places.
The study, carried out through OnePoll, found 39 percent would worry about staying in contact with their loved ones if they didn’t have access to Wi-Fi or free data roaming.
And the same percentage would struggle without it, because they’d be unable to use mapping apps on their phone as readily.
Gareth Turpin, chief commercial officer for Virgin Media O2, said: “Holidays are a major source of joy and relaxation, and people often splash out to make the most of their trip.
“But no one wants to fork out for extra costs they hadn’t planned for.”