14th July – Today marks the big travel money rush

14 Jul 2015

  • An anticipated £267million to be exchanged
  • 14th July busiest day for foreign exchange transactions
  • Holidaymakers ordering 10% more foreign currency online, hinting consumer confidence is surging
  • Euro remains most in-demand currency
  • £500 average transaction size

It is anticipated that Brits could exchange in excess of £267mi in travel money today, more than ever before, as they prepare to head off on their hols.

The foreign exchange provider, Travelex, commissioned a study following a 10% year-on-year increase in the amount of money being exchanged online by individual holidaymakers this summer. Using results from the study, which combined historical sales data with a survey of more than 2,000 Brits, the FX provider has attempted to calculate the total numbers of Brits ordering and exchanging money in the run up to the summer holidays.

Elvin Eldić, head of retail at Travelex UK comments: “We typically see demand for travel money increase at this time of year but with this summer’s combination of holidaymakers taking more away with them and the strength of the pound against the euro, we could be in for a record-breaking year. Holidaymakers are still looking for value though and that’s reflected in the record numbers we’re seeing, where holidaymakers are choosing to order their currency online where they can get the best rate.”

The analysis shows that on the busiest day, 14th July, Brits could potentially exchange more than £10mii an hour as they order currency online for the weekend ahead. It comes as over 1.3 millioniii holidaymakers head off abroad on the weekend of the 18th/19th - the start of the school summer holidays. Holidaymakers are likely, on average, to exchange £500 per person.

Sue Hayward, independent personal finance expert, commented on the research: “Most families save hard for their summer holiday so it's important to get the most for your money. This summer brings good news as sterling is strong and household disposable incomes are on the up so holidaymakers can get more power for their pound.”

The Eurozone remains the most popular destination for Brits travelling for business and pleasure. For those travelling to Europe this summer, significant savings can be made on sterling to euro transactions with the pound currently at a seven-year high. British holidaymakers can save £50 for every £500 exchanged, at current rates.

Most popular currencies exchanged online with Travelex in the UK:
Euro  46%
US dollar 29%
United Arab Emirates dirham 3%
Chinese yuan  2%
Australian dollar 2%

Source: Travelex UK data 2015

Research from Travelex has indicated that of its retail locations, Heathrow leads the way for foreign exchange, securing 38% of walk-up and online order business. Londoners departing from Heathrow are likely to exchange £500 on average before travelling, with almost a sixth (14%) planning to order online and collect at the airport to get the best deal.

Manchester Airport polls second in the league of Travelex’s most popular airports in the UK with almost a sixth (17%) of walk-up and Click & Collect demand originating from Manchester. Those departing from the North West plan to take twice as much as Londoners abroad with them this summer, with an average transaction size of £1,000. For almost 70% of those flying from Manchester Airport, shopping around for the best rate is top on their list of priorities, however only 16% of them will order currency online, which delivers the best value for money.

Most popular airports for foreign exchange in Travelex’s portfolio
Heathrow 38%
Manchester 17%
Glasgow  8%
Newcastle  5%
Aberdeen  4%
Other  29% 

Source: Travelex UK data 2015

Over a third of Brits admit to splashing the cash when abroad and feel as though they need to spend every last penny of their foreign currency when away. Of those polled, almost 40% don’t see the value of bringing home foreign money because they think the exchange rate is too weak.

The research also reveals that 70% of Brits shop around for their travel money, however, a quarter of people remain loyal to one provider and go back time and time again, despite the rate not being competitive.

Those looking to secure a competitive rate on their foreign exchange can order online at Travelex.co.uk/travelmoney. Travelex offers a free service to collect currency and prepaid cards in store.

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Travelex is the world's largest foreign exchange specialist with almost 1,450 stores and 1,250 ATMs across 29 countries, at key airport, seaport, rail and tourist locations. Over 40% of travellers - 1.7 billion passengers a year - pass through airports where Travelex operates including the major gateways at Amsterdam, Beijing, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, London, Mumbai, New York, Paris, Sydney & Tokyo. Every hour Travelex provides foreign currency to more than 2,000 customers.

Total sample size of 2,149 adults. Survey took place between 1st and 2nd July 2015 and was carried out by YouGov.
Travelex’s data team analysed five years of historical transactional data from the UK between 2011 - 2015.

For more information, please contact:
Polly Goddard / Lucy Keogh – M&C Saatchi PR
travelex@mcsaatchi.com / 0207 544 3623

Travelex’s recent YouGov consumer research revealed 7% of the adult British population plan to travel abroad week commencing 13th June
Using internal Travelex data, the 14th June has been predicted as the busiest day for foreign exchange transactions in 2015
YouGov consumer research found that on that day 637,429 people will travel abroad. YouGov consumer research found the average adult in the UK will spend £500
YouGov consumer research found 58% of 637,429 people will purchase currency in store or at the airport with an average spend of £500 = £184,854,410
YouGov consumer research found 13% of 1,274,858 (637,429 x 2) people will order currency ahead of travelling over weekend of 18/19 July with an average spend of £500 = £82,865,770
Therefore, total value of exchanges = £267,720,180
Workings: (637,429 x 58% x £500) + (637,429 x 13% x £500) = £267,720,180.
ii£10,833,333 exchanged an hour
iii637,429 people travelling a day. Two days = 1,274,859 people

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