Published On: Tue, Feb 24th, 2015

Local Currency Mistakes More Common than You Think

More people are confused about the currencies in countries which are geographically close to each other than one might first imagine, according to a new survey.

The team at www.sunshine.co.uk asked no fewer than 2,173 people about some of the mistakes they had made in relation to taking the wrong currency abroad. Out of the participants, who were all from Britain and at least 18-years-old, 14% had actually made such a mistake. This equates to no fewer than one in seven of us taking the wrong currency when we go on holiday.

However, it was the nature of these mistakes which perhaps made for the most interesting reading. For example, 77% of mistakes relating to travel to Canada resulted in holidaymakers taking US dollars, instead of the correct Canadian dollars. Similarly, 91% of currency mistakes in Ireland saw visitors take pounds sterling, opposed to the Euro.

euro money photo

photo/Luis Javier Modino Martinez

As well as the local mistakes, there were some examples which weren’t quite as understandable. The Euro seemed to be at the centre of a lot of these cases, with Turkey bringing up one of the biggest surprises. It was here that over 51% of cases of people bringing the wrong currency occurred because of travellers taking the Euro, even though the country is not currently part of the European Union. Even more bizarrely, 62% of people taking the wrong currency to Egypt also took the Euro – even though it is officially classed as being part of Africa.

Turkey and Egypt happened to be the two countries which were mainly affected by travellers taking the wrong currency, with 21% and 16% of visitors making this mistake respectively. However, they certainly weren’t alone, with 11% of people visiting Croatia and 13% of travellers heading to Canada also making these mistakes.

Some of the least affected countries included the United Arab Emirates and Morocco, with just 1% of participants claiming that they had taken the wrong currency to either of these destinations.

Unfortunately, these errors often result in a blow to the pocket as well. Only 16% of respondents said that they could freely use their wrong currency in the country they were visiting. As such, most were forced to change the money at a currency exchange and incur further costs in relation to commission charges.

The issue of expense and hassle was highlighted by Chris Clarkson, the Managing Director of sunshine.co.uk as he said:

“Taking the wrong currency on holiday can be a huge hassle, so it’s really important that you double check what you’ll need to take with you before you go. Sometimes, certain currencies will still be accepted in countries where it isn’t the main currency. For example, the Caribbean Islands widely accept US dollars, so it’s not going to be a problem if that’s the currency you’ve decided to take; with the exception of Cuba.

“Still, there are no guarantees, so it’s best to take the correct currency for the country you are visiting… just in case!”

Guest Author: Lolita Di

On the DISPATCH: Headlines  Local  Opinion

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