Are you addicted to buying souvenirs on holiday?

Half of Brits addicted to buying souvenirs: £1.9billion spent this summer is the headline from research* conducted by Debenhams Personal Finance, and has revealed exactly how hard-hitting our obsession is.  It shows that nearly half of us are addicted to buying souvenirs and we are spending £1.9billion as a nation on objet d’art, otherwise known as ‘tat’, during our summer holidays! But how is this holiday obsession affecting our bank balances?

souvenir stall

The data has revealed the average Brit spends £30 on holiday mementos with 23% of us spending up to £50 and 16% spending up to a whopping £100. Southerners are more frivolous when it comes to buying souvenirs with 25% spending up to £100 each holiday with Northerners in comparison typically spending up to £20 (27%). The high spending is surprising, considering 15% of Brits take six months to pay off holiday debt.

Country Facts

Spain tops the list as the destination we most love to buy our ‘tat’ from, with 34% of us saying we have bought souvenirs from the sunny destination. America (27%) is in second place, followed by France (23%), Greece (20%) and Italy (18%).

Who Buys this ‘tat’?

Doctors, nurses and dentists are most likely to buy holiday ‘tat’, with 61% saying they purchase something every holiday. This is followed by artists and designers (60%), sales professionals (60%), shop floor staff (59%) and administrators (52%).

Travel Money Savvy?

Andy Newman, Head of Personal Finance at Debenhams, commented: “We were surprised to see just how much we are spending on holiday souvenirs as a nation.  With our research revealing that 58% of Brits fail to exchange their leftover currency and over a third exceed their holiday budget, it seems that as a nation of travelers, we could certainly benefit from a financial tip or two.

“We don’t want to spoil people’s carefree approach when on holiday but we do want to encourage Brits to purchase their holiday cash in a smarter way so they can shop guilt-free. With our Click & Collect service, travelers benefit from the best exchange rates and therefore get more money in their pocket.”

“The average spend on souvenirs, £30, is less than the amount consumers could save if they pre-ordered all of their currency at home, so for the savvy currency shopper, their mementos need not cost them a penny.”

The most unusual ‘tat’ purchases have been outed as snake wine, bags of sand, a dead snail, an antique cello, a toilet roll holder and even an Elvis costume, however, the most common items of ‘tat’ Brits buy are:

  • Fridge magnet (47%)
  • Artwork / postcards (32%)
  • Glass / mug (29%)
  • Keyring (26%)
  • Clothing (22%)

So what do we actually do with our holiday memorabilia once we are home? 30% of us actually throw it away, or simply put it away never to be looked at again.

Andy Newman, Head of Personal Finance at Debenhams, added: “We offer customers an extra 20% free when you bring back currency and load it onto a Debenhams gift card , meaning you can buy more things you really do need and want when back home.”

For more information visit Debenhams Travel Money.

*Based on an independent survey of 1,008 UK respondents. August 2017.

Posted by Graham Morley

Graham Morley

Graham is the Business Development Manager for Compare Holiday Money.

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One Reply to “Are you addicted to buying souvenirs on holiday?”

  1. Scouring the souvenir shops for the tackiest fridge magnet is one of our family’s holiday rituals – one particular favourite is a large camel-shaped magnet purchased in Palestine proclaiming ‘Bethlehem: Birthplace of Jesus’.

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