29 November 2018

Careful, conscientious and comfort seeking: new HSBC research reveals the surprising secrets of Aussie travellers


  • New HSBC research reveals Aussies are less impulsive and more methodical when it comes to travelling – with 61% preferring a pre-booked itinerary over arranging travel on-the-go.
  • Aussies are suitably cautious of their money and valuables while overseas, with four in five (80%) storing cards and money on different parts of their person.
  • The cards are stacking up; with 55% of Aussies using a separate travel card over an everyday card.


Australia’s unique image of being laid-back and spontaneous while travelling is being challenged, with new research from HSBC revealing Aussies are more conscientious and organised when it comes to travel planning and travel finances than many might believe.

In 2017, Australians made roughly 10.5 million trips abroad - 6.9 per cent more than the previous year1. Yet despite being natural born travellers wanting to indulge in everything that an overseas destination has to offer, it would seem Aussies are more cautious than impulsive – potentially denying themselves spontaneous surprises.

MONEY BELTS AND MULTI-STASHING

HSBC’s Passport to Smarter Spending survey has revealed the safety of money and valuables is seen as a key priority among security-savvy travellers.

Nine in 10 (89%) Aussies admit to carrying additional copies of their card details or international travel assistance numbers in case of an emergency2, and four in five store their valuables in a room safe (81%)3.

More than half (56%) wear a concealed money belt to protect their holiday cards and cash4, and many confess to ‘multi-stashing’ – where they hide their treasures on different parts of their person5.

And this method of disguise for Aussie travellers could in fact be warranted, with the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade reporting one of the most common requests for consular assistance when Australians are overseas is for people who have, “either been the victims of a robbery or theft, or have lost their valuables, money or passport.”6

Cautious Aussies also would not dare travel without insurance, with over four in five (84%) revealing they wouldn’t take the risk.

MONEY MATTERS

The Passport to Smarter Spending survey by HSBC has uncovered almost half (49%) of Australians have been charged a transaction fee in the last 12 months while overseas7, meaning fees are now a regular – and unwelcome – item on many Aussies monthly statements.

People are going to great lengths to avoid this, with almost all respondents (94%) admitting to changing their spending habits while travelling8. Nine in 10 (91%) have withdrawn the local currency in advance and kept it on their person, in spite of the potential security risks9.

But while Aussies are aware of international transaction fees, they are also in the dark when it comes to the foreign exchange rate that will be applied when using their credit card – with almost half admitting they don’t keep track of bank exchange rates.

CREATURE COMFORTS

HSBC’s Passport to Smarter Spending survey reveals Australians are also careful with their comfort when travelling, preferring luxury hotels, safe destinations and organised tours; ideally outsourcing the organising to a professional10.

Aussies prefer hotels (81%11) over rental accommodation, favour a detailed and pre-booked itinerary (67%) over arranging things on the go (33%)12, and are even a little wary of indulging in the local cuisine, with one in four (24%) admitting to eating fast food while on holiday.

Barnaby Jenkins, Head of Transactional Banking Products at HSBC, said while Australians believe it’s important to enjoy local experiences and get fully involved in the culture of the destination they’re travelling to – the research shows they also want to do as much of the homework as possible up front.

“Australians want to immerse themselves wherever they travel, however in reality they’re much more considered and comfort-seeking, meticulously planning their activities well in advance in order to make the most of their holiday.

“They’re looking for smart ways to spend and save, but unfortunately this careful planning doesn’t extend to their finances – with many unaware of the international transaction and foreign exchange fees that could be stacking up.

“Our HSBC Everyday Global Account enables customers to pay like a local at home and overseas, with ten currencies available and no ATM and transaction fees,” said Mr. Jenkins.

HSBC’s Passport To Smarter Spending research surveyed 1,000 people to investigate Australia’s attitudes towards travel planning and finances. The second phase of this survey which investigates Australia’s habits and behaviours with spending online, will be released in early 2019. For more information please visit www.hsbc.com.au

The HSBC Everyday Global Account was launched in March 2018, and has received Canstar’s Annual Innovation Excellence Award for its features and benefits for customers.

RESEARCH FINDINGS

Security Savvy

  • 89% of Aussies carry additional copies of their card details or international travel assistance numbers.
  • Four in five store valuables in a room safe (81%).
  • 56% wear a concealed money belt.
  • Four in five store their cards and money on different parts of their person.
  • 84% of Aussies would never travel without insurance.
  • Two in three (63%) hide a spare card or emergency money in their luggage.

Money Matters

  • Two-thirds of Australians withdraw money at local ATMs as needed rather than converting a large sum of cash at a currency exchange.
  • 55% use a separate travel card over an everyday credit card.
  • 94% admit to changing their spending habits when overseas to avoid extra fees.
  • Millennials (51%) are more likely to cite avoidance of overseas charges on their credit card than Gen X (38%) and Baby Boomers (43%).
  • 49% of Aussies have been charged a fee for exchanging Australian dollars into a foreign currency in the past year.
  • Cash is king (45%), followed by a credit / debit card (39%).
  • 91% shop around for foreign currency before they travel to avoid foreign transaction fees.
  • 47% admit they are unaware of the exchange rate that will be applied when using their credit card.
  • Nine in ten have encountered issues when using a credit card overseas. Main issues are ATM withdrawal fees (51%) or other hidden fees (49%).

Creature Comforts

  • 81% would rather stay in a hotel over a rental home (19%).
  • One in four admit to eating fast food on holiday.
  • 61% prefer a detailed, pre-booked itinerary over arranging things on the go (33%).
  • 46% Aussies under 50 are more likely to eat fast food while at the airport or en route to their destination.
  • 54% prefer to travel with someone who has done extensive research prior to the trip over travelling with someone who goes with the flow (46%).
  • Even when flights and accommodation are removed the cost of a holiday adds up, with Australians typically spending 32% of their holiday budget on food, 31% on sightseeing/tours/entry tickets, 17% on clothes, shoes, accessories, 11% on souvenirs and 9% on alcohol.
  • 90% of all Australians believe that it is important to enjoy local experiences and immerse themselves in the local culture. Females (94%) and people who were born overseas (96%) are more likely to find it important.
  • The best advice other travellers have given is to learn how to say hello or thank you in the local language (27%) and to travel off season (28%).
  • Only 4% of Aussies rate catching public transport as the top advice given and only 3% rate staying in a ‘home rental’ e.g. Airbnb/stayz/local guesthouse as the top advice.
  • Full ranking of advice given is as per below:
Top advice 2nd advice 3rd advice
Learn how to say hello, thank you etc. in the local language 27% 19% 46%
Travel off season 28% 16% 44%
Eat at local markets or restaurants 14% 21% 35%
Spend minimum of four days in any destination 15% 13% 28%
Ask locals for advice 10% 14% 24%
Catch public transport 4% 8% 12%
Stay in a ‘home rental’ e.g. Airbnb/Stayz/local guesthouse 3% 9% 12%
  • When options or trade-offs for travel are given from two potential choices, Australians would choose:

Option 1

vs

Option 2

Miss your flight 61% over Lose your luggage 29%
Travel with someone who gives one word answers 74% over Travel with someone who never shuts up 26%
Travel with someone who has done extensive homework and research prior to the trip 54% over Travel with someone who goes with the flow 46%
Lose your phone 74% over Lose your wallet 26%
Receive an upgrade at a hotel 51% over Receive an upgrade on a flight 49%
Use a separate travel card 55% over Use your everyday credit card 45%
Have a detailed itinerary with pre-booked accommodation, transfers and excursions 67% over Arrange things as you go 33%
Get food poisoning 64% over Break your arm 36%
Get invited to a local celebration or event 59% over Eat at a five star restaurant 41%
Pay in cash 60% over Use payWave, Apple Pay or Google Pay as you would at home 40%
Spend a night out with locals 57% over Spend a night out with fellow travellers like you 43%
Go on holiday with someone you have an unrequited crush on 83% over Go on holiday with your boss 17%
Withdraw money as needed from local ATMS 66% over Convert large sums of money at a currency exchange 34%
Stay in a hotel 81% over Stay in an Airbnb 19%
Ask a local for directions or advice 55% over Ask Google 45%
Take out travel insurance 84% over Risk it for a biscuit 16%
Wander aimlessly 56% over Only go on guided tours 44%
Have great weather but crowds 62% over Have bad weather but no crowds 38%
In one week be able to visit multiple destinations 59% over Spend a week in just one place 41%

The Insider’s Guide: Passport To Smarter Spending (6-page PDF 4.96MB)

About the HSBC Everyday Global Account

  • The HSBC Everyday Global Account supports: AUD, SGD, GBP, USD, CAD, JPY, CNY, HKD, NZD, and EUR.
  • Customers can use the Everyday Global Account Visa Debit Card at the point of sale, online and set up regular billing payments from it.
  • The Everyday Global Account will self-select the correct currency to use and revert back to the AUD account when there are insufficient funds in the nominated currency without charging an overseas transaction fee – example - if shopping on an American site, it will deduct from the USD account. Make a purchase while in Italy and it will deduct from the EUR account.
  • There are no fees when using the account, even when you make a purchase in a currency that is not in one of the ten supported currencies – example - if you’re on holiday in Thailand, the card will deduct the amount from the AUD fund and Visa will conduct an ‘on the spot’ conversion for your purchase into baht with no fees from HSBC or Visa.
  • The Everyday Global Account has fee free ATM withdrawals around the world (some ATMs will charge their own usage fee).
  • Customers can also set-up bill payments and regular transactions with the Everyday Global Account, making it ideal for a regular day-to-day account in Australia and for people who regularly transfer money overseas – example - a customer in Australia who owns property in the UK could have their salary paid into the Everyday Global Account and also set up monthly GBP payments to a property management agency in the UK.
  • The Everyday Global Account comes with fraud protections to help protect customers from unauthorised transactions.
  • The Everyday Global Account Visa Debit Card is compatible with Apple Pay, Google Pay and PayWave (including overseas where accepted).

For more information please visit https://www.hsbc.com.au/accounts/products/everyday-global/


HSBC Bank Australia 

In Australia, the HSBC Group offers an extensive range of financial services through a network of 44 branches and offices. These services include retail and commercial banking, trade finance, treasury and financial markets, payments and cash management and securities custody. Principal HSBC Group members operating in Australia include HSBC Bank Australia Limited (ABN 48 006 434 162 AFSL/Australian Credit License 232595) and The Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited (ABN 65 117 925 970 and AFSL 301737).

Important information

Issued by HSBC Bank Australia Limited ABN 48 006 434 162, AFSL No 232595. This brochure provides general advice only and doesn’t take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Consider the relevant Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) and Terms and Conditions before acquiring the product. A copy of the PDS and Terms and Conditions is available on hsbc.com.au, or by calling us on 1300 308 008. HSBC1374_R01_1118

1 Australian Bureau of Statistics, Overseas Arrivals and Departures, Australia, December, 2017
2 HSBC Passport To Smarter Spending Study, research conducted by Colmar Brunton for HSBC Australia, October, 2018
3 HSBC Passport To Smarter Spending Study, research conducted by Colmar Brunton for HSBC Australia, October, 2018
4 HSBC Passport To Smarter Spending Study, research conducted by Colmar Brunton for HSBC Australia, October, 2018
5 HSBC Passport To Smarter Spending Study, conducted by Colmar Brunton for HSBC Australia, October, 2018
6 https://dfat.gov.au/about-us/our-services/consular-services/Documents/consular-state-of-play-2016-17.pdf
7 HSBC Global Travel Card Study, research conducted by YouGov Galaxy for HSBC Australia, February, 2018
8 HSBC Global Travel Card Study, research conducted by YouGov Galaxy for HSBC Australia, February, 2018
9 HSBC Global Travel Card Study, research conducted by YouGov Galaxy for HSBC Australia, February, 2018
10 Roy Morgan Holiday Tracking Survey, January 2017 - December 2017
11 HSBC Passport To Smarter Spending Study, research conducted by Colmar Brunton for HSBC Australia, October, 2018
12 HSBC Passport To Smarter Spending Study, research conducted by Colmar Brunton for HSBC Australia, October, 2018

Media enquiries:

Ashleigh Baines
+612 9255 2385 / +614 669 394 08
ashleigh.baines@hsbc.com.au

David Matthews
+61 2 9006 5682 / +61 424 859 836
david1.matthews@hsbc.com.au