But while Australians jet off overseas, the vast majority are still stressing about exchange rates and fees, as well as the security of their money. According to Galaxy, 87 percent were worried about theft and loss, even though 17 percent prefer to take cash than cards on holiday, including younger and more frequent travellers.
And, although 83 percent worry about transaction costs, the majority still use credit cards when they travel despite the higher fees that these incur, with just 14 percent using pre-paid multicurrency travel money cards, which OzForex says are specifically designed as a 'convenient and safer option for those travelling overseas.'
OzForex CEO Neil Helm says it's worth taking advantage of the high Australian dollar and that certain global destinations are the cheapest they've been for decades, with Europe at the top of the list, and he points out that three years ago in April 2009, $1 Australian would buy you 0.55 Euros, while today it buys you 0.79 Euros, an increase of more than 43 percent. "From Paris to Berlin, that's a massive jump in your spending power. Travellers can thank a lack of confidence in the Euro as a result of problems in Greece, Spain, Portugal and other European countries for the bump."
According to the Galaxy research, in second place comes the US, where you get 42 percent more for your money - three years ago $1 Australian bought 72 US cents, now it buys well over $1US. The third best value is found in the UK, where the Australian dollar is still up an enormous 33% on the pound.
And, Helm says that closer to home, Thailand is also excellent value. 'In 2009, you'd get about 25 baht for your dollar. Today, you'll net about 32 - a rise of almost 24%.'
Key Galaxy research findings:
'¢ 48% find bank transaction fees hard to understand
'¢ 83% worry about exchange rates and fees overseas
'¢ 14% currently use pre-paid cards
'¢ 91% would find a pre-paid card with locked-in rates useful
'¢ 68% say the strong dollar will make them spend more