24 October 2023

Brits ditch the summer staycation for budget winter holidays abroad

The HSBC UK research1 reveals one in four Brits are looking to travel outside of peak season (25%), with October and November the top choices for those looking to avoid the highest prices.

Off-peak travellers say they expect to save on average £266 per person this year by avoiding the crowds (£252 in 2022).

After a disappointing summer where the UK saw even more rain and less sun than normal2, Brits have made ‘weather’ their number one factor when it comes to booking a trip abroad – pushing ‘value for money’ into second place.

However, the average British holiday spending budget has gone up by nearly 10% from £927 in 2022, to £1015 in 2023.

And in the past 12 months, Brits who say they have gone over budget during a break have overspent by nearly 10% more on average than in 2022 (£1014 2023 v £927 2022).

This research comes as HSBC UK launches two cash incentives for new customers joining both HSBC UK and Global Money– the fee free account that allows you to cut costs and spend like a local when travelling abroad.3

From 23 October, anyone opening both a HSBC UK current account (Advance and Premier only) and a Global Money Account can receive £125.4 Customers can get an additional £80 if they make five payments on their Global Money card before 21 April 2024 and will be entered into a draw to win one of 24 cash prizes of £3,000.

Many mainstream debit cards charge a transaction fee of 2.75-2.99% on spending abroad, meaning you could be charged up to £25 in fees alone if you spend 1,000 euros5. Using a debit card to withdraw cash overseas also typically comes with a cash handling fee of around 2%, or a minimum of £3. So if you use a cash machine five times while in Europe, withdrawing 200 euros a time, the fees would total around £426.

Global Money customer Simon Green, 60, from Sheffield uses his Global Money account during his annual family holiday to France.

He says: “Global Money has made paying for goods and services abroad an absolute doddle. Previously I used cash, with the odd card transaction here and there, and was always left scrambling round for change when travelling on the motorway tolls.

“The multi-currency debit card allows me to tap the reader, saving time and money, and I can spend just as I would at home”

“Adding money to my Global Money Account couldn’t be simpler. Because I have the HSBC UK mobile app, I don’t have to take my laptop on holiday; it really takes the stress out of travelling.”

Pella Frost, Head of Everyday Banking at HSBC UK, said: “We designed Global Money to make spending overseas simple, quick and straightforward for our customers.

“Global Money helps customers avoid unexpected costs and makes it easy to plan and stick to a holiday budget.

“Customers can manage their spending easily through the app so they can spend more time enjoying their holiday.”

Global Money is only available to HSBC customers. For more information visit: www.hsbc.co.uk/international/travel-money-card/

Media enquiries to:

Hannah Langston
HSBC UK Press Office: 07384 792 248

Notes to editors:

1 Research conducted by Censuswide on behalf of HSBC UK. Sample size was 2001 UK adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 29 September – 3 October 2023. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).

2 Source: https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/about-us/press-office/news/weather-and-climate/2023/summer2023ukweather

3 Global Money allows HSBC UK customers to spend abroad (withdraw cash or make card purchases) without paying fees – just as they would at home. Available exclusively through the latest version of the HSBC UK mobile banking app, Global Money Account holders can hold, convert and send money from 18 different currency wallets in 50+ currencies to over 200 countries. They can also order a multi-currency debit card which they can use to make purchases or withdraw cash abroad fee-free.

4 To qualify for the £125 cash incentive, new HSBC UK customers must:

  • Apply for either a Premier or Advance account on or after 23 October and before the offer closes or is withdrawn, and subsequently open the account.
  • Credit the account with £1,500 within 60 days of account opening.
  • Make five transactions on their new current account using their debit card within 60 days of account opening.
  • Log into the HSBC Mobile Banking App and open a Global Money Account within 60 days of the current account opening.
  • Once all the above eligibility criteria is met HSBC will pay £125 into the new Global Money Account within 20 days.

To qualify for the additional £80 and entry into the prize drawer for 24 cash prizes of £3,000 customers must:

  • Qualify for and receive the £125 cash incentive as above.
  • Make 5 transactions on their Global Money Account multi-currency debit card by 21 April 2024.
  • The £80 will be paid into their Global Money Account between Wednesday 1 May and Wednesday 8 May 2024.
  • The prize draw to win one of 24; £3,000 Cash Prizes (issued in the form of a £3,000 payment into your Global Money Account) to be drawn on Monday 29 April 2024.

To be eligible for the offer customers can’t have held an HSBC UK current account or opened a first direct current account since 1 October 2018. Offer applies to UK residents only.

Terms and conditions apply, for more information visit: www.hsbc.co.uk/global-money

5 Current average High St bank debit card charges for debit card payments abroad

Number of EUR 30 debit card transactions Total spend GBP Equivalent (based on Visa exchange rate of 0.885278 on 17/10/23) 2.75% fee in GBP 2.99% fee in GBP Global Money Fee
5 transactions of EUR 30 € 150 £132.79 £3.65 £3.97 £0
10 transactions of EUR 30 € 300 £265.58 £7.30 £7.94 £0
20 transactions of EUR 30 € 600 £531.17 £14.61 £15.88 £0
30 transactions of EUR 30 € 900 £796.75 £21.91 £23.82 £0
50 transactions of EUR 30 € 1,500 £1,327.92 £36.52 £39.70 £0

6 Current average High St bank debit card charges for cash withdrawals abroad

Number of EUR 200 ATM debit card withdrawals Total spend GBP Equivalent (based on VISA exchange rate) 2.75% Fee + 2% cash handling fee Global Money Fee
1 transaction of EUR 200 € 200 £177.06 £8.41 £0
3 transactions of EUR 200 € 600 £531.17 £25.23 £0
5 transactions of EUR 200 € 1,000 £885.28 £42.05 £0


Global Money (HSBC fees)
Ordering debit card £0
Debit card payments £0
Withdrawing cash from cash machine abroad £0
Sending international payments £0 plus no intermediary bank fees


HSBC UK serves over 14.75 million customers across the UK, supported by 24,000 colleagues. HSBC UK offers a complete range of retail banking and wealth management to personal and private banking customers, as well as commercial banking for small to medium businesses and large corporates.

HSBC Holdings plc

HSBC Holdings plc, the parent company of HSBC, is headquartered in London. HSBC serves customers worldwide from offices in 62 countries and territories. With assets of $2,990bn at 31 March 2023, HSBC is one of the world’s largest banking and financial services organisations.