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Media Release

Misadventure costing Aussie travellers nearly $1B per year CommBank research reveals

Misadventure costing travellers nearly $1bn per year

New research reveals more than two and a half million travellers have been waylaid with money misadventures – costing them almost one billion dollars each year.

  • Misadventures when travelling costs Aussies almost one billion dollars every year ($990M).
  • More than half (59 per cent) of Australians who experienced a holiday misadventure had money stolen from them.
  • Gen Y is the most impacted by holiday misadventure, with the highest likelihood of losing their possessions (46 per cent).   

As many Aussies prepare to pack up and take off in search of a warmer climate, new research from CommBank1 has revealed that more than two and a half million travellers have been waylaid with money misadventures – losing almost one billion dollars each year ($990M).

According to the research, money misadventures – having lost or stolen money or possessions, debit/credit or currency conversion fraud or missing a flight – are hitting Aussies hard financially, with nearly a third not having insurance (30 per cent) and emotionally, with more than a third (34 per cent) admitting these mishaps are causing significant levels of stress. 

Often ill prepared to deal with an unexpected turn of events, Aussies have also admitted to having to change their travel plans (27 per cent) because of these incidents. 

The research revealed money theft (59 per cent) is the number one cause of money misadventure. The good news is preference for cards has increased over the past year (41 per cent vs. 37 per cent), while popularity of cash is declining (42 per cent vs. 48 per cent). 

As we enter the 2017 holiday season, the CommBank research highlights the need to take steps to avoid money misadventures and how, with the right products and planning, CommBank can help minimise unnecessary risk.   

According to Michael Baumann, General Manager, Everyday Banking and Payments, Commonwealth Bank, the right payment mix will mean you won’t be completely out of pocket when you’re on holiday if you run into trouble. 

“It is always advisable to carry a mixed wallet with some local cash alongside your credit or debit card, and with travel money cards ideally stored in different locations. Having a variety of options means you’re not left high and dry should you misplace a card, run out of cash or find yourself in a difficult situation. Some credit cards also include insurance so make sure you activate this before setting off.”


GenY (Wonderlust Wayfarers): Relaxed and carefree, Gen Y is the most likely to lose possessions while travelling (46 per cent) or be impacted by a holiday misadventure, with 41 per cent admitting a misadventure in the past 12 months caused them stress. Gen Y is also the least likely to be insured (68 per cent).

Gen X (Enlightened Explorers): Perhaps a little older and wiser from their first overseas travel experiences, Gen X is the most likely generation to report that safety is important when considering an overseas holiday (93 per cent). Despite being more cautious, nearly one in three who had a holiday misadventure were not insured (32 per cent).

Baby Boomers (Smooth Sailors): The Baby Boomers is the generation least likely to be the target of theft (23 per cent) whilst travelling overseas. It seems as age increases, so does the likelihood of being insured when travelling overseas with more than three quarters (76 per cent) of Baby Boomers travelling with insurance. 

Grey Generation (Cautious Cruisers): After years of travel experience it is no surprise the Grey Generation puts safety first with 42 per cent not travelling to a destination if there is any risk to their safety. Gen Grey is also the most likely generation to be insured (84 per cent) and are significantly less likely to lose their possessions (21 per cent). 


  1. Carry a mixed wallet – A mixed wallet with a combination of local currency, credit or debit card, a travel money card and a back-up card for security. Customers using a prepaid travel money card can enjoy peace-of-mind of having a spare card as well as the ability to lock their card in real time.
  2. Preparation is key – Just as you do with your flights and accommodation, give yourself enough time to plan your finances, travel budget and insurance. The CommBank app is your one stop shop that allows you to activate your travel insurance; shows transaction costs in real time and allows you to reload your Travel Money Card. 
  3. Triple check currency, reservation details, tax, and interest rates – While planning and budgeting for activities and accommodation are important, don’t overlook the ins and outs of your spending. CommBank’s Travel Money Card gives you the ability to lock in exchange rates with multiple currencies to use at ATMs, in-store, over the phone or online. The CommBank App also has the foreign currency converter to make things a little easier. 
  4. Take precautions, reduce the risk – When travelling to an unfamiliar country, it is important to take precautionary measures to protect your hard-earned money and yourself. This means not overlooking simple things like covering your PIN at ATMs, not carrying around large amounts of cash on the street and keeping your cards close in busy areas. 

To find out more about CommBank’s travel offering, including travel insurance and the Travel Money Card, visit


Independent research company, ACA research, conducted the CommBank survey during April 2017 with 1,583 Australian respondents over the age of 18 who travelled overseas in the past 12 months.