Two-thirds of parents complained of feeling ripped off on their last trip abroad, new research claims.

The biggest complaint was the cost of paying by card when overseas, with a third of families admitting they were caught out by extra charges averaging £120 on their last holiday.

The high cost of fun parks, water rides, ice creams and meals were also highlighted in the Post Office Travel Money study.

Unforeseen debit card charges attracted the greatest criticism among the third of families who complained about the cost of paying on plastic.

As well as non-transaction charges, which can be around 2.7% on top of each transaction, one-in-ten holidaymakers also said they had also used ATMs regularly for cash withdrawals during their last holiday but did not realise that they would be charged a fee every time they did so.

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The biggest holiday ‘rip-offs’ were:

  1. Charges for paying on plastic abroad
  2. High cost of entry to attractions and excursions
  3. Restaurant service charges
  4. Meal and drink prices in restaurants and bars
  5. Cost of transport in destination
  6. Kids’ beach extras

Head of Post Office Travel Money, Nick Boden, said: “This year’s consumer research revealed a big increase in the percentage of people who got caught out by charges for paying on plastic.

“Paying by debit or credit card may be convenient but holidaymakers are likely to incur fees and transaction charges without realising it until they see their bank statements.

“A safer route is to use prepaid card, which can be loaded with cash and won’t incur extra charges in shops and restaurants.”