More than 1,100 British travellers responded to the poll, with the average cash stash of foreign coins and notes amounting to £54 (€69) per person, from Cypriot Pounds to Thai Baht.
Despite the mandatory last-minute souvenir dash at the airport, 89% of people still return home from their holiday with foreign currency left over.
Hot from their trips to the continent, Brits return with more than just glowing tans and overflowing suitcases; results show that holidaymakers hoard an average of £60 worth of Euros at home. Those visiting the USA come back with an average of $67 unspent, amounting to $368m** (£237m) nationwide.
Despite this substantial pot of money sitting in British homes, one in three holidaymakers forgets to take their left over foreign currency with them on their next trip.
While many are leaving their coins to gather dust in a ‘man drawer’ alongside with old batteries, spare light-bulbs and takeaway menus, Skyscanner found that more unusual uses include making jewellery, decorating the coffee table and even sticking them to the ceiling as a memento of their travels abroad.
Skyscanner’s Victoria Bailie commented:
“Many travellers like to keep a few notes and coins as souvenirs but we were surprised at how big that pot of foreign cash is. Collectively, it’s enough for the UK to buy its own Caribbean island and a fleet of private jets to fly there. So before your next holiday, check those drawers and ensure you take any useable foreign currency with you. And when returning home, you can always donate left over currency to charity – most airports have collection boxes.”
*Total figure calculated using the number of Britons who travelled to Europe during 2011 (29m) as provided by ABTA
**Total figure calculated using the number of Britons who travelled to the USA during 2011 (5.5m) as provided by the FCO