Media Release

Hookers, cheese and a tombstone: Most unusual holiday splurges revealed

  • survey reveals holiday splurges, including medical and travel emergencies
  • 1 in 5 Aussies leave travel insurance until the week before travelling before looking for cover
  • Travel insurance just as essential as having a passport; look into it sooner, rather than later!

December 22, 2015, Sydney, Australia – As Australians set off on holidays this year, Australia’s biggest credit card comparison website1,, can reveal what Aussies love to spend their hard-earned money on while travelling – and the findings may surprise you.

Topping the list for the most unusual holiday splurges were hookers, cheese, and even a tombstone, according to the survey2.

In addition, random holiday blowouts included artwork, furniture, scuba diving and the purchasing of cars and boats.

Other expenditures were somewhat more conservative, with the biggest credit card splurge for Australian travellers reported as shopping sprees; one in four respondents (25 percent) reported this, up on 2013 results (21 percent).

This was followed by luxury accommodation (17 percent), expensive restaurants, once-in-a-lifetime experiences, and travelling in style (all 9 percent each). The most common ‘other’ indulgences were airfares, accommodation, cruises, tours and extending their stay.

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Bessie Hassan, Consumer Advocate at says the survey provides a fascinating insight into the binge spending habits of Australian travellers.

“Interestingly, medical expenses and travel emergencies were among the most unusual splurges to be reported by Australian travellers, with an estimated 31,000 Australians naming these as their most costly holiday spends.

“This is likely due to not having travel insurance, and highlights the importance of taking out cover before you get on that plane. Car accidents, breakdowns, medical attention and the replacement of lost or stolen items can be costly and may be avoided by comparing travel insurance online and taking out a policy sooner, rather than later.

“ research of user enquiries has found that almost one in three Australians leave travel insurance until two weeks prior to their departure date before looking for cover. 19 percent do it the week before travelling, while more than 2 percent take out cover on the day of travel or when they’re already overseas.

“But this shouldn’t be the case. Taking out travel insurance is just as essential as having a passport, regardless of your destination. There can be lots of ‘what ifs’ when you’re holidaying overseas, but knowing you have travel insurance can give you security and peace of mind to enjoy what’s ahead. Emergencies can be managed provided you find the right cover for your situation as early as possible.”

The survey also found that men are nearly 50 percent more likely to overspend on a fancy restaurant than women. Women were more likely to indulge in a shopping spree, with 28 percent of women reporting this as their biggest expense against 22 percent of men.

State by state breakdown of Australia's biggest holiday spending splurges

  • New South Wales travellers are the flashiest diners with 13 percent of them reporting their biggest credit card spends were on high-end restaurants, followed by Victorians and South Australians (both 9 percent).
  • 1 in 4 Tasmanians will overspend on hotels; Queenslanders are the second most likely to blow their budget on high-end accommodation (1 in 5)
  • Western Australians are most likely to splurge on a shopping spree, with 31 percent of travellers doing so.
  • Tasmanian travellers were most likely to binge spend on experiences such as the World Cup (17 percent), compared to only 7 percent of New South Wales residents (7 percent).

1 Experian Hitwise since 2013.

2 Conducted by global research provider pureprofile; 1,090 respondents.


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The information in this release is accurate as of the date published, but rates, fees and other product features may have changed. Please see updated product information on's review pages for the current correct values.

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