You’ve planned your holiday in advance – so DON’T make the mistake of leaving the purchase of your travel money to the last minute.
- Exchange rates you’ll get at airports will be worse than those you can get in advance on the high street.
- You can compare the best holiday money rates at sites such as www.mytravelmoney.co.uk. Supermarkets such as Tesco and Sainsbury’s often have good rates, as does the Post Office and sometimes Marks & Spencer.
- Do look at currency brokers. They tend to offer good rates, better than the high street banks.
- You can also order holiday money online from currency brokers such as moneycorp and pick it up at the airport. You can even have it delivered to your home for free if you order a reasonable amount (£750 or more from moneycorp).
- When you buy your currency in the UK, don’t use your credit card or you could end up paying interest on the money even if you clear the balance in full. That’s because some credit cards count such a transaction as a cash withdrawal and charge accordingly.
- If you’re on a budget and don’t want to overspend – or don’t want to carry wads of notes with you – you can get a card pre-loaded with your currency. You can then use it for spending while on holiday or withdraw cash on it. Watch out for charges on the latter. There’s a good comparison of cards at www.moneysavingexpert.com/credit-cards/prepaid-travel-cards.
- Not all debit and credit cards are equal when you are travelling. You could be landed with exchange rate fees and charges for withdrawing cash. However, some cards have reasonable terms. Check out https://www.uswitch.com/credit-cards/best-travel-credit-cards/ for examples.
- Watch out when using your debit or credit card to pay for goods and services abroad. If you are offered the option of paying in sterling rather than the local currency say NO. If you do, you’ll pay a less attractive exchange rate than would be used by your card issuer.
- Going somewhere where you’re not used to the currency? Carry a note in your purse of how much, for example, £5 or £50 is in that currency. Or look at sites such as www.themoneyconvertor.com before you go.
- Feel better about your extravagant holiday: give leftover foreign exchange to charity when you get home. Oxfam and the Alzheimer’s Society are among those who’d like your unwanted foreign coins and banknotes.
- Be card sharp: the ten credit card tricks that WILL save you money.
- Check out our top 10 tips on travel insurance.
- Download a currency conversion app for your phone from sites such as www.xe.com/apps.