Traveling is the best way to see the world and gain new experiences. However, if you aren’t smart about your spending abroad, you might end up wasting a lot of £££. So, how can you find the best travel money for your trip and make sure you have a lovely time, as well as an affordable trip.
Why travel money?
Although you can use most credit cards abroad these days, you don’t want to travel without some local currency in cash. This is down to saving money and staying safe.
First, you always want to have a bit of currency for those just in came moments. Perhaps the card reader is wrong, you find something from a market that doesn’t take cash or – the worst-case scenario – your credit cards gets stolen. Having travel money will give you that extra peace of mind so don’t skip it.
In addition, credit cards might end up costing you a lot more – especially if you don’t check for the conditions beforehand. Most add an exchange fee when used abroad and sometimes you might even get charged for withdrawing money. Some credit cards might not even allow foreign transactions so make sure to speak to your card provider about the details of your card and the costs of using it abroad.
Finding travel money
So, consider having some travel money with you. How to find it? You definitely don’t want to leave it to the last minute. Never use the airport desks because you can actually end up getting a worse deal on these – it’s always better to start looking for the exchange rates once you’ve booked the holiday.
There are online sites to use in order to compare travel money options. TravelMoneyMax.com is one solid site to check out. On the site, you can get the rates for about 30 online bureaux and orders – you’ll get the full picture of how much you need to pay, fees included.
However, you shouldn’t forget to check with the independent bureaux. Sites often have special deals that might not show up on comparison sites and therefore, you might find a better deal. For example, if you check out Travelex.co.uk, you can enjoy deals that don’t show up on price comparison sites.
Now, when you are looking for the deals always remember to pay attention to the fees not just the exchange rate. You might end up paying more due to delivery costs or other such fees even if the actual exchange rate is slightly higher – so be aware of the total cost.
A lot of agencies offer you the option to make your order online and have the money delivered to you before the trip. You might even be able to choose a spot for pick-up – in some cases, this can be the airport!
If you don’t like online options, then banks and the Post office also provide travel money. Nowadays, it’s even possible to find it from your local supermarket with Sainsbury’s and Tesco offering travel money.
As a rule of thumb, avoid the bureaux de changes at the airport, train stations or ferry ports. These are more expensive and you will find a better deal elsewhere.
How to find the best deal
As mentioned above, you should definitely buy your travel money in advance. This not only makes the whole process less stressful but also helps you to save money.
You have more time to look around for the best rates – you don’t need to settle with the first deal you see. Not to mention how you might be able to swap deals closer to the date. For example, Travelex allows you to cancel for free up to 24 hours before the delivery. This means that if you see a better deal or better exchange rates, you can just cancel your previous deal and find a new one.
Sainsbury’s offers a similar deal – there is a small fee to cancel but the ability to cancel and go with another company might still be worth it.
When you are paying for your travel money, you need to remember one more trick. If you are using a credit card to buy foreign currency – even here in the UK – then the transaction will be treated as a foreign transaction. This means your card might be charged extra for the withdrawal. However, if you do it with a debit card, the transaction is treated as any internal transaction and it won’t cost you any extra fees.
If you are ordering travel money online, always use a reputable firm. You need to keep in mind the common rules for avoiding an online scam – you don’t want to cut corners, as you might be charged but never get your money!
Overall, make sure you travel with a combination of payment options. You don’t want to rely just on large sums of cash, but also have a credit card at hand to ensure you can get out of a tricky situation.
Remember that finding the right deal on travel money is almost like finding the right holiday – you have to research and plan it well!