Holiday Money - Holidays Abroad
When travelling abroad you will always need to take some foreign money. There are a number of ways of getting the money and I advise you not to leave this to the last minute as you may not achieve the best exchange rate. Here are some tips on how to exchange your Â£s for foreign money and how to keep your money safe whilst on holiday.
Exchange rates change daily and unless you are a skilled currency trader you are unlikely to make money buying and selling foreign money. If you have booked a holiday a long time in advance then buying the money in blocks over the period before your holiday will lessen your exposure to big fluctuations. If you have family/friends who have recently been abroad and have some money left you could buy from them at a rate that is good for both of you. Before purchasing your foreign money have a shop around and see who is offering the best rates, be careful as some companies offer good rates but charge more commission for the actual exchange.
Purchasing Foreign Money(Cash)
Most high street banks offer a Bureau De Change service where you can buy foreign money. Travel agents will have a Bureau De Change service as will all airports and ports. You can buy the money using your credit card or debit card and the latter will generally incur no additional charges. Foreign money can also be bought online from a bank and delivered directly to your home or picked up from a branch (photographic id will be required). The exchange rate of your Â£s to foreign money is fixed on the day of purchase of the cash.
Travellers cheques are a safe way for you to take money abroad on holiday. Travellers cheques can be pre-ordered from your bank and delivered to home or collected from a branch. Each cheque has a serial number and this should be noted down and kept in a safe place. If on holiday and you lose some/all of your cheques you can report them stolen and have them replaced and cashed. Whilst offering a safe way of taking money abroad they also have an element of inconvenience where you need to take them to a bank for cashing in. The exchange rate of your Â£s to foreign money is fixed on the day of purchase of the travellers cheques.
Most countries offer ATM (cash machine) services where you can withdraw foreign money using your debit and credit cards. You will generally be charged for using this service whilst abroad (approx £1.50 per transaction) but it does offer a great deal of convenience and you only need withdraw what you require at the time so are not carrying lots of money around. The exchange rate of your £s to foreign money is set on the day of withdrawal of the cash. Note that many countries operate the chip and pin facility as we do in the UK so you may purchase many items using your debit and credit cards without the need for cash. Again the exchange rate of your Â£s to foreign money is set on the day of purchase when you use your card.
Pre-Pay Travel Cards
Pre-Pay travel cards are a relatively new concept. You will request your card from your bank and will pre-load it with a value of the foreign money you require for your holiday. The card can then be used to withdraw cash from ATMs to the value of the sum on your card. This card allows you to leave your normal bank cards at home for security purposes. Again banks will charge you each time you make a withdrawal at an ATM. The exchange rate of your Â£s to foreign money is set on the day of purchase of the money to load onto your card.
Keeping your money safe whilst Abroad
- . Only take abroad the cards you will need to use.
- . Spread your cards and money between you, if you and your partner both have money then if one wallet/purse goes missing then you have a backup.
- . If your hotel provides a safe or a safety deposit box then use it.
- . Take a mixture of cash and travellers cheques.
- . Use a hidden money belt to keep your money out of sight.
- . Take your banks/credit card contact details with you in case you need to report them stolen
I found the service offered by Tesco online very good. I ordered currency online and it was deleivered to my door on my chosen day. Their rates were competative too.
Posted: 17/Nov/10 at 10:45:55
Whoops! I should also mention that I paid by credit card. It was then treated as a large cash withdrawal and I was stung for a cash withdrawal fee and a months worth of interest.
Posted: 14/Jan/11 at 14:18:20
What do you think?
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