Preparing Foreign Currency

Euro banknotes

Euro banknotes

Holidaying in a foreign country can be quite a confusing time when it comes to preparing your holiday spending money.

Many people use a currency converter to get a rough idea of what they will be getting for their money while pulling out the purse on holiday.

It’s always advisable to think about what you’re planning on spending each day, check out the general value of goods and services before you travel, this will ensure that you do not fall victim to unscrupulous traders while shopping or say for instance, paying for a taxi from a-to-b.

The best way to prepare for a trip abroad is to mix up the way you will be spending. For instance, you could use credit cards for high expenses. Always keep your receipts and double check against your credit card statements when you return home, it’s the best way to try and claw back any cash which may have been charged for ‘disputed items’.

Traveller’s cheques can be useful as they are less attractive to thieves. Traveller’s cheques were designed to permit the holiday maker to make an unconditional payment to someone else as a result of having paid the issuer for that privilege. However, since the rise and popularity of the credit card Traveller’s cheques are in decline. They can still be useful as a backup in case you lose your credit or debit card. A benefit of a Traveller’s cheque is that it will not expire, and cheques can be retained indefinitely until time of purchase. Traveller’s cheques are considered as an interest-free loan to the issuer, and often banks will sell them “commission free” to customers.

Exchange Rates

Exchange Rates

Many people will simply want to take a lump sum of money. Obviously you should always take a small amount of your own currency for airports and as a reserve fund.

It’s best to do some research before you travel, on foreign currency and exchange rates. You can use high streets banks to exchange your currency, the post office, travel agents or online websites which will offer a money converter service. If you use an online service for foreign currency, you will be able to reserve your currency online for collection later. Payment is taken when you collect your currency.

However you prepare your foreign currency, you should always break up your notes and never carry all your money around at any one time. If you lose your wallet you should always have a back up plan. If you have access to two credit cards it may be worth keeping one secure or hidden in the hotel room and one in your wallet on your person. Storing money and valuables in a hotel safe is not always the best option either depending on where you travel. A stolen or lost credit card can sometimes take a little time to be replaced, so a spare one as backup is preferable.

Most travellers will simply switch between a credit card and foreign currency, but don’t forget, if you’re travelling for a long time you may need to take your debit card to be able to withdraw more currency while overseas.

Article by Simon Lucas.

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