Travel Money Guide: What you need to know to get the best deal on your foreign currency this summer
Are you counting down the days until you jet off to exotic climes? If you’re preparing for far-flung adventures this summer, exchanging money may be on your to-do list, but how can you make sure you get the best deal on your foreign currency? If you need advice, you’ve come to the right place! With the help of the travel money experts at Lending Expert here are some top tips to help you make your money stretch further.
Finding the best rate
If you have an interest in finance or you travel frequently, you may be aware that exchange rates fluctuate on a continual basis. The rate changes from day to day, but there’s also a difference in rates provided by different retailers. If you’re changing money, it’s wise to shop around for the best deals and exchange rate. Even if you’re only taking a relatively small sum of money, locating the best deal could provide you with a substantial amount of extra spending money for your trip. You can compare prices by visiting different outlets, but using the Internet is the easiest way to see what kinds of rates banks, travel agencies and stores are offering. When you check the rate, you’ll usually see two columns, which relate to the buy and sell prices. You need to look at the selling price. In some cases, the rate will change slightly if you order a certain amount of cash.
How to exchange your money: which option is best for you?
Today, we have all kinds of options available to us when it comes to sorting currency for foreign travel. You can exchange money at a bureau de change before you travel, you can use an ATM when you’re abroad, or you can take a pre-loaded card. It’s also possible to buy travel money online. Some options are more appealing to travellers than others, and often, the choice you make will depend on convenience, price and how much money you plan to spend.
Exchanging money before you go
Exchanging money before you go is a good idea if you plan to start spending as soon as you touch down, and you’re keen to benefit from the best exchange rates. You can buy your holiday currency online and arrange to pick it up before you leave or you can visit a bureau de change. When you buy in advance, you may find that the rate is better, and you’ll be fully prepared for your holiday. You won’t need to dash to an ATM before you even find your hotel, and if you order enough, you shouldn’t need to worry about finding a cash point when you’re overseas. If you’re visiting a remote location or you don’t plan to spend a huge amount while you’re away, it’s probably best to buy your currency before you leave the UK. Buying online is a quick and easy way to get your money, especially if you’re ordering currency that isn’t likely to be in stock. Most airports have a bureau de change. Although it can be useful to visit these outlets if you need cash in a hurry before you leave or as soon as you land, the rates are likely to be much less attractive.
Taking cash out abroad
Using an ATM abroad is advisable if you’re going away for a long period of time or you don’t want to carry large amounts of cash on your person. The exchange rate you are offered will vary according to the machine you use. Some banks may offer you a better deal than others. If you are using an ATM, take care when entering your PIN, and choose the amount in the local currency, rather than opting for the British price. This usually gives you access to a better exchange rate.
Using a prepaid card
Prepaid cards are ideal for travellers who are visiting established, popular resorts where it’s possible to make card payments in most places and for tourists who don’t want to carry a lot of cash around. Before you go, you decide how much to put on your card, and you use it just like a debit card. When you make a payment, that amount will be deducted from your balance. The beauty of prepaid cards is that they offer flexibility. You can take them home with you and use them next time you go away, and it’s also safer than carrying cash around.
If you’re going on holiday this summer, and you’re keen to get the best deal on your foreign currency, hopefully, this guide will point you in the right direction. Shop around for the best rates, consider buying online and look at using an ATM abroad or buying a prepaid card if you don’t want to walk around with a purse full of notes.