When preparing for your holiday abroad there is always a long list of things to complete before you travel including buying new clothes, packing, arranging transport to the airport, buying travel insurance, planning on what you are going to do on holiday and many other things.
However, one of the things on the list which seems to get left to the end or sometimes not even thought of is comparing travel money exchange rates which can save you money and give you more currency to spend whilst on holiday. Please see below top tips on how to compare holiday money from one of the UK’s leading currency comparison websites Compare Holiday Money
1 | Never buy currency from the airport exchange bureau
Buying currency from the airport exchange bureau is one of the worst places you can buy travel money from as the exchange rates are extremely poor and sometimes at least 10% more than anywhere else. This is due to the last minute convenience of which you will pay a premium to exchange your money at poor exchange rates even though they might suggest a 0% commission fee for processing the order for you.
2 | Never buy currency on the high street without comparing exchange rates online
If you booked your holiday through a high street travel operator or you are on the high street shopping for some last minute clothes you might be tempted to buy your currency from your travel operator, your bank or even the Post Office.
However, just like airport exchange bureau’s the convenience of exchanging travel money on the high street can often lead to poor exchange rates as you are unable to compare all of the top UK currency suppliers on the high street at the same time. Not all currency suppliers are on the high street and sometimes suppliers will offer different in store exchange rates and cheaper and more competitive exchange rates online. Make sure you always compare exchange rates online before even considering buying on the high street as this will save you money.
3 | Only use card payments and cash withdrawals as a last resort whilst overseas
If you have left buying your travel money to the last minute and the only option left is using your debit card or credit card abroad then this could cost you a lot more money in bank processing fees and poor exchange rates every time you use your card abroad. We would always advise having your debit card or credit card as a back-up solution, however, most banks will charge you every time you use your card abroad for card payments and withdrawing cash whilst not to mention potentially a poor exchange rate as well.
For more information on the best debit card to use abroad or the best credit card to use abroad please visit our recent blog posts or alternatively, visit your bank or credit card provider’s website to review overseas processing fees and exchange rates before travelling or before using your cards for payments or cash withdrawals.
Finally, it is worth noting that in many tourist locations around the world that withdrawing cash from cash machines in tourist hotspots can be a target area for muggings. We would always advise being very vigilant around cash machines whilst on holiday and as official partners of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Know Before You Go campaign we would suggest reviewing safety tips and travel advice on the FCO website before you travel to your holiday destination to ensure you, your friends and family stay safe whilst on holiday relaxing.
4 | Always use the local currency
When travelling to any country around the world we would always advise using the local currency as this will give you the best exchange rates. For example, if you where travelling to Prague in the Czech Republic then we would always advise taking with you the local currency Czech Koruna, however, in some places around the world including Prague you will find that some local vendors or suppliers will offer you the opportunity to pay for things in an alternative currency, such as the Euro currency.
However, this opportunity will cost you more money as the vendor or supplier will give you a poor exchange rate as at the end of the day they will need to exchange the currency back into the local currency at the bank. Our advice is to always pay for things in cash using the local currency as you will get better value and a better exchange rate in the process.
5 | Never exchange money at your hotel or accommodation
Just like exchanging currency at the airport exchanging currency at your hotel or accommodation is also one of the worst places to exchange your money as they have no incentive on providing you with great exchange rates and the chances are all they are doing is collecting the currency from the bank for you to provide the service and to make the process even easier which of course will come at a premium cost to you.
6 | The more currency you buy the better the exchange rate becomes
If you are travelling with friends in a large group then you might be interested in bulk buying your currency as this will save you some money. If you can agree with your friends on how much you would all like to take on holiday with you and then use our online currency comparison table to compare your currency, exchange rates and suppliers and this will enable you to save a little extra money as a group.
Every currency is different, exchange rates change and update live every day on our website and depending on how much you are looking to exchange this can also affect the amount that you get back in return. If you return from holiday with left over and unwanted travel money then you will find that many online suppliers will also offer great buy back rates on exchanging your money back into GBP unless you are planning to revisit your holiday destination in the future then it will be worthwhile holding onto the currency to use it up next time you travel abroad especially if you are using the Euro currency which is more widely accepted.
7 | Always leave enough time to buy your currency before you travel
Finally, our last top tip on how to compare holiday money is always leave enough time to buy your currency before you travel. Buying your currency online is very fast and efficient these days just like any other type online shopping. We always advise that it is best to compare and buy your travel money online at least a week before you travel to ensure there are no complications with your order or delivery.
Every currency supplier is different in that you can either request delivery to your home or you can choose a currency supplier whom will allow you to click and collect your travel money at your own convenience. If you opt for home delivery please make sure that you are home as you will need to sign for your currency order in person.