Travel money: Top 6 tips
Like most travelers, you are probably as keen as a hound when it comes to sniffing out the best travel deals. But did you know that you can also use that bargain hunting nose of yours to get to the best travel money bargains?
Exchanging money and accessing money whilst overseas offers a lot of different options and which you choose will determine how much you have to spend on your next adventure abroad.
The Great Currency Exchange Rip Off – Know Where To Find The Best Deal
Did you know that the airport is one of the most expensive places to exchange your currency? A study carried out recently by comparison site MyTravelMoney found that The Moneycorp Kiosk At Gatwick was offering just 107 Euros in return for £100 whilst an online foreign exchange company was offering 116 Euros. That’s quite a big comparison and the difference could have certainly bought you an extra beer or two in Belgium’s Grand Place!
The best currency deals are those that can be found online. Don’t be caught out by last minute airport exchanges. Do your research, plan ahead and get the most for your money.
Notify Your Bank Of Your Overseas Adventure
There can be few things worse than being stuck in a foreign land without access to your money. You know it’s there but you just cannot get to it. This is a scenario that has struck many travelers holidaying abroad and it could have been avoided with a simple phone call to their bank. If your bank doesn’t know you are traveling and suddenly starts seeing lots of overseas transactions appearing on your account, alarm bells will start to ring. This could result in your account being frozen and it might be days before you can get it thawed out again!
Take As Much Cash As You Can
Take as much foreign currency as you feel comfortable carrying. You can take cash, Traveler’s Cheques or even a prepaid card preloaded with currency. It’s sensible and cheaper to plan ahead and buy your money from a foreign currency exchange broker online. You’ll get a better rate than your bank or the airport can offer you and you won’t have to rush around looking for a bureau de change just before your flight is due to leave. Remember, as we mentioned above, these foreign exchange outlets can be very expensive.
Keep It In The Family
If you are going to be traveling to a city or built up area, it is worth checking whether your local bank has branches or a sister bank in the country you will be traveling to. Very often, using ATMs at these branches will allow you to avoid any withdrawal charges.
Don’t Rush – There Is Usually A Better Deal Around The Corner
Whether you are exchanging money before you travel or you need to exchange money when you reach your destination, take your time. If exchanging money before you fly, check out as many price comparison currency exchange sites. Look for the best exchange rates and watch how these fluctuate during the day. If you are clever you will start to learn when the best rates will be available and make your move on the right deal.
If you are going to be buying your money abroad, don’t be tempted by backstreet foreign currency exchange outlets. Even your hotel could rip you off. Ask for a quote for your currency exchange before handing over any money.
Tourist vs Local Prices
Many restaurants in cities and thriving towns will offer tourist menus to those who clearly look like tourists. These are often printed in a range of languages, contain set menu items and are usually more expensive than what’s included on the local menu. However, it’s usually always the exact same food so why pay more? When you can and when it’s available, ask for the local menu. You might need to whip out your phrase book but you’ll get a much better deal!