Don’t Lose Out: Get the Best Rates for Your Travel Money

Jan 30

So many people spend hours shopping around to get the best price for their holiday, but then just go with the first place they find to exchange their holiday money. By using some of the same shopping techniques that you use in other areas of life, you can save a lot of money and have more spending money to take away for those souvenirs and evenings out.

Plan ahead

Just as those who book their holidays early can get some really great rates, so too can those organising their spending money well ahead of time. Handy tools such as an exchange rate tracker mean that you can keep an eye on your currency choice and exchange when the rate is in your favour. Also, take the time to check out the prices of the things that you are likely to buy when you are away in order to prevent any nasty surprises. By knowing the costs ahead of time, you are unlikely to have to resort to drawing money on your credit card, which will usually come with a hefty fee attached. As well as looking at prices, ensure that you know what the custom is in your destination for haggling and tipping and factor this into your estimations.

Look for online price promises

Shopping online for travel money can also provide some good savings compared to the high street. Many companies offer a price promise, meaning that if you buy ahead of time but then find another, better rate that offers you a cheaper deal overall, they will fund the difference, meaning that you can always guarantee that you’ll be getting the best possible rate available. It’s possible to have the currency delivered to your door and online sites will often offer this service free of charge when a certain amount of currency is bought. Alternatively, it is possible to have the currency delivered to the airport so that it is waiting for you upon arrival at your departure point.

Once on your holiday, there are a few tips that can help your budget stretch further. Always carry small change with you, as this makes it easy to tip without going over the top. If you do need to exchange money at the last minute, don’t do so in your hotel, as the rate that you get will be low in comparison to other means. Instead, find a reputable bureau where you can get a fair rate for your transaction. If you are worried about falling victim to theft or fraud, try taking a pre-paid foreign currency credit card with you as well as some cash. The pre-paid cards allow you to lock in the rate at the time of loading and are not tied to your bank account, so if the worst should happen, there will be no risk to your other accounts.

A little planning and common sense can make all the difference. Just remember that even small changes in the exchange rate can have an effect;  1,000 changed to US dollars at 1.5 instead of 1.6 can leave you  100 worse off!