Taking care of your travel money before you leave home
Holidays are meant to be a time for relaxation, but as we all know, getting there can be as stressful as our most high-pressurised working day.
As well as packing the correct amount and type of clothes for your location (breaks in Alaska and Alicante would require very different wardrobes), and knowing how to reach your accommodation when you get there, making the appropriate arrangements for your spending money is key.
Here are the most secure and cost-effective solutions for spending money abroad.
Ahead of the game
Holidays are like wars: the better prepared you are, the more successful that venture will turn out. In terms of getting your travel money together, there is one clear rule: make sure you have it in hand before you leave home, as the bureaux de change at airports or ferry ports are much more expensive. Foreign currency can be bought from banks, the Post Office, travel agents, some shops, online specialists and foreign exchange brokers.
Arranging your holiday money online is increasingly popular as it’s clearly more convenient than queuing up for an hour at your local Post Office, but it can also provide very competitive exchange rates which will ultimately make your budget spread further. You may understandably have security concerns when it comes to dealing with large lumps of cash online, but most firms will arrange for the package to be signed for and will only deliver to your home address. You could also check up on the history of the foreign exchange company you are dealing with to get a sense of their reliability.
Play your cards right
Choosing the right card to take with you can make your holiday much more enjoyable and could save you money. Before you go, make sure that there are no extra charges attached for using your card abroad and that your destination definitely accepts your card. The usual protections apply abroad as at home regards compensation for fraud and theft, but with debit cards, you won’t be covered for faulty or undelivered goods. Travellers’ cheques are still an option but pre-paid cards are now more popular. You simply fill up the cards with as much money as you want and spend away to your heart’s desire. The only real downside is that if you need to top up the card when you’re away, there will be a fee.
Some people may still like to wander around on holiday carrying pockets of cash. This is probably not advisable in such an increasingly coin and note-free world, but it’s not a bad idea to take a mix of payment types out with you, and having some bits of change are fine if you don’t want to get your card out for every little purchase.
In the loop
If you’re using plastic, make sure you have a 24-hour phone number of the card company in the event of something going horribly wrong. And also make sure you tell your bank that you’re going away or they may block any activity on your card abroad as they will assume that it’s being used for all the wrong reasons by the wrong people.
From your own experience, do you have a top tip for holiday budgeting?
Silversurfer's Assistant Editor
Latest posts by Silversurfer's Assistant Editor (see all)
- Sort your bins for Recycle Week - September 25, 2017
- Does the Sandwich Generation need more support? - September 22, 2017
- Staying active lowers the risk of cognitive decline - September 21, 2017
- Silversurfers Book Club Autumn 2017 - September 20, 2017
- Clever uses for salt - September 20, 2017
Leave a Comment!
Community Terms & Conditions
These content standards apply to any and all material which you contribute to our site (contributions), and to any interactive services associated with it.
You must comply with the spirit of the following standards as well as the letter. The standards apply to each part of any contribution as well as to its whole.
be accurate (where they state facts); be genuinely held (where they state opinions); and comply with applicable law in the UK and in any country from which they are posted.
Contributions must not:
contain any material which is defamatory of any person; or contain any material which is obscene, offensive, hateful or inflammatory; or promote sexually explicit material; or promote violence; promote discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age; or infringe any copyright, database right or trade mark of any other person; or be likely to deceive any person; or be made in breach of any legal duty owed to a third party, such as a contractual duty or a duty of confidence; or promote any illegal activity; or be threatening, abuse or invade another’s privacy, or cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety; or be likely to harass, upset, embarrass, alarm or annoy any other person; or be used to impersonate any person, or to misrepresent your identity or affiliation with any person; or give the impression that they emanate from us, if this is not the case; or advocate, promote or assist any unlawful act such as (by way of example only) copyright infringement or computer misuse.
Nurturing a safe environment
Our Silversurfers community is designed to foster friendships, based on trust, honesty, integrity and loyalty and is underpinned by these values.
We don't tolerate swearing, and reserve the right to remove any posts which we feel may offend others... let's keep it friendly!