The Travel Money Trap

Many travellers continue to lose money on foreign exchange and make costly mistakes with their travel money. The continued lack of planning by consumers ahead of their holidays is the main reason people are losing out.

Organizing your travel cash in advance is the key to getting the best deals and if you follow our top tips below you can save yourself from The Travel Money Trap!

Stay clear of 0% Commission Advertising

Many high street currency exchange providers as well as some reputable travel providers still insist on using “0% Commission” advertising. The truth is that although there is no ‘commission’, stomach there are a number of fees and charges that are built into the exchange rate they offer. More often than not, the exchange rate will not competitive with those found online. Check and see for yourself.

Don’t wait till the Airport to change your money

Airport kiosks continue to be the place where some of the least competitive rates can be found. Despite people being made aware of this fact over the years, the kiosks remain in business. If you need travel cash last minute order it online to be picked up at the airport. Although this still isn’t the best value, it will certainly save you some money on the rates available at the airport.

Get online for the best rates

Getting your travel money online and in advance is by far your best chance to secure a decent rate of exchange. Order your travel cash to be delivered to your home or work prior to your trip and you can save yourself a lot of money.

Online companies have fewer overheads than the bigger high street chains and airport kiosks.  They are ever increasing in popularity by passing these savings on to consumers in the form of excellent exchange rates.

Travel safe with prepaid cards

As the online travel money generation grows, prepaid cards are the increasingly popular method of taking currency abroad. Not only do the online companies offer excellent rates when the cards are used abroad, they also provide a safe and easy way of carrying cash. Unlike debit cards, the fees for ATMs and transactions abroad are minimal and the cards can be easily loaded with money prior or during your trip.

Some online companies also offer prepaid Euro or Dollar cards. These single currency cards enable travellers to load their cards fixed at the rate at the time of purchase. This enables customers to travel without the worry of fluctuating rates. It also means travellers can buy their Euros/Dollars prior to their trip when the rates are at their best, having them locked in on their card for when their holiday comes round.

Don’t pay in Sterling once abroad

Whilst abroad, some retailers and restaurants are known to try and get customers to pay in Sterling. If the option is given to you, then ask to pay in the local currency. The Sterling price that you would have been quoted is often inclusive of the retailer’s own foreign exchange rate. These are determined at their discretion and more often than not, are well above the market rate.

If any retailers are being pushy and trying to get you to pay in Sterling, you are within your rights to refuse and ask to be charged in the local currency. In some restaurants, check the price on the card machine when paying the bill as occasionally it will again be in Sterling and need to be changed into the local currency.

Another tip to stay clear from getting ripped off while traveling is to make sure that you  compare travel insurance!  There are tons of companies online and you are sure t get the best deal if you do comparisons.

By Oliver Emery, a frequent traveller and personal finance writer.

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