- Should you take cash or card abroad?
- How to find the best exchange rate?
- Which currency should you take on holiday?
One of the big benefits to going all-inclusive when booking your holiday is that you don’t have to worry too much about carrying money around with you. Whether you’re relaxing at the pool, dressed up for dinner, or simply hunting down that ideal souvenir; there are likely to be the occasional moments when you need to spend a bit of the local currency.
Regardless of whether you’re booking all-inclusive or going on a DIY getaway; the following money saving tips could help you to score Brexit-busting exchange rates that make your holiday spending money stretch further.
When you exchange your cash can make a big difference
There’s definitely something intrinsically exciting about getting your holiday spending money together and checking out all of those crisp foreign notes before you go away, and if trying to game the banking system to get a good deal doesn’t appeal to you, then cash provides a simple and straightforward way to make the occasional purchase or tip your waiter.
Make sure that you shop around for the best exchange rate well in advance of your departure date, although don’t be disheartened if you miss out on a surge in the strength of the pound. To say that the value of the pound has been inconsistent recently would be an understatement. The exchange rate can be favourable one day and diabolical the next, but by using a currency tracking tool such as the Live Exchange Rate on XE, you’ll at least have a good idea if you’re getting a good deal, or if it’s worth waiting for another surge.
Check which currency is best
Figuring out which foreign currency to take on holiday might not be as obvious as you first thought, most notably when it comes to tipping with the most favourable currency to receive the most favourable service. For instance, in countries such as Cuba, there’s a dual currency that includes the Cuban Convertible Peso (CUC), generally used by visitors, and the Cuban Peso (CUP) which is used by the locals. The CUP is worth far less than the CUC, and this can be reflected by the service you receive following tipping.
In countries such as Mexico, although the Mexican peso is the local currency, many of the items sold in shops located close to holiday resorts are priced in US dollars, and hotel staff members may prefer to be tipped in dollars than pesos. An easy way to find out which currency to take is to check what previous hotel guests have said by reading reviews and tips on websites such as TripAdvisor, Lonely Planet and Wikitravel.
Consider a prepaid card
If you’re worried about the risk of carrying large sums of cash with you but don’t necessarily want to run the gamble of taking your credit or debit card abroad, a prepaid card may be the answer. Prepaid cards have the added benefit of putting an additional barrier between the shops, restaurants, and your bank details, and they’re relatively easy to pick up, but it’s important to make sure there aren’t any hidden charges or extortionate exchange rates before you load one up with all of your holiday spending money.
Be cautious about your debit or credit card abroad
Using a credit or debit card overseas an issue that seasoned travellers would say is difficult to label as beneficial or not. Banks can apply additional fees to foreign transactions, some of which could be quite hidden in the small print of your terms and conditions.
Money Saving Expert has a list of these charges, and while they might put you off of spending on your card abroad, keep in mind that you may receive a more favourable exchange rate from your bank or credit card provider than at a bureau de change. While you could be better off using your credit or debit card on holiday, make sure that you look into any additional charges and how favourable the exchange rate is before you travel.
Don’t rely on just one form of holiday money
While it might be tempting to say that you’re going to stick with just a credit card, or a prepay card or even cash, it’s advisable to consider keeping your options open. While a credit card might offer a favourable exchange rate, it won’t do you much good if you find a street vendor selling that perfect souvenir. Taking a bit of cash alongside whatever else you choose to take with you should keep you prepared for any eventuality, and hopefully, with these tips, you’ll make your holiday money stretch further too.
Share your money saving tips
Have we missed an incredible way to make your holiday money stretch further? Have you got an amazing money saving tip? Know where to get the best the exchange rate? Don’t keep these tips to yourself; share them with the all-in Travel Club in the comments below.