Travelling is always a pleasurable experience. Over the years, the number of UK residents traveling to foreign destinations in Europe and USA has risen. Before you set out on your journey, take a minute to think about the travel money you’ll carry for abroad. In developing nations, cards may not be accepted everywhere. In the same way, some countries may be a ‘cashless’ economy. You should do your research and find out which of cash, cards or traveller’s cheques- or a combination of all three- is best for you.
Take a look at the various payment modes by which you can carry travel money on your next overseas trip.
It’s always a good idea to carry some travel money in cash. Restaurants, small shops, taxis, etc don’t always accept card payment and may ask for local currency. Keeping small change to pay for inexpensive purchases also helps. However, it’s not advisable to carry wads of cash as that can make it susceptible to pickpockets. Each country across the globe has its own rules on how much cash you can bring in. You may need to declare it at customs, so check before you board the flight.
- Foreign currency is made available by banks, the Post Office and even travel agents.
- Sort out your currency before instead of buying at the airport.
- Use a currency exchange comparison site and shop around for the best exchange rates.
- A charge of £5 may apply to pick up travel money yourself or have it delivered to you.
This section deals with different types of cards and how they’re useful abroad. Cards are thought convenient because they’re accepted around the world. You can also use them to withdraw cash from an ATM in a foreign country.
A debit card is an excellent and safe way of carrying travel money. It can be used in an ATM just like at home. Local currency is available quickly and conveniently from cash machines. But, you may have to pay a fee of around £1.50 on top as well as currency exchange costs. Plus, finding ATMs is a task in itself.
With a credit card, you can pay travel money on-the-go. They are accepted in most countries. Some special cards designed for overseas travel don’t charge fees when you swipe your card. Normally, a 3% charge applies to what you buy. Purchase protection is a protection against faulty goods or a stolen credit card. There are some downsides too. If you use this card to get cash, you’ll have to pay interest on it. In case you don’t settle debts on your credit card in full every month, again interest applies. It’s sensible to keep cash handy for small purchases requiring a minimum transaction amount.
Pre-paid cards work in such a way that you load money onto it and spend it to your heart’s content while on holiday. The biggest advantage is this type of travel money it tightens your purse strings, keeping you from exceeding your budget. If you’re traveling from country to country, you have the option of pre-loading with different currencies. And if you don’t use the full balance overseas, you can use it again in UK. Like credit cards, a small fee is payable on money withdrawal. Some prepaid cards also cost a monthly fee.
If you’re the old-fashioned type, travel money means traveller’s cheques for you. These are like normal cheques but with pre-printed fixed amounts with which you can make purchases or receive cash in exchange. Available at banks, all you have to do is write the name of the payee and countersign the cheque. You may also have to show ID proof like your passport.
As you see, travel money is accessible in different forms. Make sure you have one or all of them before you pack your bags. If you have travel insurance, it would help were you to lose money or belongings.