Travel Money is sometimes overlooked as a way of making your trip go longer. You’ve earned it, why chuck it down the drain?
Shopping around for the best exchange rate for your travel money can be a good deal if you find the right price.
Shopping around can save you around £10-20 per trip or even over £300 for a whole gap year.
It might not seem like much, but over time it can add up.
It only took me 30 minutes to shop around on the high street and the internet to find a better deal, time that’s totally worth it.
Don’t exchange at the airport!
Commission free does not mean: good deal. They still can still charge you on the exchange rate so bare this in mind.
Airports are not the best place to pick up a deal, the environment makes it harder to compare the daily exchange rate, so they can charge a premium.
To check the daily exchange I like to use xe.com. They have a fantastic application for the iPhone/iPad that works both on and offline. This will give you a rough estimate of what you should be working towards so you don’t get completely mugged off.
How about withdrawing at the ATM?
This can be a good option but again the bank makes the exchange rate by themselves making it not very competitive. Some cards will not charge you to take out abroad and offer a good exchange rate, search around the internet for these types of cards in your country.
You can look at FairFX which doesn’t charge to withdraw your travel money whilst abroad.
All high streets up and down the country will have places that offer currency exchange, shop around and take photos of the exchange rates and each place.
Places to consider in the UK:
Royal Mail Post office, Marks and Spencer’s, Travel Agents, Major, Super markets and your personal Bank.
Some might offer special bulk deals if you take out £500 or more, see if this works for you and if your travelling with a friend see if they want to split 50/50 to save on the bulk deal.
Some, such as your local bank might prefer you to order online and check their order deals and see what might work out for you.
Once you have wandered around your high street and captured all your information, see who has the best deal on the day.
There are also a lot of off the wall shops that do currency deals and sometimes they are more competitive with opening up the table for negotiation. Tell them what you’ve found and see if they will break a deal with you compared to the high street price and break a better deal than what you’ve found.
By doing all the following steps you are able to work out what the best deal is for you on the day and it will be a much better step than taking it out at the airport.
The above works well for US dollars, Euros and other popular currencies, but if you’re going to a more unique currency destination maybe it’s better to haggle when you arrive and take out a small amount before you travel for emergencies.
I hope the above tips help, if you have any more tips to add feel free to post below in the comment section, thank you