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How to Save Money on Your Holiday Money – 8 Money-Saving Tips

Raising costs and household expenses have been pushed to new extremes this year, but international travel has returned to full thrust with the relaxation of many global restrictions. This article will show you the best money-saving tips for your holiday money.

Tip 1: Never buy your holiday money at the airport.

Many holidaymakers leave getting their foreign currency until they arrive at the airport, proving to be a costly mistake. The airport bureau knows they have you as a captive audience ready to spend money; this, together with the inherent operating cost of running a bureau in a prime location, means they offer awful rates.

Even with the introduction of exchange ATMs that reduce operating costs, the automated process does not clarify what rate you are receiving and the charges they are applying.

Many consumers end up feeling very ripped off.

Tip 2: Avoid going to the high-street banks for your foreign currency

Many holidaymakers each year go to their banks for their foreign currency, but did you know high street banks generally offer the worst exchange rates outside the airports? Before the internet, the options were limited, and your bank and the Post office offered services where you could walk in and collect your currency or travelers’ cheques. However, times have changed, meaning consumers have more options and can receive more competitive rates elsewhere.

At the time of writing, Barclay’s bank offers a euro rate of 1.1334, whereas the best rate we could find using an online rate comparison site was from Travel FX at 1.1758. In real terms, that is an extra €42.40 that you can obtain by exchanging £1000 worth of euros!

Tip 3: Buy your currency online

Buying your currency online and getting it delivered to you is the most cost-effective and convenient way to get the most significant savings on your holiday money. Using a comparison site will help you choose the best online provider, considering exchange rates, costs, and reputation scores on platforms such as TrustPilot.

It is cheaper online because high-street shops and banks generally set their rates at the beginning of the working day. Accommodating enough of a margin for themselves for any fluctuation of the interbank rate, meaning their rates can be poor, as we mentioned earlier. However, online foreign currency services are competitive and strive for the best rates, changing every few minutes in line with the market and competition. Also, online companies’ operational costs are lower than a physical walk-in shop.

Tip 4: Compare exchange rates

The internet can inundate you with information, all the sites claiming to offer you the best or the cheapest or the fastest; this is where it pays to use comparison sites like Compare Travel Cash. Compare Travel Cash is an unbiased and ad-free resource that allows you to compare exchange rates. Every couple of minutes, they compare the exchange rates and latest currency deals from the best travel money providers in the UK to see what suppliers offer the best deals and choose a supplier that suits you best.

Buying travel money at the best rates saves you money. You know what you are getting and how much it will cost you. You will not be exposed to extra transaction fees or charges like you could with a card.

Tip 5: Don’t pay commission

Generally, foreign exchange providers don’t charge commission on exchanges. Many use this as a big selling point. However, some companies still charge a commission, so be aware of what you’re paying for and avoid a commission.

Tip 6: Avoid withdrawing money from an ATM abroad with your bank card

Taking the option to withdraw currency at an ATM may be convenient, but you are at the mercy of the banks, and they will often charge much higher rates and additional charges and transaction fees that you may not be aware of at the point of withdrawal. Also, ATM owners often add on fees on top of the bank charges. Withdrawing cash may cost you much more than you realise.

Tip 7: If using a debit or credit card aboard, pay in the local currency

Many Shops and many other outlets are increasingly giving you the option to pay in pounds or the local currency. If you use pounds, you are at the mercy of the exchange rate and charges they offer, which won’t be clear at the point of sale. It is best to pay in the local currency in nearly all cases.

Tip 8: Avoid exchanging currency abroad

Many hotels offer foreign money exchange services, and you can typically find a bureau de change in big towns. Often commission, exchange rates, and extra charges are not transparent (even without any language barrier) and are worse than you get if you were exchanging currency in the UK.

If your options are limited to getting currency abroad, please consider that many countries have unregulated or unauthorised exchange providers.