Friday, 13 September 2013

How to Get the Best Deal on Travel Money

When it comes to getting your travel money sorted for your holidays, people will tell you all sorts of ways to get the best deal. Some swear by their travel agents, others think the airport is the best place to exchange it. Some will speak to the Post Office and others will go to independent Bureaux de Change. So what should you do?


The benefit of changing your money at the airport is that you can do it right on the last day. You can keep saving up your spending money right up until the day you actually leave, potentially allowing you to take more with you. Of course, this also means that you run the risk of the airport store not having the currency you need. While this is unlikely, if you are travelling to a rather obscure place, the store might not carry enough, if any, of the local currency so be prepared. You also don't want to be frantically running around before your flight to find a Bureau de Change that does stock enough of your currency. If you are going on a long trip, you don’t want to find yourself caught short because there isn’t enough to last your whole trip. In the same way that you wouldn’t leave your longstay travel insurance to the last minute, it’s not worth leaving your currency purchase until the dying seconds.

On top of that, the exchange rates offered at the airports are typically much lower than you will get anywhere else. Those same companies will often give you a considerably better deal if you order online with them, rather than buying it directly at the airport.


When you order your currency online, you can be sure to get some of the best exchange rates available. You can then arrange to have your currency delivered to you or even collect it from the airport. The ironic thing about this is that you can order online then pick it up from the company offering you a much worse rate at the airport.

With the online method, you run the risk of not being covered if the supplier happens to fail for whatever reason. This could potentially leave you without any money at all. On top of that, the exchange isn't regulated so there is still some considerable risks involved. Beware of delivery charges as well which can often wipe out the savings you make on exchange rates.

On the high street

If you want to go and buy your currency from someone face-to-face, the high street is your first port of call. The Post Office tends to offer some of the best rates but you may need to order in advance. While common currency like Euros and US dollars can be easily obtainable, slightly more exotic ones may need prior notice. As an example, you may have to wait up to a fortnight for Chinese Yuan to come back into stock.

You may have to shop around to find the best rates as they can have vast differences. Some of the bigger chains are not necessarily the cheapest so be savvy and visit a few different places to find the right one. Make a note of each exchange rate then go back to the shop offering the best one. This does mean you have to carry all of your spending money with you on the way home so be cautious.

This article is on behalf of travel insurance.

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