When going on holiday, for most of us it’s a precious time for us to relax and spend time with our friends and family.
More and more often, people are going on one big holiday a year for affordability and because they don’t have as much time off from work as they would like.
When you’re heading off to somewhere in a different time zone and with a different currency you want to make sure that you get the best price possible on an exchange rate.
Of course, the Brexit vote has made buying foreign currency more expensive for most countries, which has meant that people are looking ever more carefully at charges and commission. By finding the best option, whether this is on a prepaid travel credit card, cash or traveller’s cheques, this leaves you free in the knowledge that you have the most money possible to enjoy your holiday to the fullest.
We have outlined some steps you can take to make sure that you get the best deal possible.
Although this is an obvious one, it’s never been more important to keep a close eye on the exchange rate. As we mentioned earlier, the Brexit vote has had a massive influence on markets, property and the economy, including the strength of the Great British pound sterling against other world currencies.
If you’re going to be travelling to somewhere in mainland Europe, or even further afield to the United States then it’s worth doing a lot of comparison shopping between different banks and bureau de change desks at post offices and other similar places.
These rates are extremely flexible at the moment and they are fluctuating every day, so it’s a good idea to check them at the same pace to make sure you get the best possible exchange.
Cheques are becoming a lesser-spotted way of spending money on a day-to-day basis, however, traveller’s cheques are still one of the most secure ways to pay when you’re on holiday.
This is because, if you lose them, each has its own number, which means that you’re guaranteed a full refund. You need to have a note of each of the different numbers in order to get this money back.
Drawbacks to traveller’s cheques include poor exchange rates and they often come with high fees. These charges cost the same for any amount, which means that they aren’t a good choice for short trips or small amounts of money. Instead, you should consider them for long holidays and potentially only for long-haul trips.
These are a popular choice for most people going on holiday, as they’re easy to use. Simply top them up with a fixed amount that you think will need to last the whole time of your holiday. The best thing about them, apart from the ease of use, is that they aren’t linked to your other cards or your bank information. This is good because if you lose them you only stand to lose the amount on that particular card and nothing else is at risk. For this reason, they’re one of the safest ways to carry money on holiday because all the rest of your finances are secure.
You should do some comparison shopping with these, as they all have different minimum amounts and some have better exchange rates than others. Occasionally, a company will ask for you to pay an initial setup fee, which will add to the overall expense.
A good company to start with is WeSwap, as it has no setup fee and the minimum amount you can load onto your card is very low. You can also top up the balance of your card at any time without having to call, as the company has a smartphone app. This is a really big plus because you can add extra funds if you run low during your holiday.
Ordering currency online is a great option for you if you’re too busy to get to the Post Office or other bureau de change, and so on. Choosing to get your travel money from the internet also means that there aren’t any commission fees, which can eat into the amount of money you actually get to take on holiday with you.
You’re also much more likely to get a better exchange rate from a website than you would get from the bureau de change at the airport. Notoriously, these desks have lower exchange rates and higher fees, so you don’t get much bang for your buck.
It’s still important to be careful when you buy your currency online though, because although it may say that this service is commission free, it doesn’t mean that there aren’t any other charges. Make sure that you read the fine print and the terms and conditions when you’re ordering online.
Exchanges near M by Montcalm Shoreditch London
M by Montcalm Shoreditch London Tech City hotel in London is frequented by a lot of travellers from all over the world, including those who are in the country on business.
One of the best things about the hotel is that it is in close proximity to many things, including two bureaux des changes.
The first of these is the Eurochange on Liverpool Street, which is just ten minutes from the hotel. Simply take the Northern line from Old Street to Moorgate for one minute and walk seven minutes to the office. Alternatively, you can walk from the hotel in 17 minutes, which we would actually recommend, as there’s lots of great bars, restaurants and shopping to discover in the area.
Ever so slightly closer is the Thomas Exchange Global bureau de change, which you can reach via the same Tube route but it’s only ten minutes’ walk altogether on either side of the train journey.
If you need help finding either of these offices or anything else that’s in the surrounding area then you can ask the friendly and knowledgeable hotel staff – they know everything about the region and are more than ready to help you.
Debit and credit cards
It’s recommended that you don’t use debit or credit cards to withdraw cash when you’re abroad, as your bank can charge you an exchange rate of up to three per cent.
However, some credit card companies will offer you nought per cent on purchases abroad for a certain amount of time. Again, it’s worth doing some comparison shopping to find the best deal for you, as the companies have different rates on transfers, particularly when you’re on holiday.
Check with your credit card provider to make sure that they won’t charge or restrict your purchases when you’re overseas.
Often, people use their credit or debit cards when they’re paying for food in restaurants and so on as the fees won’t be as high as they are when you use an ATM. Don’t forget to call your bank or credit card provider when you’re going on holiday, particularly if you’re heading to a different continent. If you don’t, they’re likely to assume that your card has been stolen and it could be cancelled, which is exactly what you don’t need when you’re in a foreign country.