By OLIVER EMERY
Preparation and research can really help improve your holiday experience. Most people will research their hotels inside out, plan their transfers in advance and book early to get the best deals on flights. Yet thousands still leave their travel money until the last minute.
Be it naivety or bad planning, many travellers are still making mistakes with their travel money and fail to plan their needs in advance.
Read the mistakes below and make sure you don’t follow in the same footsteps:
Don’t Wait To Change Money at the Airport
Whilst the savvy amongst us know that airports don’t offer the best value for money, large numbers of people continue to change their money up at Airport Kiosks. Changing your money last minute at the airport is where you are most likely to get the worst rates. Whilst not ideal, even ordering your travel money online to be picked up at the airport can save you a large percentage. Ideally give yourself time to shop around beforehand for the best rates or to order a prepaid currency card online. These cards are growing in popularity as they combine competitive online rates with a safe way to carry money abroad.
Don’t Fall for 0% Commission Advertising
Many travel money providers use “0% Commission” advertising to pull in customers. Whilst this may seem like a good deal, hidden fees are usually built into the exchange rate which is often well below what is available online. Check the rate in comparison to those online currency providers to see just how much of a good deal you are getting. As the online companies have fewer overheads than those with kiosks and shops, the savings they make are usually passed back to customers in the form of very competitive exchange rates.
Always Pay in the Local Currency
Some retailers and restaurants on holiday may offer you to pay in Sterling from time to time. The appeal of seeing your purchase in Sterling may be convenient and tempting but this usually comes at a price. The retailer would have used their own exchange rate which is likely to be considerably higher than usual. Always make sure you pay in the local currency to avoid these uplifted exchange rates.
Don’t Forget to Haggle
In some parts of the world, like North Africa and Asia, haggling is commonplace. Whilst the more inexperienced or conservative traveller may be slightly wary of haggling, it will help you save money on “tourist” prices and get it something close to what the locals pay. Make sure you stay relaxed and friendly with the traders and you will usually find yourself getting a good deal.
By Oliver Emery on behalf of travel money provider FairFX, an online currency specialist with market-leading exchange rates.