By Shon Alam, Bidwedge
When planning a trip abroad there are many considerations, even in ‘normal’ times and right now the priority is ensuring you, and your family, stay safe while travelling and enjoying time at your destination.
Of course, there are also all the usual choices that have to be made before you set off on your next trip, such as which swimsuit will fit you best, which books you should buy or download and how big a suitcase you can manage. You should also consider holiday caravans in the UK as they are just great now so can offer a brilliant holiday for a low cost.
Perhaps not as exciting – but just as essential – is the question of how best to take your money with you when travelling. Here are the seven options I recommend you consider:
It’s a good idea to take some local currency with you when you go abroad, so you can pay for things like taxis, public transport, food and drinks and tips. When exchanging your money, be sure to shop around and compare not only the exchange rate but any charges that may be applied. To earn some quick cash as your pocket money, you can play on online casino sites like dadu online.
Travel insurance usually only covers you up to a certain amount, so do check your policy to help you make an informed decision about how much cash to take.
Also, don’t keep all your cash in one place while you’re flying or out and about at your destination. Split it between different bags, wallets and pockets so if your bag does get lost or stolen, at least it’s only part of your money that’s gone.
These little beauties have been in use since the late 80s. Each cheque has a unique number. If it is either lost or stolen, the issuer can cancel it and replace it. They have clear benefits but they’re becoming outmoded and many places no longer accept them.
To save the hassle of arranging your currency before you jet off, you can use your debit card. However, most debit cards will charge you a fee for use abroad.
Unexpected foreign transactions may lead them to suspect fraud. So, tell your bank before you go so they don’t cancel your card!
A debit card has the advantage that you cannot spend more than you have. The disadvantage is that if your card is stolen or hacked your bank account is at risk. Be cautious when using your card.
If you generally use Apple Pay or Google Pay on your phone you can use these abroad, much as you can a contactless debit card and the same charges will be applied. It is, arguably, more secure than paying with a debit card as there are layers of security to get into your phone and then another layer to access the app.
Similarly, a credit card provides a convenient way to buy things abroad. Unlike a debit card, if you have a good credit limit, you can splash out a lot more.
Ask about charges before you travel. It’s possible that the provider or bank may apply charges every time you use your card, meaning your next credit card bill may have a nasty sting!
An advantage is that for purchases between £100 and £30,000 made on your credit card, you are protected by Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act, meaning you can claim for breach of contract and misrepresentation.
When paying with either a credit or debit card, be aware of which currency you pay in. If you choose to pay in Sterling, rather than the local currency, dynamic currency conversion charges (DCC) – are added, meaning you could pay up to 10% more for what you are purchasing! Paying in local currency, will almost certainly cost you less in currency conversion but the exchange rate will be applied on the day the exchange is made via the bank, not necessarily the day of purchase. (https://www.telegraph.co.uk/money/consumer-affairs/paying-card-overseas-offered-currency-choice-should-always-do/).
A pre-paid travel card lets you load cash onto it before you go abroad so you have spending money ready. They are accepted by most retailers, with the exception of petrol stations. Travel pre-paid cards are intended to cost less to use in other countries but check the fees from the card issuer and whether there are charges for using local ATMs.
These are digital banks that aim to challenge the ‘big four’ (Barclays, Lloyds, HSBC and NatWest). Many of these offer some great benefits when travelling abroad.
For example, Revolut is especially aimed at people who travel a lot. You can transfer money to it before you travel and use it without any hidden fees. Starling Bank lets you make cash withdrawals abroad without adding fees, offers competitive exchange rates and doesn’t charge for things such as topping up your card.
Do your research carefully and consider whether you want to replace your traditional bank account or, perhaps, have one of these as an extra account.
I recommend not relying on just one of these seven options. It is always good to have a back-up.
And when you get home, don’t forget to exchange any leftover currency using either buyback or a platform like Bidwedge, which offers a competitive sell-back rate, even for small amounts.
Hopefully this guide helps you decide what is right for you and your family when you’re able get away on holiday.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Shon Alam is founder of Bidwedge. Bidwedge makes it easy to change your left-over cash currency back into Sterling – at great rates for even the smallest amounts. Just enter the amount, see the rate you’ll be paid, post the cash and watch the money appear in your bank account. It’s easy to do.
Website – www.bidwedge.com
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/Bidwedgecom-109169113819592/
Twitter – @bidwedge – https://twitter.com/bidwedge