A recent report by the BBC into the average spend per head on holiday found that, while France has the most visitors, the average spend is relatively low when it is compared with other countries alongside it in the most visited top ten. Countries with a higher spend per head included the UK, America and Germany. So what’s the best way to organise your holiday money and how can you make get the best value? Take a look at your holiday money options, what is the best choice and why some might not offer you the best value available.
You might be better to use your Amex India card than exchange all your currency
Changing currency at the airport
This is the biggest no-no for getting a good rate. Airport foreign exchanges offer you the poorest rates coupled with high commission fees. You are a sitting target for them so do not leave it until the last minute and makes sure you avoid changing your currency at the airport. For the best deals on foreign exchange check out some of the online companies but be sure to find out their delivery costs before you order.
Once on holiday do not let shops change your money
Some restaurants, shops and bars will offer to change your money for you. This might seem like a brilliantly convenient option but think twice. Again they will most probably offer you a pretty terrible exchange rate so steer clear.
These used to be the staple currency option but with the proliferation of prepaid cards and credit/debit cards they are losing popularity fast. They are still a very secure way to travel with money but be careful of commission charges for using them which have escalated in recent years and make them a less viable choice for many.
Check out your credit card rates
Whatever credit card you have, most will impose a fee of some kind for using your card abroad, so check out what those fees might be before you start spending. Credit cards such as AMEX India, MBNA or HSBC among others do offer you some fantastic security on your purchases both at home and abroad, including covering if your purchases are faulty or offering a refund if a service/product is not provided in the way that it was specified. Also check out the costs for taking out cash while abroad and in most cases avoid if you can. The fees are potentially quite high.
Check out your debit card terms and conditions
Many of us expect out debit cards withdrawals to be free but once abroad there is usually a charge – mostly a minimum fee – so if you do need to takes some cash out is may work out more economical to withdraw a larger rather than smaller amount.
The key to getting the best value when looking at your holiday money is to do your research well in advance of your departure. A combination of changing some cash up and using a credit card that you have researched well are most probably your best options for ensuring you get not only the best value for your pound but also some added security when travelling. Happy holidays!