When you’re thinking about going on a trip, you start thinking about what you should pack, where you should stay, if you’ll tour or stay at one place, and many other things, but a lot of people put though about travel money until they’re on their doorstep. This could end up costing you way more than you’d think when you go serious shopping.
The UK is one of the most expensive countries in Europe and the whole world, in general. If you’re going on a tight budget already, the last thing you’ll need is paying fees that would only bottleneck you. The Brexit situation isn’t making it any easier due to the volatility of the currency and its looming uncertainty.
This guide shall be our two cents in handling travel money and different currency rates.
When and if you should you buy cash?
It’s hard to know or predict when a currency is going to fall or rise, even experts who spent years studying economics have a hard time, this is why it’s best not to leave it all up to a die-cast. You can buy in half of what you’ll need for the trip at the best rate you could find today, and then mix it up during the trip with daily or bi-daily exchanges. It’s recommended to check a currency converter for UK to keep an eye on fluctuations. If you don’t think that the rate remains close and worsens so much that your trip could become unaffordable, you should buy more than half. Try your best not to look back, if the pound rises, great, if it doesn’t, so be it.
Credit and debit cards
There’s no other method that can be as convenient as using your debit or credit card in the UK while abroad. Like anything, convenience always comes with a price, you better plan right to make sure you know the ins and outs. One of the main advantages of using credit cards include getting better currency exchange rates than any retail exchange since banks use a different system to calculate currency exchanges. The lack of transaction fees on purchases, in addition to getting zero extra charges if you have no piled-up interest makes the process smoother. Famous cards are accepted almost anywhere in the UK.
You can face some problems when you try to buy from a shop that requires a minimum purchase, these shops are usually small ones and not chain stores. Depending on the type of card you have, you may find that it’s not as widely accepted as you think it is. A lot of banks may charge a foreign currency transaction charge, you also need to be wary about the ATMs you use as some of them can take a good percentage of the money you withdraw
When to exchange cash
A common mistake is exchanging your cash at an airport, it’s way too easy and convenient to be affordable. All airport and ferry rates are set knowing that they were the last stop for exchanging and you’re stuck. It’s recommended to avoid changing the currency in the country you’re going because your hands will be tied and you won’t have the luxury of choice you had in your country to find the best rate. Always keep in mind that you need some cash in order to facilitate a lot of your tourists endeavors, especially if you’re staying in a location filled with traditional or old shops.
Traveling to the UK is fun, you don’t really want to be stranded with the wrong currency, but you also don’t have to keep winging it and pile up too many fees. This is why careful planning always nets you the best experience in anything. You can also add some little travel insurance to cover any unexpected emergencies that could financially cripple you, can’t be too careful.