Travel money tips

Buying foreign currency

Travel money tips for buying foreign currency.

It’s not wise to turn up at your holiday destination without any cash at all but it’s essential to work out how much cash you’ll need to take with you. There’s the safety issue if you’re carrying around too much cash (a money belt is always a good idea), but you might have issues accessing your bank account when you’re abroad, so it’s very important to research your foreign currency needs before you go abroad.

Deciding where to buy your travel money from is just as important as considering what form of travel money you should take. Sometimes a range of travel money can pay off. You might consider taking a combination of travellers’ cheques or a prepaid card or credit card along with enough cash to keep you going for several days at a time.

Before buying your foreign currency, try and find out if ATMs are available at your destination and if your hotel accepts plastic. Credit cards are accepted in most popular places, but with cash you know for sure that everyone accepts it, and you’ll have what you need for taxis, buses or trains when you arrive at your destination.

Whatever you decide to take, here are our travel money tips for buying foreign currency.

Buying foreign currency online

Online money exchange rates can be very competitive so buying your foreign currency online is a great way to get hold of your travel money. Be sure to always compare the total cost of the transaction.

High street travel money

What’s the exchange rate? Is there a handling fee? What’s the total cost of the transaction? And remember it could be a good idea to buy your travel money with cash over the counter to avoid paying credit/debit card fees completely.

Using a debit card overseas

Sometimes using a debit card overseas makes more sense than taking lots of hard cash. But you’ll need to check with your card provider first to figure out what the overseas fees are for withdrawing cash and making purchases.

Using a prepaid card overseas

The prepaid card is becoming very popular for spending abroad. They’re secure, and they’re pre-loaded so there’s no risk of over spending on too many souvenirs. As ever you need to do your homework to find a card that suits you best.

Buying travellers’ cheques

No they haven’t made a comeback from the 80s. Travellers’ cheques have always been a travel money favourite because they’re sensible and secure, just as long as they’re accepted and easy to exchange in the country you’re visiting.


  1. Fiona S says:

    Some great advice here. However I would be very cautious about using travelers cheques – make sure they are accepted by local businesses before deciding to use them on your holiday. A quick search online and viewing a few travel forums should tell you all the info that you need.

  2. Travelex says:

    There are also money exchangers like Travelex ( ) that give you a genuinely good rate. They have especially offer of 0% commission on online reservation of foreign currency. They offer you home delivery service or an option to pick it up at the nearest store.


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