Travel money: what to consider

  1. Know how much cash to take. Carrying too much money can be a safety issue, but travelling with too little may also be a problem if you have difficulties accessing your UK account. Before ordering your currency, check whether cashpoints are widely available at your destination and whether your hotel or rental car agency accepts credit cards.
  2. Stay away from big notes. In some countries, taxis or smaller shops might not have enough change to handle large denomination notes, or may not accept them for security reasons.
  3. It’s a good idea to have small- and medium-denomination notes rather than large. Keep small notes at hand for tips. Having small notes before your trip will make it easier to tip taxi drivers or hotel porters when you arrive. Check your guide book or ask your holiday rep how much to tip.
  4. Check that your bank card works abroad. Some banks put an automatic international security stop on cards to prevent fraud. Contact your bank before you go on holiday to check.
  5. Book your travel money in advance. It pays to be early, since you won’t get the best deal at airport or station foreign exchange counters. 
  6. Consider a range of travel money. You might want to consider not putting all your travel money eggs in one basket. Going loaded with rolls of notes and nothing else means you could come unstuck should your travel money go on a holiday of its own. A prepaid travel money card is a handy and secure alternative to carrying currency as cash.

Once you get back home…

Here are a couple of ideas for taking care of any leftover travel money:

  • Sell back any notes you don’t need so you have the money ready for a future holiday.
  • Store leftover coins. If there’s a chance you’ll be going back to the same country the coins will come in handy for things like luggage trolleys or payphones at the airport. Just put any leftovers in an envelope labelled with the country name and they’ll be ready to go for your next trip.