David Allan

Experly compared by David Allan

Products Updated June 11, 2018

Cheap Travel Money

If you’re preparing to jet off on an exotic holiday or important business trip, one of the most important things to organise before you leave is travel money and currency. Our money experts have chosen and compare their best choice currency providers.

 

Learn More
All credit types
Rated 4.7/ 5

Travelex

Online Orders
£100 to £4,999.99

Delivery costs
Under £299.99: £3.95 Between £300-£499.99: £1.95, free on £500+

The euro rate

The US dollar rate
1.256

Travelex are here to help make getting your travel money simple, leaving you with one less thing to think about before your next trip away. All you need to do is to order your currency online with us and you’ll lock in our best rate of the day!

All you need to know about buying travel money and currency

Holiday money explained

Holiday money explained

If you’re preparing to jet off on an exotic holiday or important business trip, one of the most important things to organise before you leave is travel money and currency. There are loads of different forms of travel money that you can take with you abroad and many different rates available for these.

The majority of travellers are in the dark when it comes to knowing how to get the best value when buying travel money and currency. Many put a lot of time and effort into researching the best flight and hotel deals for a trip, but often don’t put the same thought into buying travel money and currency.

To help you know how to get the best deal, used this guide to learn more about buying travel money and currency.

Exchange rates

When it comes to buying travel money and currency, exchange rates are vital to getting the best value for money. The exchange rate is how much one currency is worth at any given time in terms of another.

The exchange rate changes constantly, and the majority of the world’s currencies are determined by the foreign exchange market and change depending on supply and demand. These rates are affected by a number of factors including the current trading relationship between two countries, inflation, interest rates, current account deficits, political stability, public debt and terms of trade.

It is essential to keep an eye on the exchange rate when thinking of buying travel money and currency. While even the most experienced financial experts struggle to estimate how exchange rates will change, being aware of them can help you to get the best deal.

Different forms of travel money

Travel money and currency are available in a range of different types, and how you purchase your travel money can make a difference to the deal you get and how you spend your funds while you’re away. Here are the most popular forms of buying travel money and currency:

Cash

Many travellers bring their foreign currency abroad in the form of cash, and it is a popular option as you always know exactly how much you are spending. Often it is essential to carry some cash on you while on holiday to pay for things like odd snacks or bottles of water, taxis and tips.

It isn’t advisable to carry large amounts of cash on you while away as it can be unsafe and a target for theft or get easily lost. Most travel insurance policies only cover cash up to a certain amount, so if the worse was to happen your funds may not even be protected.

Pre-paid cards

Pre-paid travel cards are a popular choice

Pre-paid travel cards are a popular choice

Another popular alternative to carrying cash abroad is to get a pre-paid travel card. They are simple and easy to use; you just load the amount you want onto the card before setting off on holiday and then spend on it as if it is a debit or credit card. These cards are great for sticking to your budget because you cannot spend more than you pre-pay. It is also possible to load multiple currencies onto a pre-paid card which is great if you are planning on travelling to various countries.

The main downsides of buying travel money and currency on a prepaid card are that you will often be charged for withdrawing the funds as cash from an ATM, and also for topping up the card with additional funds.

Traveller’s Cheques

This form of buying travel money and currency is becoming less and less popular over the years as it is not the most convenient or widely accepted option. Traveller’s cheques are pre-printed cheques for a fixed amount that are used to pay for things in shops while abroad or can be exchanged for cash in the foreign country.

Using traveller’s cheque for buying travel money and currency is often more expensive than cash or pre-paid cards as you need to pay an additional fee to purchase them and then usually pay a commission when spending them.

When to buy travel money

Often travellers leave buying travel money and currency to the last minute, which makes getting the best value a difficult task. You have no control over that day’s exchange rates, leaving you no choice but to accept whatever price it happens to be at that time.

It is always worthwhile spending some time checking the exchange rates every few days for a while before your trip; this will give you a decent idea of what a reasonable exchange rate looks like for the currency you need. When the exchange rate seems good you can usually purchase it online and lock-in that rate for a period of time; if the rate gets even better you can cancel your order and get an even better rate.

Where to buy travel money

You can purchase travel money and currency from a range of places, and some will be offering better deals than others. Many companies allow you to purchase travel money online and arrange a delivery or collection, or you can visit a bureau de change or bank on the high street. The post office has its own travel money service, as do most travel agents.

Travel money can also be purchased at airports. However, this is almost always much more expensive than the alternatives if you really have no choice but to get travel money at the airport, pre-order it online for collection to get the best rates.

We are independently reviewed by our verified customers and web users:
Rating: 4.6 / 5 with 25 votes

Lending Expert is a credit broker and comparison website, we're not a lender.

We bring together the very best financial providers and products from across the market place.

Warning: Late repayment can cause you serious money problems.
For help, go to moneyadviceservice.org.uk