Holiday spending can be a real minefield. If you change money before you travel and only spend that amount when you’re abroad, you’ll have no problems.
However, as soon as you run out of spending money and you start to think about using credit cards abroad, it is likely that you’ll very quickly run into problems. To help you to spend and withdraw cash safely and sensibly whilst on your summer holidays, you should learn from others’ mistakes. Here are a few of the most common holiday money mistakes, along with a few tips on how you can avoid them:
Mistake# 1: Not getting to grips with the local currency
It’s amazing how many people go on holiday without learning about the local currency, figuring they’ll manage to work things out somehow. Not knowing how to convert the local currency into GBP will mean that you don’t know how much things really cost, or how much you’re spending. If you can’t work it out in your head, there are plenty of currency converter apps for smartphones you can use.
Mistake #2: Using the wrong kind of credit card
If you use your everyday credit card to spend and withdraw cash abroad, it is likely that you’ll be hit with huge charges, fees and interest rates. This is why you need to start shopping around, making sure to compare credit cards to find one that is specially designed and perfectly suited for use in foreign countries.
Mistake #3: Using debit cards abroad
If you need to take cash out when on holiday, you can do it at a local cash point for only a small charge. However, if you do this a lot or try to actually buy anything using the debit card linked to your standard current account, you could end up paying a small fortune in interest and fees when you get home again. Besides this, it could be dangerous to take a debit card that is linked to your current account away with you, in case it is lost or stolen. The best option is to use a specialist travel credit card, or get a second current account before you travel and use the debit card only when you need it.
Mistake #4: Not having the right change
One of the most common things that happens to holidaymakers and tourists when travelling is that they get short-changed, handing over a large note and not getting enough change. To avoid holiday rip-offs of this kind, make sure you have the right change with you whenever possible, as well as getting to grips with the local currency.