Travel money can often be an afterthought when it comes to your family holiday, but it really shouldn’t be. For starters, if you buy your currency in advance you’ll get far more to spend for the same number of pounds. Plus, if you properly plan how you’ll carry your currency, it’s easier to keep control of your holiday budget and prevent any loss or theft.
Follow our top 5 tips for keeping control of your family’s travel money and make sure that it doesn’t cause you any unwarranted stress.
1. Cash is no longer king
No matter where you are in the world, you really shouldn’t be carrying wads of cash around. Cash is easily lost and easily stolen. And if someone does steal it you can be pretty certain that you’ll never see it again – there’s no ‘blocking’ cash or tracking down the thieves that are spending it.
Take a chip and PIN secure card on your next trip and use it as your primary payment method. If you need some ‘walking around money’, you can always withdraw some cash using an ATM while you’re away.
2. Watch out for hidden fees
Think twice before you default to using your UK debit or credit card. Your UK bank card can come with costly fees when you’re spending in a foreign currency, and you’re almost certain to get what we’d consider to be a very poor rate.
Before you use any service, make sure you check all the fees and charges involved. What is their foreign exchange fee? Do they charge a transaction fee or a “processing” fee?
3. Trust your instincts
Always trust your instincts when travelling, if a shop or ATM doesn’t look quite right then stay away. You don’t want to be given an unfair price or have money stolen from your card.
Make sure you’re armed with a card that comes accompanied with an app to check your spending. Keep an eye on what gets taken from your card as you spend too and query any unusual transactions with your card provider, and where possible the retailer that you just purchased from.
4. Stick to a budget
It sounds obvious but if you only have so much to spend, don’t spend it all in one day. Figure out your daily budget before you go based on the cost of your destination.
Make sure no one in your family is burning through your budget either. With FairFX Family & Friends Cards you can link multiple cards to your main FairFX Card and give one to each member of your family (aged 13+ years) – send money to and from cards with a few taps of our mobile app. See where they spend and set their individual budget for the day, week, or whole trip.
The FairFX mobile app also allows you to keep track of all your FairFX Prepaid Mastercard® transactions on the go, meaning you can check what rate you’re spending at and even buy more currency if you need to.
5. Keep note
Record important phone numbers and addresses somewhere other than your phone and purse – these are prime targets for thieves and you never know when your phone will run out of battery.
You should record the details of the nearest embassy/consulate, the lost/stolen phone number of your card provider and the emergency and non-emergency police numbers for the country you are visiting.
This means if you do have any issues with the card you’re using to spend, or are the victim of theft, you should be able to get a resolution quickly.
With a FairFX Currency Card you get great rates and low, transparent fees, plus an easy way to keep track of your spending with the FairFX mobile app. Link additional Family & Friends Cards to your account for a smart way to share travel money with the family.