Finding The Best Single Trip Travel Insurance Policy

When going on a trip abroad, either for work or a holiday, it’s crucial that you get travel insurance to cover you financially if anything goes wrong.

With travel insurance being an essential expense when going away, it’s wise to do what you can to get the best policy available to you. The best way to do this is to compare the providers against your needs and requirements.

Use our helpful checklist below to ensure that you have every consideration covered when selecting your single trip travel insurance policy.

Check what is covered

Travel insurance can be used to provide cover for multiple situations and occurrences. There are numerous must-have features that you should expect your travel insurance policy to cover as standard. These include:

Medical expenses

Your policy should cover the cost of any treatments or emergency surgeries you might have had when overseas. A good policy will cover you up to £1M for European travel and £2M in the United States.

This insurance will only cover urgent treatments that can’t be delayed until you get home.

Repatriation service

This should cover the costs of getting you back home for medical reasons. This also includes paying for any flights you may have missed because of getting medical treatment.

Cancellation/curtailment

If you’ve had to cut your trip short, your policy should provide cover to help you pay for any accommodation or other travel costs that you can’t use or payback.

Missed departure

Your policy should include cover that protects you if you’ve had to pay extra for accommodation because of missing a flight. You can only claim if this delay was out of your control, such as a public transport delay or being involved in an accident.

Delay

If your travel plans are delayed, your insurance provider should pay a certain amount. This delay can be because of poor weather, industrial action, or mechanical breakdown.

Baggage cover

You should expect your policy to cover any damaged, lost, stolen or destroyed luggage.

Personal liability cover

This type of cover ensures you’re insured if you have to pay damages for accidental bodily injury or damages to someone’s property. A good policy will cover you up to £2M, although claims made by family members or work staff won’t be covered.

In addition to this, a good travel insurance policy will also offer you the following. You should favour these insurance providers if you’re looking for more comprehensive cover:

Dental emergency

This provides cover for the costs of emergency dental work while you’re away. Cosmetic treatments are not covered.

Terrorism

This policy covers you for any insured losses if an act of terrorism impacts you while you’re away.

Loss of passport

If you lose your passport, an insurance provider should cover any extra travel and accommodation you needed to make to replace your lost passport.

Who are you travelling with?

Who you’re travelling with could alter the travel insurance policy that you choose.

It might be worth considering a single family policy if you’re travelling with family. This can provide your entire family with cover, and some providers might offer free coverage for your children, making it perfect for young families.

Group policies can be complicated to set up, though, and if you’re travelling with friends, it might be better to insure yourself as an individual. This will allow you to get the cover that you want and could also be cheaper.

What are you doing?

What you’re planning to do on holiday can alter what type of single trip insurance policy suits you. If you’re planning on visiting a beach all day, then the cover you need will alter a lot from those considering extreme sports such as skiing and scuba diving.

If you are engaging in extreme sports, then you’ll have to add that coverage into your insurance policy, as that won’t be covered as standard.

How long are you travelling for?

The duration of your trip abroad could dictate what insurance policy you choose. The majority of insurance providers will only provide cover for trips under 30 days under one policy. If you’re planning on making a longer trip beyond this time, you’ll need to choose a provider who offers longer travel periods, called long-stay travel insurance.

Do you have any medical conditions?

When getting insurance, the cost of it will depend on a few details about yourself. For example, if you’re a smoker or have any pre-existing medical conditions, you can expect to pay a higher fee for insurance, as you’ll be viewed as a higher risk individual.

If you do suffer from medical conditions, it’s important that you declare it and don’t lie, even if doing so saves you money. This is because if you need cover that is related to your pre-existing medical condition, you won’t get anything. Staying honest will ensure that you get the best travel insurance for you.

Getting quotes

It is imperative to compare several quotes to get the right cover for the right rate. Otherwise, you might pay more on your policy yet not get the cover you need or prefer.

It is ideal to compare quotes that offer all the cover you need for your travel. This can also help you afford the possible excess that you need to pay if you make a claim.

Getting travel insurance can be tricky, but you can find the right provider for your needs by using a plan when searching the market.

 

 

Should You Get An Annual Travel Insurance Policy?

If you’re a regular traveller going abroad many times in a single year, it may be worth considering an annual travel insurance plan.

Unlike having to take out insurance before every trip, you can buy one policy that covers every holiday or trip you take within 12 months. With one purchase of an annual insurance policy, frequent travellers will have the convenience of knowing they’re covered every time they set off.

Although useful for frequent fliers, it may not be the best value for money if you’re not going on many trips. This guide aims to help you decide whether an annual trip insurance policy is right for you.

How often are you flying?

Deciding to get an annual policy depends on how frequent you travel within a year. If you’re just going for a holiday once or twice, a single trip cover should work for you.

If you know you’ll likely travel out of the country frequently and may stay longer; you’re a perfect fit for an annual insurance cover. This suits people who are going on business trips regularly or families who have two or more yearly holidays.

Where are you travelling to?

Annual travel insurance policies do not cover the entire globe. In fact, there are usually 3 categories you can choose from when selecting your annual cover:

Europe
Worldwide, excluding the USA, Canada and the Caribbean islands
Worldwide

Each category may have altering prices due to the perceived risks and scope of the regions. Having policies broken down like this can make your coverage more expensive, depending on your destination.

If all your holiday destinations are in Europe, then you’ll be able to have the cheaper European policy. If you want to visit America, then you’ll have to get a new policy to include that region. This can make the insurance rather expensive.

Also, do note some countries may not be covered once classified as dangerous or risky by the FCO (Foreign & Commonwealth Office).

How long are your trips?

Despite being able to take multiple trips with an annual travel insurance policy, most providers are likely to have a limit on how long each trip can be.

Usually, this limit is 30 days. This means if you’re planning on taking trips that exceed this timeframe, then you likely won’t be able to get an annual travel insurance policy. Some providers may be able to up this to 90 days, although this may increase the cost of your insurance.

Some policies also set a total travel limit. Most should set a total limit of 180 days within a year. Each time you take a trip, the length of your trip will add to your total limit, and once you go beyond 180 days, you’ll no longer be covered. It pays to check your policy when getting an annual trip cover and determine if a total limit is set.

What does it cover?

Annual travel insurance has the same coverage as single trip policies, which include cover for:

Cancellation and Delays
Medical Expenses
Baggage and Personal Money
Repatriation

It does not include additional travel insurance cover you may have to add to a policy, such as extreme sports travel insurance. This means this type of travel insurance may not suit those who frequently travel for skiing.

Single trip or an annual policy?

Deciding whether to get a single trip or annual trip travel insurance policy depends on your circumstances. If you only have to travel once or twice within a year, it may suit you to get a single trip cover. If you’re travelling more than 3 times a year, it may be appropriate to consider an annual travel insurance policy.

 

Car Insurance Excess: How Does It Work?

What is car insurance excess?

Car insurance excess is an agreed amount that you will pay towards any individual claim you make on your car insurance.

Let’s assume your insurance policy holds a £70 excess, and you’re unfortunate enough to have an accident. The price of your repair is £1,070, so the insurer will shoulder £1,000, which leaves you with £70 excess to pay the bill in full.

Now, let’s say you’ve only grieved for a broken door mirror. All it requires is a new lens, which costs £20, £50 cheaper than your excess, you can’t claim for it, as the cost of repair is lower than the excess amount.

Most policies come with two types of excess – compulsory and voluntary.

What is compulsory excess?

Compulsory excess is the amount you must pay when you claim on your car insurance; this figure is set by your insurance company and is non-negotiable. The amount can change based on various factors, including your driving skill, age and the type of car you drive.

A new driver may need to pay a greater compulsory excess than a more experienced driver as they are seen as a higher risk.

What is voluntary excess?

On top of your compulsory excess, voluntary excess is an amount you choose to pay towards insurance claims. By raising your voluntary excess, you may be able to bring your insurance premiums down. However, remember that you will have to pay this out if you make a claim, and you can decide not to pay any voluntary excess and only compulsory excess if that suits you more; it all depends on how much you can afford to expend if you need to make a claim.

When do you pay excess on car insurance?

You will need to pay your compulsory and voluntary excess (the predetermined amount you chose when taking out your insurance) whenever you claim on your car insurance. This is regardless of fault; however, in many cases, if it is decided that you were not at fault, the insurance company will claim back your excess.

How To Get Travel Insurance With A Pre-Existing Condition

It’s important to get travel insurance when you go abroad because it provides protection if things were to go wrong on your trip.

When getting travel insurance, there are a lot of factors that determine how much you’ll have to pay, such as where you’re going, how long you’re travelling, and what you have planned while away – like if you’re partaking in extreme sports.

However, one thing that can contribute to your premiums the most is if you have any pre-existing medical conditions.

If you have suffered or currently suffer from medical conditions, insurers may deem you as a higher risk individual, because you may be more likely to make a claim than someone with no medical issues. The increased prices can put off people with medical conditions from getting travel insurance – which is a huge risk – or put them off from travelling entirely.

Here’s a look at how to get the best out of your travel insurance if you have a pre-existing medical condition.

Why you must declare pre-existing conditions

It may be tempting not to disclose any conditions if you’re getting quoted much higher travel insurance premiums due to pre-existing conditions.

This is not something you should do.

Not only is it misleading, but if you need to make a claim while on a trip that’s related to your medical condition, your insurance provider may not payout, leaving you with no cover.

Even if you need to claim for something unrelated to your current health issue, some providers may still not payout if you’re found to have lied on your insurance application.

Where can I get cover with a pre-existing medical condition?

Most popular travel insurance providers should provide cover for those with medical conditions. However, not all of them will, and depending on your specific condition and severity of it, some may refuse you cover.

As well as from the standard providers, you can get insurance from a provider that offers a specialised service for those with medical conditions. Although these will still likely be more expensive, you may get better coverage that suits your specific needs and requirements.

What is a pre-existing health condition?

It may be confusing about what a pre-existing health condition is that needs to be declared. Some common conditions you need to declare are:

Cancer
Arthritis
Heart conditions
Diabetes
IBS or Crohn’s disease
Psychological issues
Asthma

For some of these conditions, you’ll have to disclose if you’re still under treatment or in remission. For example, if you’re in remission from cancer, you’ll still have to pay higher travel insurance. The longer your remission period, the lower your insurance should become, in theory.

You’ll also need to disclose if you’ve had surgery in the last five years by most providers.

For the majority of insurance providers, pregnancy is not considered a health condition. This means if you need medical assistance on your travels when pregnant, you should get covered on a standard insurance policy.

Needing to wear glasses or hearing aids is also not considered a medical condition.

What can I claim?

When you take out travel insurance with a pre-existing medical condition, you should be covered for any claims that occur immediately or obliquely from the conditions you have declared. For instance, you will be covered if:

  1. You experience breathing difficulties and have a chest infection that needs medical treatment abroad.
  2. You endure high blood pressure, having a heart attack or stroke on your holiday.

As well as medical cover, you should also be able to claim for other issues that may happen on your travels. These include:

  1. Cover for cancellation or travel disruption
  2. Personal liability
  3. Lost baggage

All of this should be covered in one travel insurance policy, and you shouldn’t have to take out another policy to cover you for none medical situations.

How to save money on travel insurance with a pre-existing medical condition?

Compared to regular travel insurance, you’ll likely have to pay more for cover if you have a medical condition. However, there are things you can do to help you get the best deal for your situation.

The first is to shop around and compare quotes. By comparing premiums offered by various providers, you’ll be able to identify the insurance that provides the best value for money for you.

It’s also an excellent tactic to buy your travel insurance in advance. The longer you leave it, the more you’ll be charged, so by being organised and proactive, you can save money and get cover for any cancellations that may happen too.

If you’re travelling more than once a year, getting multi-trip cover may be worth getting. This can be a lot cheaper, but you’ll need to learn more about annual travel insurance to figure out if it’s best for you.

Finally, paying more in excess may help you reduce the premiums because doing this tells insurers you’re less likely to make a claim.

Doing all of this can help you get the best prices on insurance if you have a pre-existing health condition.

Single Vs. Annual Trip Travel Insurance

The choice between annual and single trip travel insurance can be tricky. However, deciding which plan you get is a matter of understanding what you need to safeguard on your travel.

Which is cheaper?

Which one is cheaper will depend on how many times you plan to travel within a year. If you’re sure to go for one or two holidays overseas, a single trip policy will suit your needs.

However, if you plan to take several voyages overseas, an annual multi-trip policy could be more affordable. It can help you cut travel insurance costs.

What is single trip travel insurance?

Single trip travel insurance is a policy that covers you for one trip abroad. When taking out the policy, you will need to confirm your destination, set off date, and the end date of your trip. You will only be covered at your specified destination within the set period with this type of insurance.

Pros

  1. Cheaper than annual cover
  2. Cover-specific based on your trip
  3. Can hold a higher maximum age than annual cover

Cons

  1. Can be expensive if taken per trip
  2. Shorter-term cover
  3. The policy is just for one time travel

What is annual travel insurance?

This type of insurance, also known as multi-trip travel insurance, covers you each time you travel in a set period, usually 12 months. When applying for an annual cover quote, your provider will provide you with choices between:

Europe
Worldwide, excluding the USA, Canada and all Caribbean islands
Worldwide, including the USA, Canada and all Caribbean islands

Your cover also includes travel to countries in those areas. For instance, you would NOT be covered if you preferred Europe and progressed to Asia. Also, it can cover any domestic voyages you take within the UK.

Each trip has a specific limit in terms of the number of days you can stay. Several policies will cover an individual trip of up to 31 days. This means you would be covered for trips of 31 days or less but not exceeding 32 days or more.

Some offer terms of 10 days or up to 90 days, so review the policy thoroughly before you take it out.

Pros

  1. Can be cheaper if you plan on travelling several times during the year
  2. You don’t have to get a policy each time you travel
  3. Covers your trips in the UK
  4. Great for spontaneous trip takers

Cons

  1. Has lower maximum age most often
  2. Your cover would not be specific per trip
  3. Can seem wasteful and expensive if you don’t travel more than once or twice in the year

What can single and annual trip travel insurance cover?

Both types of travel insurance can cover:

Medical expenses
Cancellation
Repatriation
Baggage or belongings
Personal money

Review each policy thoroughly since each policy will cover specific points, but not all will cover everything you need. Also, compare how much you are covered for.

Other circumstances to consider:

Winter sports: Adding winter sports to an annual policy could make it more costly than single trip policies, particularly if you only go on a winter sports holiday once a year.

Pre-existing medical conditions: You must disclose any health conditions when you apply. Annual cover with medical conditions covered can be costly, so check to see if it is cheaper to get single trip cover.

Your age: Several insurers will not offer annual travel insurance for travellers past 75 or 80 years old, so you will necessitate getting single trip policies which do not have any age restrictions.

Should I get a single trip or an annual policy?

Deciding whether to get a single trip or annual trip travel insurance policy depends on your circumstances. If you only have to travel once or twice within a year, you should get a single trip policy. But if you’re travelling often or are likely to book spontaneous trips throughout the year, annual insurance would be best.

More Travel Guides

Read more of our handy guides, whether you’re looking for the best deals on travel money, the best way to spend abroad, trying to understand exchange rates or want to know what to do with your leftover currency.

A Simple Guide On Extreme Sports Travel Insurance Cover

If you’re going on a holiday to try out various extreme sports, you may have to take out a more comprehensive travel insurance plan. A typical insurance policy may only cover low-risk activities, so a venture that includes the likes of sky diving or rock climbing requires a different level of cover called extreme sports travel insurance.

Extreme sports travel insurance explained

Extreme sports travel insurance is a financial safeguard against any costs you may have to pay if things go wrong when participating in extreme sports or activities while abroad.

This includes medical costs because many holiday destinations require payment for medical treatments. This type of insurance may also cover you for any damages to equipment that might have occurred.

Some sports and activities are covered automatically in a single trip or annual travel insurance policy, but the majority aren’t. In case it’s not included, you can add them by paying additional fees.

Because extreme sports are higher risk activities, getting the appropriate cover may cost more than standard travel insurance because there’s a bigger chance you may have to make a claim.

What can extreme sports insurance cover?

Extreme sports travel insurance covers various situations, helping to keep you protected if there’s an issue when doing any of these activities. You’ll get cover for:

Medical expenses

Any medical treatment expenses you may have had because of an injury should be covered with extreme sports insurance – up to a specific fee dependent on your insurance policy.

Repatriation

If injured when abroad, you may have to travel back home to undergo treatment or continue your recovery. The cost of your return or re-entry home should be covered when it’s medically necessary or if you’ve missed your previously arranged flight because you were receiving treatment.

Personal injury

If an extreme sports accident has left you with a permanent injury, you’ll receive a lump sum from your extreme sports travel insurance provider.

Personal liability

By making sure your extreme sports travel insurance has personal liability included, you’ll get cover for any damages you may have to pay for if you’ve accidentally injured someone else or damaged their property.

Activities included in extreme sports insurance cover

The activities covered could alter depending on your extreme sports travel insurance provider. Many may compile sports within ‘packs’ that you can add to your policy, with each sport or activity within that pack covered.

For example, some might offer a winter sports pack covering activities like skiing and snowboarding, or a motorsport pack, which might cover quad biking and race car driving.

Some of the most common extreme sports you’re likely to find cover for include:

Bungee jumping
Paragliding
Scuba diving
Windsurfing
Skiing
Zip lining

To get the best travel insurance for you, it’s best to know what activities you have planned before you travel, so you can find the right policy that covers them.

Sports that need extra cover

Although a lot of sports and activities are covered when you get the standard package offered by extreme sports travel insurance providers, there may be extra activities that you’ll have to add on individually.

These activities have a higher risk of accident or injury, so may require a more expensive fee. Some of the activities that may need extra cover include:

Rock climbing
White water rafting
Zorbing
Quad biking

The activities that need additional cover aren’t universal across all insurance providers. Some might include different activities in their standard package, so it’s good to check around and compare.

Winter sports cover

Most travel insurance providers offer a separate winter sports cover package. This could be the best option to get if you’re going on a ski-centric holiday, for example. These types of packages can cover:

Skiing
Snowboarding
Sledging
Snowblading
Snowmobiling

This insurance doesn’t just protect you if you are injured during your activities. It also provides protection if any of your gear or equipment is lost, damaged or stolen.

Additionally, if you’re unable to partake in your winter sports activities for a consecutive period – usually 12 hours or more – then you’ll also get some form of compensation with this type of cover.

Get the right insurance for you

Travel insurance is important to financially protect you when you’re abroad. To make sure that you’re not suffering more than you need to if the worst was to happen, be sure to get an insurance plan that provides the appropriate cover for you.

 

Joint Prepaid Cards: Who Are Prepaid Cards Used For?

joint prepaid card

A prepaid credit card is used for purchases online, in stores and allows you to replenish your balance by loading money on the card. We’ll give you the most useful information you need to know about joint prepaid cards and the frequently asked questions.

What is a joint prepaid card?

Joint prepaid card is a prepaid account that issue cards to you and your family or friends. The additional cards will be linked to one prepaid bank account. Some providers can issue up to three additional cards that are linked to the same account.

Tips In Choosing Your Prepaid Card

Determine the type of card that suits your needs
Check for possible charges or transaction fees
Make sure your repaid card is from a reputable company

Determine The Type Of Card You Need

To Use Abroad

If you’re travelling abroad, you could use a prepaid card as holiday money instead of cash. It’s safer than taking a lump sum of cash with you. You can top it up as you go, so there’s no need to take your travel money at once.

For Business Use

Employers can use prepaid cards if they want to allow employees to secure purchases, up to the desired limit. This means they can control the spending with the use of a business prepaid card.

For Teenagers

If you want to give your young teenager the liberty to spend money but worried that they might drain your account, you can use a prepaid card for teenagers. This way you can set a limit on the amount that they can spend.

A prepaid card is also useful when you’re on a tight budget and wanted to make sure that you avoid overspending. Besides, it is also a great way to prevent overdrafts and debt.

Check For Charges or Fees

Administration fees – this is the primary set-up cost for you to get your card and activate it.

Monthly or Annual Fees – a regular fee to cover your provider’s administration charges

Cash withdrawal fees – there might be fees for making ATM cash withdrawals in the UK or abroad.

Load charges – you’ll be charged for loading money onto your card.

UK transaction fees – you could be required each time you use your card for a particular transaction for loading money onto your card.

Dormancy fees – you might be charged for this fees if you remain inactive for a certain period. This can usually happen if you haven’t used your card for a couple of months.

Redemption fees – when you topped-up more than you need and need your available funds back, you could be required to pay a fee in reclaiming your money.

Foreign transaction fees – these are charges for using your card overseas or when you have non-sterling transactions.

Renewal fees – the same as your credit and debit cards, a prepaid card also have an expiry date. This means you’ll be charge for a new card when your old one expires.

Ensure You Get Your Card From a Trusted Company

You also have to make sure that you get your card from a reputable company. This can be a bit more complicated than choosing a debit or credit card provider, where you’re normally dealing with high street banks and big brands that you’re already familiar with. Do your research and be sure to make use of online review sites like Trustpilot.

The Basics Of Travel Money

The basics of travel money

It can be easy to budget your travel money when you understand which currency to use and how you can get the best exchange deal. This guide will help give you the basics that you need to know about travel money.

What is travel money?

Travel money is the currency you use to pay for services or products overseas instead of your pound sterling.

The currency you need

The currency that you need will depend on your country of destination. Some countries share their currency with other nations while most have their own.

Countries like Mexico also use other currencies unofficially where US Dollar is oftentimes acknowledged along with Mexican Peso.

You can also check our guide on:  Euro Exchange Rates

What is Exchange Rate?

Exchange rate shows you how much foreign money you’ll get when converting your existing currency.

For instance, if pound sterling to the euro exchange rate is 1.37, you’ll get 1.37 euro for every pound you exchange. This rate can vary from one company to the other. So, it would benefit you if you compare holiday travel money exchange rates. This can help you get the most out of your travel money.

Additionally, some travel money providers will offer a good rate when buying a large amount of foreign currency. This can be a huge difference when exchanging a lump sum of money.

Read our guide on how you can get the best deal on travel money.

How much travel money you need to take?

The amount of travel money that you need to rake will depend on your itinerary and duration of stay.

You can set a budget on how much will it costs you and set aside an additional 10% budget for emergencies. You can consider budgeting for the following expenses:

• Food and drinks

• Travel between cities

• Activities, events, entertainment, shopping

• Accommodation

• Emergency costs

You have to make a list of the possible expenses and anticipate possible costs that may occur while you’re abroad.

How much travel money you can buy at once?

The amount of foreign currency that you can buy depends on the provider since each company has its own standard on how much you can order.

Though you might not plan to take a lump sum of money on your trip overseas, you must be cautious on cash restrictions when taking money outside or back to the UK.

For instance, taking more than a sum corresponding to €10,000 from the UK to a non-EU country should be declared to customs. Otherwise, you’re money will be at risks of being confiscated. You can find out more details by visiting the Gov.UK website.

Where can I buy travel money?

Online

You can search online for travel money providers that lets you order currency and deliver it right to your doorstep.

Bureau de change

You can also go to high street travel money companies or at the airport to exchange your pound sterling into your preferred foreign currency.

Abroad

Through your debit or credit card, you can withdraw money abroad at the ATMs. These can be costly as it carried charges for foreign usage.

Travel Money Card

You can also secure prepaid travel cards online or in-store. Simply load the card with pounds sterling and withdraw foreign currency when you’re overseas. You must also check with your provider if your prepaid travel cards suit the type of currency that you need.

Buying travel money at the airport?

Buying foreign currency at the airport can be pricey. It can cost as much as buying it from the high street or can even be more expensive.

If the only option left is buying it from the airport, you might consider buying it online through preorder to get a good deal and picking it up in the airport.

Guide in Getting the Best Deal on Travel Money

When travelling abroad, it’s important to manage your travel money well. If you fail to get the best deals when exchanging currency or using your money in another country, you could spend more than you need to, increasing the total cost of your trip.

Making your travel money stretch further isn’t hard to do; you just need to know what to avoid and what to look for before you set off to your destination. Use our guide to help you get the best deals on travel money.

What is travel money?

In basic terms, travel money is what you exchange your own currency for to use when in a different country. You can take out travel money as cash to spend abroad or load it into a prepaid travel card before you travel.

When you take out travel money, you will be shown an exchange rate. This rate will tell you how much foreign currency you’ll get for your pounds.

As a basic example, a dollar exchange rate of 1.27 means you’ll get back 1 dollar and 27 cents for every pound you exchange. Multiple providers of travel money will offer you an exchange rate, and their exchange rate may defer between providers. You can then use the exchange rate to compare between providers to find the best value.

Exchange rates can also fluctuate from day to day. When planning a trip abroad, it’s always good to monitor this to help you buy your travel money on a day when the rate is the best value.

It’s also worth noting that there are two exchange rates for travel money: the sell rate and the buy rate.

The sell rate is the exchange rate you will be sold a foreign currency. So, if you’re going to Italy, you’ll exchange your pounds for euros at the sell rate.

If you have any extra foreign currency when returning from a trip, you can exchange that back into pounds. This will be bought from you at the buy rate. This rate is often different from the sell rate.

Where should I get travel money from?

There are multiple places where you can get travel money from. These include:

Banks
The post office
Bureaux de change
Currency websites
Some travel agents and large supermarkets

These are all viable options to get your travel money because the majority are likely to offer a competitive exchange rate and may usually not have many fees if any.

As well as these locations, you can also buy your travel money at the airport. You shouldn’t do this. This is because the exchange rate at an airport can be a lot worse. After all, there’s little incentive to offer competitive prices, because, at this point, there are no other options a traveller can use to get travel money.

Plus, in addition to a poor exchange rate, they may also charge you a service fee, often 10% of the total money exchanged. This means if you exchange £1000 for a different currency, you’ll be paying £1100 to do it.

What are travel money charges and fees?

Depending on how and where you get your travel money, you may have to pay additional charges and fees.

When getting travel money from a bank or from the post office, you’ll likely not have to pay any fees or charges – providing you’re paying out of your current account. This is because when getting travel money, it’s considered the same as a withdrawal or purchase.

Buying travel money with a credit card is different, though. Doing this will be considered a cash advance, which means you’ll have to pay a cash advance fee, usually 3% of the withdrawn amount from most card providers. Also, the amount you buy with a credit card will start to earn interest immediately at your credit card provider’s cash advance rate. If you want to save travel money, avoid this payment method.

Some travel money providers may also charge a service fee.

Tips to save money on travel

Once you have your travel money, you can do a few things to ensure you’re saving money and not overspending.

Load it into a prepaid travel card

When you get your travel money, it’s best to load it onto a prepaid travel card. Doing this will lock in the exchange rate you bought the currency for and ensure you avoid costly withdrawal fees and other charges if you were to use a debit or credit card to pay for items when abroad.

Only get the amount of travel money you need

Because of the difference between the buy and sell exchange rate, if you get too much travel money and fail to spend it all, you’ll lose out on some cash when you convert it back into pounds.

For example, if you spend £1000 to get euros at a sell exchange rate of 1.3, you’ll get €1300. If you return with €300 and want to convert it back to pounds, you won’t get the same 1.3 exchange rate (which would have given you £230.77 back).

Instead, you’ll have a worse buy exchange rate, such as 1.4. When converting your foreign money to pounds, you’ll only get £214.29, losing you money.

Think about what you need your travel money for and try not to buy too much travel money.

Choose to pay in local currency when using card

When paying by card, be it debit card or with a prepaid travel card, opt to pay via the local currency if given a choice to do so. If you don’t choose to do this, the retailer will do the currency conversion instead of your card provider. This conversion may likely be at a worse rate, costing you in the process.

Get a specialist overseas credit card when hiring cars

When travelling overseas, you’ll likely be hiring a car to get around. When doing this, you will likely need a credit card, because car hire firms won’t accept debit or prepaid cards.

As you’re leaving a deposit for the car in a foreign currency, doing this on your typical credit card can be expensive because of the fees and interest that are charged. Getting a specialist overseas card can be a lot cheaper.

Not fully understanding travel money can cost you when you’re abroad. Before you travel, be sure to compare exchange rates, consider prepaid travel cards, and get your travel money from the best providers that avoid extra charges and inflated fees.

Travel Money: Dealing with leftover foreign currency?

Most of us have returned from a holiday with leftover travel money, which can often sit in a draw for years after your trip.

The good news is there are ways to deal with your unspent travel money. Here is how you can make use of any unspent foreign bill.

What to do with my leftover travel money?

There’s no need to be stressed thinking of what you can do with your spare travel money; here are the three main ways to deal with leftover foreign currency.

  1. If you plan of visiting a country that accepts that currency, you can keep it for your next trip. Just keep it safe so you can access it easily the next time you need it.
  2. You can also find a high street travel money provider and exchange it back into pound sterling.
  3. Should you prefer to give it away, you can give it to your friends or family who will take a trip to a country that accepts your leftover foreign currency. You can also donate them to your preferred charity.

Exchanging your currency back

You can convert the leftover currency back if you don’t have plans to visit or take a trip soon.

However, if you see that the exchange rate is lower than when you first converted, you will get back less money. In this case, it may be worth keeping hold of it and trying to exchange it at a later date when the rate is better.

However, waiting to exchange your cash is not always the best idea, as exchange rates could go down further, and many providers won’t exchange low-value notes or coins.

Remember, when converting your foreign currency back to pounds, you could be charged exchange fees, which will also decrease the value of your cash.

What is buyback?

Buyback allows you to swap unused foreign money back into a pound sterling after your travel.

The same with buying foreign currency; you’ll be offered an exchange rate. This means you can either get more or less in terms of offers.

Guaranteed buyback

Guaranteed buyback allows you to sell your foreign currency at the same rate during your first exchange. This process is not for free; it will cost you up to £4 for a guaranteed buyback.

If the rates increase when you want to exchange your foreign money, you can look for deals that help you save more than having a guaranteed buyback.

Could you keep it for your next trip?

Suppose you plan to visit the same country or take a trip to another country that accepts your leftover currency. In that case, you can keep the foreign currency instead. By keeping it for your next trip, you can avoid paying for exchange fees and other charges.

Could you sell it to friends or family?

Giving away your leftover currency to family or friends means not getting any money back. Instead, you can try the following options:

  1. Exchanging any leftover travel money from each other’s overseas trips as a standing deal that can help you avoid the exchange costs.
  2. Selling your money to friends or family can help you avoid charges when using a company.

Donating it to charity

You can also donate your leftover holiday travel money to a charity that accepts the foreign currency.

Another option is giving it to airlines that accept foreign coin donations during return flights to the UK. Some of which are in airports collection points.

Tips for your next trip

It can save you time and hassle if you can avoid having any leftover foreign currency. If you use cash, make sure that you stick to your budget and take a bit more just in case you tend to overspend.

When using your card, you have to inform your provider that you’ll be using your card abroad to avoid restrictions on your card and the possibility of being blocked.

You could also try using a prepaid travel card or a travel credit card to avoid having leftover travel money and prevent you from carrying large amounts of cash when travelling.