Travel money: Why holidaymakers should pay using local currency abroad

Holidays in the age of a pandemic could not be more uncertain and complex. While passports and plane tickets, luggage and liquid rules still apply, there’s now a plethora of other aspects to take into account. Masks on planes and hand sanitiser to remain germ-free are just a couple of the more important items that feature on the average Britons’ packing list.

Travel money will always be essential when Britons go abroad, whether it’s euros or lira.

Currensea is a travel card that links directly to your bank account, eliminating the hassle of juggling currencies with prepaid cards or different accounts.

The card automatically saves travellers 85 percent on bank charges anywhere in the world.

Founder of Currensea James Lynn spoke exclusively to about why using local currency abroad is so important.

“The one thing that we know everyone wants when they go abroad is a hassle-free, simple experience and value,” he said.

He continued: “When people are abroad, there are a few things to consider.

“The first thing is to try and avoid using cash and ATMs where possible.

“It is much cheaper to spend on a travel debit card. For instance, Currensea can save customers over 85 percent in fees compared to a normal high street bank.

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“Try and use some sort of travel debit card and avoid that cash.

“The second reason to avoid using cash is, aside from the perceived health risks…. you’ll pay more for the cash in the first place and you’ll be left with foreign currency at the end of the holiday.

“When you do come back from holiday, you will then have to change it back again, taking yet another charge on the FX.”

Having recently travelled to Turkey, Lynn described how the country had signs everywhere urging people to use card “wherever possible” because of coronavirus.

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One of the main points that Lynn said he could “never say enough” is to always pay in the local currency when you’re abroad.

When Lynn was in Turkey, he had to use an ATM to get some cash out due to one vendor requiring cash only.

“Using Turkish lira, we used a currency exchange rate which was zero.

“Using their exchange rate, they were going to charge me 11 percent.”

“It’s absolutely shocking but there are a limited amount of people who are not aware of this.”

He added: “Cash is just a really expensive way of doing things.”

Currensea sends their users an email if they do this when they are abroad to urge them not to be caught out by this again.

He said once most people see how much it costs them, they tend not to do it again.

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