Money: Cash or Card?
If you’re preparing for your soon-to-be jet-setting adventure, you may be considering how to manage your finances whilst you’re away. Too many of us often leave sorting our travel money out until the very last minute, so are you missing out on making the most of your spends?
In a recent survey of 500 people by Book Mallorca, when asked if they preferred to take cash or a travel card on holiday, almost two-thirds (63.5%) chose cash over card. Both have their advantages, so how can you decide which option is actually best for you?
Here we offer a short guide to managing your holiday finances before you travel.
Cash: It can come in handy
Changing even just a small amount of your money into foreign currency to take on your travels can help you to not only pay for essentials such as food, drink and transport, but can also help you manage your entire budget more efficiently. You also never know when you may need extra cash in case of an emergency!
Cash: On the downside
It’s much riskier to carry cash around with you than it is travel cards, especially if it’s a large amount of money. There’s an awful lot of pickpocketing in countries overseas and as a tourist, you’re likely to be more of a target to them.
Most of the time, travel insurance will only cover you for a maximum amount of cash being lost or stolen, usually around £500. It’s crucial to read over your insurance policy to be certain on how much money you can be covered for. If you think you’ll be needing more than £500 on your holiday, consider using a travel card too, which is discussed further on.
Some words of advice
Try to go in store to exchange your money, if you can. A lot of the time you can be charged as much as £5 to have your currency delivered, or even if you pre-order it to collect in store!
Always compare the different exchange rates before buying. Although the percentage differences may not seem much, choosing a lousy exchange rate can have a pretty big impact on the amount you have to spend on your holiday.
Aim to have as much foreign currency as you could need before you travel. Most of the time, exchange rates differ abroad and you may not get the best deal. Airport exchange rates are also quite pathetic, so avoid last minute exchanges if you can.
Travel Cards: The benefits
Prepaid travel cards allow you to not only budget for your travels with a set amount of money, but they are also widely accepted all over the world. So whether it’s Berlin or the Bahamas, Mallorca or Malaysia, you can be confident that your money is easily accessible, and a lot safer than if you were to carry it around as cash.
If you require a lot of money for your travels, you have less to worry about if your card is stolen rather than if it was cash. Replacement cards, for a small fee, are often part of the package, and your money is automatically transferred across to the new card.
Lucky enough to be taking a multi-destination trip? If you’ve planned where you will be going before you set off, a prepaid travel card can be loaded with different currencies all at the same time, making your holiday budgeting much simpler.
Travel Cards: The downfall
If you end up having a fantastic time on your holiday, so much so that you need extra money, you could be faced with charges for taking money out of the cash machine with your travel card. However, with some travel cards, the charge is a lot less than if you were to use a standard debit card and in some cases, they don’t exist at all. Either way, it’s worth comparing the different benefits of each card before choosing which, if any, to use.
So what is it to be?
While both cash and prepaid travel cards each come with the pros and cons, it ultimately depends on the type of holiday you are having. Where you are going and how long for can determine which is best for you. However, unless you are going to a destination where you know cards will not be accepted, try to head off on your hols with both cash and a card. The general rule of thumb tends to be a 30:70 ratio of cash:card.
Disclaimer: this is a sponsored post which was commissioned by Fire Cask