With the British summer holiday season well and truly upon us, if you’re jetting off somewhere exciting in the next few weeks, planning your holiday money should be up there on the list alongside sunscreen and flip-flops.
Prepaid Travel Cards vs Cash
The world of travel money can be a bit confusing particularly when you take varying currency exchange rates and travel money methods into account. If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed by all of the available options, it’s interesting to see what other people do when they go on holiday.
Book Mallorca surveyed 500 Brits to find out the proportion of people who prefer to take cash and the people who prefer to load money onto a travel card.
Cash is still king for Brits abroad
Even with options such as prepaid travel cards readily available and accepted all over the world, cash still comes out on top for Brits on holiday.
The results of the survey reveal that more than two-thirds of the people we asked preferred taking cash over a pre-loaded travel card – perhaps using a card to buy an ice cream on the beach or other small purchases isn’t as convenient as handing over a couple of euros.
Men, on the other hand, are more likely to load their cash onto a prepaid card, with 40% of the men we asked doing so on their summer holiday.
Why is cash still the preferred option for most when travelling abroad?
In theory, a prepaid travel card seems like the easiest option when travelling as there should be no issues with being short-changed or having to wear a fetching money belt in the heat of the holiday sun.
But, there is still a price to pay when it comes to using card abroad, which is reflected in the results of the survey. Almost every travel card carries charges, for example, you can be charged for withdrawing cash from an ATM as well as paying in shops.
Travel Cards – the safer option?
Travel cards are basically the new and improved version of travellers cheques.
Prepaid cards are the new travellers’ cheques – just easier and more flexible to use with the same protection.
Once you have loaded up the card with money, you use it just like a normal debit card back in the UK. There’s no chance of overspending and getting into debt because you can only spend what is on there. Even if you run out, it’s quick and simple to top up.
Top Travel Tip – If you’re using your card overseas, never pay in sterling, as the shop or restaurant chooses the conversion rate. Always pay in the local currency and check as you are making the payment this has been done correctly.
Is mix and matching your travel money the best option?
Even if you do push the boat out and load all of your holiday money onto a card, it is always worth carrying a bit of foreign currency with you, even if it’s just for a drink at the airport when you arrive or for tipping the taxi driver, but avoid buying currency at the airport as you’ll get the worst exchange rate this way.
Top Travel Tip: The advice is to shop around a few weeks before your departure date and find the cheapest deal, whether it’s traditional cash or a travel card.
Disclosure: This is a collaborative post