Going on a grown-up holiday? Get the best travel money deal

Going on holiday once the kids are back at school not only means destinations will be quieter, they’ll be much cheaper too.

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So if you don’t have children or they are not of school-age, you may be about to head off on a much-needed break.

And if you are, you can save even more money by ensuring you get a good deal on your travel money.

Get the best foreign currency deal

Taking foreign currency with you is probably the easiest way to spend while you’re abroad. But exchange rates vary considerably, so it’s really important to shop around.

There’s no need to trudge up and down the high street though, as the best rates are usually found online. And your savings will often stretch further if you can pick your cash up, rather than have it delivered.

Watch out for:

If you leave buying your foreign currency until you get to the airport you’ll end up paying inflated exchange rates and commissions.

However, if you have left it until the last minute, you can still save money by pre-ordering your currency with Travelex four hours before picking it up at its airport desk.

Choose the right credit card

It’s always sensible to take a credit card with you when you go on holiday – but watch out as many will charge you when you use them overseas.

Foreign load fees of around 2.99%, coupled with cash withdrawal fees of the same amount, can end up being very expensive. In fact, when you add these together, you could be looking at around £6 for each £100 you spend.

But it’s not all bad news as there are some cards, such as the Halifax Clarity credit card, that are designed specifically for use overseas.

The Halifax card won’t charge you a fee for using it abroad, no matter whether you’re spending on it or using it for cash withdrawals. The card has a representative annual percentage rate of 18.9% APR (variable)*.

Watch out for:

No matter which card you use, if you withdraw cash on your credit card, you’ll be charged interest from the moment you get hold of your money – even if you clear your balance that month. So avoid cash withdrawals if you can.

You can compare more overseas credit cards here.

Consider using a prepaid card

In our recent poll, we found that more than half of us (55%) haven’t used travellers’ cheques abroad for at least 10 years.

Instead, prepaid cards are becoming increasingly popular. So how do they work?

Prepaid cards can be loaded up with cash in advance and you will then only be able to spend what’s on the card – unless you choose to top it up with further funds.

Many of these cards are designed for use overseas, allowing you to pre-load them with euros or dollars.

Alternatively, you can pre-load your card with sterling and your money will then be exchanged to the local currency when you spend on the card abroad.

Here’s a quick look at a few options:

 Card  Foreign exchange fee  Cash withdrawal fee  Card application fee  If you apply through MoneySuperMarket
 FairFX Euro card  0% when used in correct currency (1.4% if not)  €1.50  £0 if you load £50 or more on to card (£9.95 otherwise)  Extra £8 when you load £500 or more*
 FairFX Dollar card  0% when used in correct currency (1.4% if not)  $2  £0 if you load £50 or more on to card (£9.95 otherwise)  Extra £8 when you load £500 or more*
 FairFX Anywhere card  1.4%  £1 overseas, £1.50 in UK  £0 if you load £50 or more on to card (£9.95 otherwise)  Extra £8 when you load £500 or more*
 My Travel Cash Euro card  0% when used in correct currency. Also receive 1% cashback when you spend  £0  £0  €18 free when loading £700 or more*
 My Travel Cash US Dollar card  0% when used in correct currency. Also receive 1% cashback when you spend  £0  £0  $15 free when loading £950 or more, or $9 when loading £600-£949.99*
 My Travel Cash Multi-Currency card  2.99%  Free overseas, 2.99% in UK  £0  £10 free when loading £950 or more, or £6 free when loading £600-£949.99*

*You must apply through MoneySuperMarket to qualify.

Watch out for:

Prepaid cards can come with application fees, loading fees, replacement card fees and inactivity fees so keep this in mind when you’re comparing deals.

Still need to book your holiday?

If you haven’t yet booked your holiday, you might be wondering where’s best to head to.

Bob Atkinson, travel expert at TravelSupermarket, said: “With school holidays coming to a close, it’s a fantastic time to get some late summer sun in quieter resorts where you could get the beach to yourself and never have to queue for a restaurant table in popular resorts.

“The best deals are to be found on Mediterranean hotspots from the Spanish Costas to Turkey, including the Greek islands.

“The Balearics offer great value for money with great value holidays on offer to Majorca, Menorca and Ibiza as the summer season starts to wind down. Cyprus, Malta, Sardinia and the Cote d’Azur also offer better pricing on late deals at this time of year.”

He added: “The heat is coming off destinations such as Dubai and the Red Sea, making them more bearable for those who find the peak summer temperatures too high.

“Further afield you can expect to find last-minute deals on holidays to the Caribbean, Mexico and Florida, although be aware that we are into hurricane season and weather can be changeable. Sri Lanka, Penang and South Africa make great long-haul choices at this time of year.”

Know someone heading off on holiday who could use these tips? Click here to email this page to them.

* Representative Example: If you spend £1,200 at a purchase interest rate of 18.95% p.a. (variable) your representative rate will be 18.9% APR (variable).

Please note: any rates or deals mentioned in this article were available at the time of writing. Click on a highlighted product and apply direct.

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