When it comes to travelling overseas, there are certain benefits of every payment method whether it’s the local currency, debit, credit or travel money cards, but there is always a place for good old fashion cash!

There are always going to be situations where cash is needed while overseas, and it makes perfect sense to get the local currency at the best rate before you go.  In this article, we explain some of the reasons we always recommend taking cash when you go abroad.

Cards may not be accepted

One of the major reasons to take travel money is that many countries can be more cash-based and not as sophisticated as the UK when it comes to electronic payments.  There are many instances where you would generally use your card in the UK, where abroad, it may not be accepted.

Some countries have not adopted the tap and go or contactless payment options, or if travelling to more remote or regional parts of the world cash may be the only option to pay.  

Convenient for small purchases

Travelling with the local currency is also convenient when it comes to small payments. If a store has a minimum card payment limit for buying small items, like a bottle of water or a small souvenir, cash may be the only option (unless you want to buy unnecessary items to get to over the minimum card payment!)

Tipping is also more convenient in cash. In many countries waiters and service staff are much more reliant on the money they receive in tips, having cash to tip your waiter is a lot more transparent than tipping on a card.

Why not just use a bank card to withdraw money from an ATM?

There is the option to withdraw local currency out at an ATM abroad, which may be handy, but you are at the mercy of the banks and will often be charged much higher rates.  You will also be charged banking fees/transaction charges that aren’t always apparent. Also, ATM owners often add on their own fees in addition to what the bank may charge.  Withdrawing a small amount of cash may cost you much more than you realise.

Missing out on experiences

Being dependent on paying by card can limit your holiday experiences.  By limiting yourself to more commercial places that will accept card payment may restrict you from experiencing the essence of a country.  

Many of the loveliest experiences you take home from holidays can be the smaller things; like the sweetness of a mango from a street vendor in Thailand, a little coffee while you people-watch on a plaza in Italy, or roasted chestnuts and mulled wine at a Christmas market in Salzburg.

We aren’t saying travel money can buy you happiness, but it can buy you ice cream, which is pretty much the same thing!

Budgeting

Have you ever come back from an evening out and overspent on your card without realising it?  Many travellers come back from their holidays having spent much more than they’d hoped to on their card.  Having cash limits your ability to do this, setting a budget and only carrying the cash you need gives you total control of your spending.

Ordering your travel money before your travel has many benefits:

You save money

Being able to buy travel money at the best rates save you money.  You know exactly what you are getting and how much it will cost you.  You won’t be caught out by extra transaction fees or charges like you coil with a card.

Its stress-free

You can order from the comfort of your own home, on your laptop, tablet or mobile phone and have your travel money delivered to your door within days.

Start your holiday the right way

You’ll be ready for whatever eventuality when you get on your holiday, no need to hunt down an ATM to pay the taxi driver.  You can relax and start your holiday to the moment you touch down.

We hope you found this article useful. 

Order your travel money here.

Author

Travel FX brings you the latest travel money news and money-saving tips for all your foreign exchange needs.