Category Archives: Travel

Choosing The Best Currency Exchange When Travelling Overseas

One of the most overlooked tasks when planning a holiday is the purchasing of foreign currency.There are a number of options with varying currency exchange rates.Lets go through the options.

Credit Cards

Credit cards are a mixed bag. There are few specialist credit cards which offer the current exchange rate with no cash withdrawal fees. These cards will still charge interest even if paid in full. This is really as good as it gets. Most other credit cards charge 3% on top of the exchange rate and charge for cash withdrawals. Interest is also charged even if the balance is paid in full.

Debit Cards

Debit cards can be the worst way to spend money overseas. Almost all debit cards add between 2 and 3% on top of the currentcy exchange rate. The banks don’t stop there. 1% charges are added for spending as well as a typical 1.5% cash withdrawal fee. Some banks offer travel friendly debit cards with certain account so I recommend speaking to your bank or check their website for special offers.

Travel Cash

Travel cash is usually easy to get hold of. Most travel agencies will offer 0% or a marginal commission fee with a competitive exchange rate. It is always a good idea to enquire a week or two before travel for obscure currencies but in general foreign currency can be purchased on the same day from Travel Agencies. If ordering from your bank please allow more time for delivery although some banks restrict this service for certain customers.

Never exchange money at airports or on ferries. To say that the exchange rate is unfavourable is an understatement.Also remember that debit and credit cards will charge an additional fee when purchasing currency at a Bureau de change.

Although travelling overseas with some foreign currency is advantageous it is not ideal.The travel money is not insured by the Travel Agent. If the travel money is lost abroad there is no there is no replacement. Your travel insurance may cover some spending money but will not cover the whole amount.

Prepaid debit cards

Prepaid debit cards are my preferred way of spending money abroad. The exchange rates are very competitive. They can be purchased at either Travel Agencies or Post offices. The cards with the best deals are found online however. All prepaid cards can be loaded without a fee either at the branch, online or over the phone even from overseas. Pre paid debit cards are commission free from outlets and loaded with money immediately. There is usually a charge of around 1$ for cash withdrawals but nor charges for using it as a debit card.I usually withdraw money no more than three times for a two week holiday and make debit card purchases for the rest of the time. Two cards can be ordered for the same account. In the event of the card being lost a replacement will be with you within 24 hours.

The cards companies are backed by banks so if they went bust your money is safe. If the bank goes bust you would not be covered so as a precaution It is always a good idea to load the money near the time of travel instead of using it as a place to store cash.

Best Travel Deals – Learn How to Use Travel Agencies

Why travel agencies will never have the best travel deals?

There is something that will always be against them. They need to win money from your bookings and no suppliers want to lower their prices and at same time give commission to travel agencies for the bookings. Both things will not happen at same time, so you will never be looking at the best travel deals when asking to a travel agency. Then, why should I go to find my best travel deals to a travel agency?

Travel agencies probably don’t have the best options but they do have information. Information is power, and you want this power in order to take the best decision possible to make your dream holidays. How to find your dream holidays? In travel agencies. How to get the best travel deals? Using the information travel agencies give to you. So, how should I use travel agencies information in order to get the best travel deals for my dream holiday?

Pretty easy in fact. Go to the travel agency with a piece of paper and something to write on it. Travel agents are good professionals but as everybody they commit mistakes. Most of the times this means that they will mention the name of a supplier if you insist in order to know it. Don’t be pushy or aggressive, but they need after all to satisfy their customers and avoiding to answer any of your questions would create a bad feeling to you that they want to avoid at all costs.

After you get some relevant information on this way, the best you can do is to smile and ask them to prepare a plan for your holidays with an estimated total price of the package. You’ll get some kind of document specifying the different parts of your trip with costs involved. Sometimes you’ll get supplier names such as airlines or hotel names or tour operators. Some other you won’t have this names and you’ll need to find out.

How to get the best travel deals using all this information?

Internet has the most erroneous information you can find in the world, but at same time is a powerful tool if used properly. Google in this case will be your intimate friend. In case you have supplier names, the task is very easy. Get to the web-page of these airlines, hotels or tour operators and check the prices for the exact dates the agency was proposing. You will notice they are always cheaper than booking directly from the agency. Be aware that you should never use a travel search engine, as they have affiliates and all the trips you can find will have an extra $10 fee to pay to the affiliates.

What happens then with the suppliers that are not mentioned by the agency?

Well, that part can be more tricky but usually it works in an easy way. Look at the parts of the document the agency gave to you where it appears information about this supplier, as many times travel agencies simply copy and paste the web-page information of their suppliers.

Get different sentences and copy them into Google between quotes. Almost probably you will find different places that offer this tour and one of this pages will be the mother page. You will know that because their prices are cheaper as no intermediate travel agents add commissions on them. If this does not work, any alternative in order to find the best travel deals?

Travel certificates is the answer, as there are a couple of places on the net that offer travel certificates for free simply for registering or making little purchases. And I don’t mean places that offer travel certificates for a determined price, because this is pure fraud. This guys are making a lot of money offering something that is free for a high price. In any case, in the places that are not fraud and offer them really for free, you will get discounts between 70 and 95% in hotels and flights.

So, which are those places?