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Keeping your holiday money safe

If you’re jetting off on holiday this summer and have yet to purchase your foreign currency, then make sure you read the following article.

According to an investigation by Xpress Money, many British holidaymakers are turning themselves into ‘holiday cash mules’ by taking more money than they need.

The research revealed that British holidaymakers can take up to 40% more cash than they actually need.  

What’s more, taking more money than you need can be a total waste.

  • Who’s fallen foul of using up unwanted currency at the airport on cheap souvenirs or sweets for the office?  Well, 82% of us it seems.
  • And 72% of us admit to having currency hanging around at home from previous holidays.

Taking away more cash than is necessary can be a nightmare in terms of keeping it safe, and one of the biggest worries many ‘cash mule’ travellers have is how to keep their money safe.

Speaking about the findings, Sudhesh Giriyan, COO of Xpress Money, said, “In the past decade, technology has transformed the way we manage our finances. However, when it comes to holidays, many people take a squirrel like approach, travelling with huge sums. While carrying cash is often a convenient option, carrying large amounts of money around can make you vulnerable to theft or loss.”

Many banks now advise that it’s safe, and extremely convenient, to take cash out of a cashpoint machine oversees, as and when you need it. Equally, meals and shopping can be paid by card. Many credit card companies no longer require advanced warning of your intention to use your card whilst away. All the more reason to take some cash with you, but not too much.

Mr Giriyan added, “Travellers pay commission when buying foreign currency at the start of their trip and then end up paying again to convert it back into Sterling when they get home. By using technology that’s available and planning ahead, you can get more from your money.”

Tip: Don’t leave buying your foreign currency to the last minute and exchanging it at the airport. Airport bureau de changes are more expensive than high street or online equivalents, leaving you less currency for your Pounds.

Regardless of how much foreign currency you take, you still need to keep it safe. So check out these top tips on keeping your holiday money safe when you’re abroad:

  • Nearly all hotels and apartments offer safety deposit boxes in your room. Usually a small fee is charged but it’s worth it. You can store other valuables in there too, such as passports and jewellery.
  • Only carry with you the amount of cash you need for that day – don’t take it all with you. Pick pockets and petty criminals can be rife so if the worst happens, you won't lose all your spending money.
  • Invest in a waterproof money wallet that can be attached to your swimmers or a lanyard that can be worn when you’re out swimming.
  • When you’re out and about, keep your money separate – split your cash between you and your partner and use different pockets and wallets for cash and cards.  Whilst not the trendiest of things, look at investing in traditional ‘bum bag’ that keeps money safe around your middle and is difficult for pick pockets to get access too.
  • Do not keep your wallet in your back pockets – this makes it highly visible and way too easy to be stolen.