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The financial crisis in Greece has dominated headlines for months, and now officials are warning that ATMs and Credit Card payments may stop working at any time. The Foreign & Commonwealth Office has also advised holidaymakers to bring enough cash to last their entire holiday, just in case they cannot access other funds.
Following this news, we decided to conduct some research amongst our customers, to see how the financial crisis was affecting their travel plans this summer. The results were extremely interesting, and revealed that 61% of respondents said that they were planning on travelling with more cash in light of the potential ‘Grexit’. Furthermore, over one in five (22%) travellers to Europe said that they would consider changing holiday destination if the Eurozone crisis continues to escalate over the coming months.
Our survey also showed that, on average, travellers carry £400 worth of currency when on holiday, with many respondents stating that they carry up to £2,000 worth of Euros for family holidays.
In light of the developing financial crisis and our findings, we are aware that many of our customers travelling to Greece this summer may carry more cash then they usually would, meaning they will need higher limits in case their money is lost or stolen.
To help any Holidaysafe customer travelling to Greece between 1st July to 30th September, we have decided to give £500 cash cover per person, no matter which policy you purchase. This means you will receive our highest level of cover for cash, no matter which policy you choose to purchase.
Please note, your cover for cash will be £500 per person insured on the policy, if you are travelling to Greece between 1st July to 30th September. Your policy wording and schedule of cover will show your original cover limit, but our Claims team will honour up to £500 cash cover if you need to claim.
How much cash should I take with me to Greece?
The FCO are advising holidaymakers to take enough cash to last their entire trip, just in case ATMs or card machines become unusable. Your travel insurance will not provide cover if you run out of cash and need to return home early, so you must ensure you bring enough to last the entire trip.
Does my travel insurance cover all my cash?
Holidaysafe has arranged for all policyholders travelling to Greece between the dates of the 1st July to the 30th September 2015 to have up to £500 of personal cash cover per person, no matter which policy they purchase – matching our highest level of cash cover. Please remember to keep all receipts as evidence of money withdrawn from your bank and currency exchange transactions, as you may need to provide if you have to claim on your travel insurance.
Can I use my credit or debit cards to pay instead?
Any credit or debit cards you choose to take on holiday with you should work as normal, although smaller businesses may be reluctant to accept these as forms of payment. Please visit the FCO Website for up to date information if the situation changes.
What happens if the ATMs run out of cash?
The news has reported about the long lines of people queuing for cash machines on both the Greek mainland and on the islands. Currently there is a daily limit of €60 (£40), but this could change depending on the economic climate. It would be worth checking before you go to get cash out, but a general rule to go by is that cash machines on the Greek islands are more likely to run out before those in the capital or on the mainland.
Holidaysafe advises all travellers to take enough cash with them to last their entire holiday and then a little extra in case of an emergency.
If Greece leave the Eurozone, will my Euros be rendered useless?
If the country decides to leave the Euro, the effects wouldn’t be instantaneous. The BBC has stated that it would take around 18 months for Greece’s old currency, the drachma, to be reintroduced, and that vendors should still accept the Euro until this comes into effect.
Can we still use currency cards or traveller’s cheques?
Although both of these forms of payment are accepted, smaller shops and businesses may be reluctant to take them and you should by no means rely on them as your only way of payment.
What happens if I am mugged or robbed for my cash whilst on holiday in Greece?
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office advises travellers to not carry all of their holiday money on their person whilst out and about in Greece. We would advise that customers carry a certain amount of cash on their person, and then leave a supply in their locked trip acommodation – preferably in a safe if one is available. This should prevent travellers being left completely out of pocket in the event of a mugging or robbery.
What safety precautions can I take?
Holidaysafe recommends that all tourists to Greece invest in a safety deposit box as soon as they arrive at their holiday accommodation (i.e. a hotel, hostel or independently booked facility). By splitting your holiday money between several different locations like your safe and your person, you cut the risk of having all of your money lost or stolen.
If you are looking to book a holiday in Greece, or have already booked, it is worth ensuring that your travel operator or independent accommodation or transport providers are ATOL-protected, just in case they go out of business.
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