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For most seasoned travellers, their pre-travel to-do lists include packing, printing boarding passes and getting some foreign currency for their chosen destination. However, many still wait until they reach the airport before trying to change their currency.
Last week, these airport currency services were criticised by customers after it was announced that they were charging up to 8% more than they do online.
Although these companies often offer ‘commission-free’ transactions, they inflate their rates to make money. In fact, according to a report by The Sunday Times, customers changing £500 into foreign currency could be handing over around £40 for the privilege.
The Financial Services Authority, who are supposed to monitor these kinds of discrepancies, do not regulate foreign exchange companies Furthermore, The Office of Fair Trading have commented that the companies have good reasons for charging higher amounts, for example, high costs for renting space at airports, and the ‘convenience’ factor.
The moral of the story? Do not wait until two hours before your flight to get foreign currency. Shop around beforehand, and visit websites and other retailers who offer the service to make sure you get the best rates available.
While you’re being so organised, also remember to invest in quality travel insurance before you depart. Without cover, you will be vulnerable to a holiday disaster; for example, a medical emergency, cancellation or even losing your cash abroad, which could leave you severely out of pocket. Visit Holidaysafe.co.uk for more information on our affordable cover.
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