- Use ATM’s more commonly known in England as CASHPOINTS, withdraw cash just as you would in your homeland. Always try to use ATM’s at a bank and preferably make the withdrawal during the bank business hours, because it would be easy to deal with if there is a problem.
- Carry a chip and pin card, these are the “in thing” in Europe (not so much in USA). Some credit cards companies have started issuing chip and pin cards. If yours does not have a chip and pin, contact your bank and see if you are able to change. Ask for a 4 digit pin number, 5 digit pins are not accepted outside the USA
- Do not bother with “travelers checks” because they are costly to purchase and costly to exchange, plus the waiting around in banks taking valuable time away from your trip.
- Always pay your credit card bill in local currency if asked. Hotels in London will most likely ask this question. Paying in your own currency when abroad can be costly, let your bank deal with the exchange, they will give you the best available rate at the time of the transaction.
- Let the bank know your dates of travel and where you are going. This way they will not cancel your card after the first overseas transactions.
- Bring at least two cards and avoid having them in the same wallet, purse or pocket. If you intend to use your credit card for cash, check how much you will be charged for cash advances.
- Find a credit card that charges ZERO for overseas charges, there are plenty of them out there. If you have a great credit rating, apply for a new card just before your trip. There are so many great deals offered by the cards to get you to sign up. Take advantage with miles and points you collect, you could be halfway to your next exotic trip by signing up for a new card. Visa and MasterCard seem to be accepted worldwide and you will have no problems making payments with either one.
- If you have need to change currency do not use the airport change places as the rates are terrible. Also at the change places in London and the hotels, the rates are pretty bad. Change money in a Bank. Never change money with someone you meet in a bar or on the street.
- Always carry some local currency for small purchases like coffee/drinks and snacks. Small businesses will not take too kindly for these items to be paid with a credit card. Most will have a minimum spend.
- English coins come in 1p 2p 5p 10p 20p 50p 1GBP 2 GBP (100 pennies make a GBP; Great Britain Pound.) For more information on currency, check out this fantastic website by clicking on the link supplied: http://www.bing.com/images/search q=British+Currency&go=Submit&qs=n&form=QBIR&pq=british+currency&sc=8-16&sp=-1&sk=
Please feel free to add your own comments in the section below.
I often wear a LINEN money belt, not only for money that is not needed in a hurry but especially for passports. Passport should be put inside a small ziplock baggy to prevent moisture from perspiration to soil the document(s).
Dacey, can you please explain the English saying, “I have to go spend a penny?” It seems like it’s related to a trip to the bathroom!