At the Airport, on the High Street, or Online? Where to get your foreign currency. As you probably know and are tired of hearing, the pound and the euro are at near parity with each other – a fact that is all the more distressing when we remember that one pound was worth about €1.25 just a year ago.

Subsequently, those of us lucky enough to have the savings for a holiday this Easter will no doubt be most inclined to search around for the best deal on their foreign currency. So what are the pros and cons of buying at the airport, on the high street, or online?

At the Airport:
As a general rule, leaving the purchase of your foreign currency until you reach the airport is not considered good practice if you are hoping to find the best deal.

In a recent article at telegraph.co.uk (3rd April), it is highlighted that the reason for the extra charges incurred when purchasing your travel money at the airport is due to a number of factors: such as the cost of rent, the cost of employing staff, and the price of having money in stock.

Logically then, these costs are likely to be much higher within the competitive and 24-hour bustling environment of an airport – and this is reflected in the price. So, whilst airports might be very convenient, if you’re eager to save on you foreign currency it is certainly best to buy before you get there.

On the High Street:
Alternatively, heading into town and purchasing your foreign currency on the high street can be much better for your pocket – leaving you with more to spend once you reach your destination.

The possible benefits of not having to pay as much for property rental, and not having to employ staff around the clock, no doubt contribute to the cheaper costs on the high street.

You might also expect travel money that is available on the high street would be subject to similar forces that affect other products there – and subsequently driving the costs down. However, this isn’t strictly the case – or at least it isn’t advertised as such. Yet, one of the strongest benefits of buying you foreign currency face to face is that you are usually given the opportunity to negotiate a better price if you can prove that there are cheaper deals to be had elsewhere.

Online:
All the costs associated with shop rental, staff employment, and looking after money are instantly reflected in online prices, and so it makes sense that purchasing your travel money via the internet and checking foreign exchange online can get you the best deals.

Those who consider doing so should not be deterred by worries of not receiving your money in time, as some companies allow you to buy your currency online as late as midnight the day before you fly, then you simply pick it up at the airport before you board you plane. Similarly to the high street, more online vendors are allowing negotiations of a better price if you can prove better deals available elsewhere.

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