Is there a best time to get travel money?

When you're going on holiday, you want your budget to go as far as possible – but it's not just about booking the best flight deals or being savvy about where you stay. Biding your time to get a good exchange rate on your travel money can put a lot of extra cash in your pocket, and the earlier you start looking, the better the deal you're likely to find.

The reason for this is that exchange rates go up and down all the time. On September 9th 2015, £500 would get you around €675, but on January 1st in the same year it would only have bought €640. However, on August 1st 2015, £500 would have got you €710. That's an extra €70 of spending money for your holiday, just by buying at the right time!

Lots of different factors affect the exchange rate of each currency, and unless you're an expert in international finance, it's almost impossible to predict whether the rates will go up or down from day to day. However, there are a few ways to make sure you're getting the most for your money.

First of all, the absolute worst time to buy travel money is when you're already at the airport. In the same way that books, drinks and snacks all tend to be pricier in airport shops, you pay a premium for convenience if you wait until check-in to buy your foreign currency. Not only that, but by leaving it until last minute you put yourself at the mercy of that day's exchange rate.

It's much better to keep travel money in mind months in advance - preferably as soon as you've decided on a destination. Check the exchange rate of your chosen currency every few days to get an idea of what a good rate looks like, and whether the rate is climbing or falling.

Even better, download a currency tracking app for your smartphone. These give you live updates about the performance of any given currency, and many of them can be set up to alert you when the rate reaches a chosen level. This way, you can be sure you're buying at the best time and you won't miss a particularly good day for your currency!

The Money Shop offers great exchange rates on travel money, with 0% commission on all transactions. You can purchase travel money in-store free of charge, or order online and collect from your local store for a small delivery fee. We've got more than 50 different currencies to choose from, so wherever your travels take you, keep us in mind the next time you need some holiday cash!

Find out more about our travel money services here, including the Euro exchange rate.

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