All you need to know about exchanging holiday money in 2024

Planning a trip abroad involves many details. 

One crucial step in the preparation is exchanging your money for the local currency for your holiday destination. Choosing the right place to exchange your holiday money can not only save you money but also time and hassle. 

In this guide we’ll explore the best options for exchanging currency, to ensure you’re getting the most value for money.

Holiday money exchange in different currencies

Table of contents:

Banks are a traditional option for currency exchange, offering convenience and security. 

Most banks now provide foreign exchange services, allowing you to buy or sell currency either before your trip or upon arrival. While banks may offer competitive rates for account holders, we advise you to compare rates and fees to ensure you’re getting the best deal. 

Below are some high-street banks and their current currency exchange rates. 

Bank GBP to Euro GBP to USD
Barclays 1.1108* 1.2101*
Nationwide 1.1389* 1.234*
M&S Bank 1.1433* 1.2437*
RBS 1.1383* 1.2385*

As you can see from the rates above, they differ quite dramatically from bank to bank and the same can be said for other services too. 

*Exchange rates offered by banks and other currency exchange services will change every day, so do make sure to look into these banks yourselves to get today’s correct rate. 

You can use the links we’ve added to head over to each site, or you can get in touch with our expert team, to help find you the best rate available for your holiday money, through our service at EasyFX.

Using a currency exchange counter for your holiday money

You will find currency exchange counters in airports, train stations, tourist areas and shopping centres. 

These establishments offer convenience and immediate access to foreign currency, which makes them a popular choice with travellers. 

However, while they offer convenience, exchange rates at these counters can vary widely, with holidaymakers often encountering high fees & commissions.  

Despite these potential drawbacks, currency exchange counters remain the most convenient option for currency exchange, especially in locations where other options may be limited. 

We advise you to compare rates and fees across multiple counters, to ensure you are minimising any additional costs.

Using ATMs for exchanging holiday money

Using ATMs to withdraw cash in the local currency is a popular option with many travellers. 

Most ATMs accept international debit and credit cards, including EasyFX’s Travel Money Card, allowing you to access cash easily, and when needed. 

However, be aware of foreign transaction fees and any potential conversion fees imposed by your bank for using an ATM abroad. 

Additionally, some ATMs may offer less favourable exchange rates, so checking the terms and fees associated with ATM withdrawals is essential.

Online currency exchange services for holiday money

Online currency exchange services have gained popularity in recent years due to their convenience and competitive exchange rates. 

Some currency exchange websites and mobile apps will allow you to exchange currency online and deliver it to your home, office, or a designated pick-up location. 

These services often offer better exchange rates and lower fees compared to more traditional establishments, such as banks and currency exchange counters. However, you should still ensure the currency exchange platform is reputable, and read reviews before making a transaction. 

Current rates offered by online exchange services: 

Online Currency Exchange Service GBP to Euro GBP to USD
Travelex 1.1411* 1.2232*
Change Group 1.1372* 1.2130*
Travel FX 1.1483* 1.2535*
Eurochange 1.1436* 1.2437*

Family on holiday at the beach holding hands at the sea

Exchanging your holiday money at supermarkets

If you live in the UK, you have probably heard of Sainsbury’s travel money, Tesco travel money or supermarket travel money comparison websites. 

These services, often located near customer service desks, checkout counters, or now online, provide a hassle-free option compared to traditional currency exchange outlets.

The accessibility makes it convenient if you need to exchange currency for a foreign currency quickly and efficiently, whilst ticking food shopping off of your to-do list! 

Additionally, the availability of currency exchange services in supermarkets caters to diverse customer needs, which will make the process smoother. 

Supermarket travel money services aren't as popular in the US; however, some hotels offer the service instead.

Here are some of the current travel money exchange rates offered by supermarkets in the UK: 

Supermarket GBP to Euro GBP to USD
Tesco 1.1387* 1.2401*
Sainsbury's 1.1397* 1.2402*
Asda 1.1407* 1.2428*
Waitrose (John Lewis) 1.143* 1.2427*

Exchanging holiday money at a local bank at your holiday destination

Once you have arrived at your holiday destination, consider exchanging currency at a local bank.

Although rates will vary depending on the bank you choose, exchanging money at a local bank can sometimes offer better rates and lower fees compared to exchange counters in tourist areas. 

Depending on the bank’s location, you will require at least one of the following documents:
  • Valid passport
    A valid passport is usually required as proof of identity when exchanging currency at a foreign bank. The bank may need to verify your identity before processing the transaction. 

  • Proof of address
    In some cases, banks may require proof of your current address, especially if you’re exchanging a significant amount of money. This can be in the form of a utility bill, rental agreement, or hotel reservation.

  • Currency declaration form
    Depending on the country’s regulations and the amount of currency you’re exchanging, you may be required to fill out a currency declaration form. This form is a way of declaring the source of the funds and the purpose of the exchange.

  • Travel itinerary
    While not always necessary, having a copy of your travel itinerary or flight tickets may be requested by the bank as further proof of your status as a tourist. 
It is important to note that the specific requirements may vary depending on the country, and the bank’s specific policies. 

Therefore, it’s a good idea to contact the bank in advance or check their website for information on the documents needed for currency exchange. You should also be prepared to fill out any required forms and provide any necessary documentation to facilitate the exchange process smoothly. 

Who currently has the best rates for exchanging holiday money?

From our research, the currency exchange services currently offering the best rates for exchanging holiday money include: 

Supermarket: Waitrose (John Lewis)

Online exchange: Travel FX

Bank: M&S Bank 

As mentioned above, these are subject to change, as exchange rates do, every day. 

Is exchanging your cash the best option for holiday money? 

Although the most common way to spend money abroad is to use cash, people should consider using multiple ways to manage their money whilst on holiday, not only for convenience but also for security reasons. 

We’ve written all about the various travel money options available to those going on holiday and travelling abroad frequently. 

An alternative to cash: Using travel money cards abroad

Travel money cards are the perfect addition to any foreign adventure. 

Travel money cards provide a secure alternative to carrying cash or using traditional debit or credit cards while travelling abroad. 

Most travel money cards allow users to load multiple currencies onto a single card, which makes travelling easier and more flexible.

The EasyFX Travel Money Card can be used anywhere that MasterCard is accepted. 

This includes over 35 million locations worldwide and over 2 million ATM locations. With our travel money card and the help of our expert team, you can lock in exchange rates in the time leading up to your trip. This will enable you to budget for your holiday effectively, avoiding any surprise currency fluctuations. 
Our multi-currency card has its own app which allows users to manage their balance, view transactions and top up their card with multiple currencies on the go, from any device. 

For more information, our what are travel money cards blog provides everything you need to know. 

Best places to exchange holiday money in 2024: A summary

When it comes to exchanging holiday money, you should consider and do further research into one of the above options, which all have their advantages and disadvantages. 

Whether you choose to exchange currency at a supermarket, at a bank, a currency exchange counter or an ATM, it is essential to compare exchange rates, fees, and terms to ensure you’re getting the best possible travel money deal. 

By planning and exploring these options, you can exchange your holiday money with confidence and enjoy a stress-free travel experience. 

If you’re interested in exploring how an EasyFX travel money card could benefit your travels abroad, you can get in touch with our team of experts to learn more about the card’s features and benefits, or simply order one online to start enjoying the advantages it offers.

The Best Places to Exchange Holiday Money in 2024
Explore the different options to exchange your holiday money. Find out which one may suit you best.
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The Best Places to Exchange Your Holiday Money
Explore the different services that can exchange your money for that dream holiday or international travel. Our guide explores each option and the best rates.
5 minute read

Need to send money abroad? We can help.

At EasyFX, our goal is to make international money transfers affordable, smooth, and easy, for everyone. Whether a small transfer or large transaction, we can cater to all types through our money transfer app, or our expert brokers, who are ready to find you the best rate available, saving you money.

If you'd like to receive a free transfer quote, please contact our team today!

Get a free transfer quote
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