Simon Calder's Holiday Helpdesk: Cyprus cash
Simon Calder’s career in travel started at Gatwick Airport, where he cleaned aircraft for Laker Airways and later worked as a security officer. He became The Independent’s Travel Correspondent in 1994, and is known as “the Man Who Pays His Way” because he does not accept free travel facilities. He writes across the Independent titles, as well as for the Evening Standard.
Tuesday 16 April 2013
Q.In three weeks myself and my family will be flying to Cyprus to stay in an all-inclusive hotel in Paphos. Could you please advise me on how many euros I ought to take? I'm thinking about emergencies such as medical bills etc, where they may not accept a debit or credit card.
A. Normally the reliable rule for holiday preparation is: work out how many clothes and how much cash you will need, then take half the clothes and twice the money. However, since you are staying in an all-inclusive, this does not apply - because if you find yourself running low then you can simply rely upon the all-inclusive to provide for your daily needs. And Paphos is such an attractive and interesting location that you don't really need any cash to enjoy it.
Given the recent financial turmoil in Cyprus, I can understand your concerns about paying with plastic in an emergency - but I can see no reason for fearing that an organisation such as a hospital would demand cash rather than accepting a credit card.
In any event, assuming that everyone has a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC - available free from www.nhs.uk/ehic), and adequate travel insurance, then you should not expect to pay out significantly for health care.
Thankfully, in the specific case of Cyprus, there is a "middle way" that should work: it is easy to change sterling to euros at excellent rates in Paphos (in town, not at the airport), so simply take as many pounds as you feel comfortable about carrying.
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