Simon Calder's Holiday Helpdesk: Out-of-towners seeking advice on Euro exchange deals
Every day our travel guru answers your travel questions
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.
Thursday 08 November 2012
Q We are going on a cruise this December to Spain, Portugal and Gibraltar and would welcome any advice on currency exchange and where to buy Euros at the cheapest exchange rate - bearing in mind that we live in North Wales, not London.
A As your question implies, the very best rates are to be found in London – for example shopping around along Bayswater in W2, or taking advantage of the ICE deal where you print out a voucher online and take it, with sterling cash, to the company’s branch at Waterloo station for exceptionally good rates on euros. But a close second is to buy online, shopping around with providers such as Travelex, Moneycorp and American Express and picking the euros up at the airport - making sure, of course, that the firm you choose has a branch at the terminal you will be using.
This assumes you are flying out to join your cruise. If not, buying online is still a good plan with secure home delivery (though this will cost you a little more).
One other possibility: if Gibraltar happens to be your first port of call, or an early visit, then you could take sterling and change it at the good rates that are offered in the only British territory outside Northern Ireland that is adjacent to a euro-zone country.
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