Travel question of the day: Simon Calder on why you should exchange travel money abroad

Have a travel question that needs answering? Ask our expert Simon Calder

Simon Calder
Wednesday 03 August 2016 14:36 BST
Exchanging cash at your holiday destination saves on big bank charges
Exchanging cash at your holiday destination saves on big bank charges (Shutterstock)

Q I have just read your excellent piece on Croatian kuna exchange saying that you should take money and change it in Croatia. I’m a bit concerned about taking large amounts of cash as we are staying in villas and I don’t think that there will be a safe. What would the rate be like if we withdrew cash from our bank accounts while we are out there?

Karen B

A If you use an ATM with a typical UK debit card, you will be hit for a range of charges by your bank that could cost £5 on a withdrawal of £100. (Making cash withdrawals using a credit card can end up alarmingly expensive unless you know exactly what you are doing, too.) So personally I would take the risk and use sterling notes. If you are expecting to spend heavily on things such as restaurant meals, car rental or shopping, then take a credit card that does not have "foreign exchange loading". The Halifax Clarity credit card is the most prominent example. Readers report that applications by creditworthy people seem to be turned around in a week to 10 days, so I hope you have time to get the card before you leave.

Every day, our travel correspondent, Simon Calder, tackles a reader’s question. Just email yours to or tweet @simoncalder

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