Travel Money

Currency conversion

There are loads of websites that offer a currency converter as a feature. Some just show the current rate, while others will work out the conversion for specific amounts. Some sites are more up-to-date than others, but the worst case should be yesterday’s rates, while others will be within the last 30 minutes or so.

It can also be possible to find historical data. Search engines will also calculate rates for specific amounts by entering your requirements in the search box.

Search Engines
Using Google, searching ‘convert 150 usd to sterling’ gives a result similar to

150 U.S. dollars = 89.2804 British pounds

FXconverter
This site offers a wealth of information, including historical data and a ‘cheat sheet’ which is a table of some conversions between two major currencies so that you have a rough guide to hand.

Universal Currency Converter
Similar to FXConverter, this site also has historical data and an easy to use calculator. Just type in the amount and select the two currencies using drop down menus and click on ‘GO’.

It also helps you to keep a check on your travel expenses with an online form that calculates how much in your own currency you have spent, or if you are travelling for work, how much that you should claim from your business.

Cash and ATMs

In the past you had to visit your bank (or currency exchange) to obtain local currency for all the countries that you were visiting. Now practically wherever you land you will probably be able to use your bank or credit card to obtain currency by using an ATM.

MasterCard
Using a drop down menu you can find an ATM in over 210 countries. You can filter the results to include only those that are surcharge free, wheelchair friendly, drive through or are open 24 hours.

There is also an iPhone App to help you to find an ATM while you are on the move.

Visa
There are over 1 million ATMs throughout the world and this website will help you to find the nearest to you, or your chosen destination. Again, you search with the aid of drop down menus. The advance search option is handy if you are unsure how to spell the town or city.

Emergency Money

If you’re having a crisis and need money fast, then you’re in luck. It’s now a lot easier for your family and friends to send you some extra cash by a money transfer. The person helping you takes the money into an agent in the UK, and you go into a local office with your ID and draw the cash. This isn’t cheap, but if you haven’t got your cards then it’s probably the only way to get cash quickly.

MoneyGram
This is probably the easiest one for your rescuers in the UK as they can use any Post Office branch. MoneyGram® agents are in over 256,000 locations in 192 countries and territories world-wide.

Western Union
This is probably the company that everyone thinks of when it comes to moving money around the world. You can set a transfer up either online or in an agent’s office/shop. It offers more than 400,000 locations world-wide.