The best way to get the highest possible exchange rate is to compare the online foreign currency websites such as the Post Office or Travelex, taking into account any commission or delivery fees and whether you’ll be charged to change your money back into Pound Sterling (£). These sites work out much cheaper than buying on the high street and are really easy to use.
Also remember that while there are 16 EU countries who accept the Euro (€) such as Spain, France and Italy there are also 15 other countries, not including the UK, who have stuck with their own currency. These include: Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Sweden and Norway. If you know which countries you’ll be visiting then buy the relevant currency in advance and be sure you can convert back to Pound Sterling (£) for free.
Mobile phone costs
Maximum tariffs for mobile phone operators were brought in recently by the European Union which set the maximum cost of making a call while in Europe to 32p a minute, and the cost of receiving a call to 12.5p a minute. Whilst a welcome measure for those on two week holidays the new charges still don’t represent good value for money if you intend on spending longer on the continent.
If you do intend on calling home regularly then a better option may be to buy a specific ‘bolt-on’ for your current contract which includes EU calls – or if you will only be calling people in the same EU country (i.e. friends also on holiday) then why not consider buying a cheap pay-as-you-go SIM for your chosen destination. In the long run it will work out much better value.