Holidaymaker reveals the travel money mistake you should NEVER make – and how to avoid it | The Sun

A TENACIOUS traveller has revealed his top tip for saving money while on holiday abroad.

The cost of living squeeze has left millions out of pocket and looking for ways to save money as energy bills and fuel costs soar.

And TikTokker @jamesycottar's useful advice might just save you some pounds when using your bank card abroad.

On the useful video, he says: "Someone much smarter than me, AKA my girlfriend, told me that any time you use your bank card to take money out abroad.

"The bank will offer you a conversion rate for that currency. Never accept it, because they are getting commission off of this.

"It's always going to be a higher rate. Always hit decline.

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"You will then get offered a second rate, which they won't tell you what it is, but guaranteed it's always going to be lower.

"Do this, and you will always save money."

The little-known hack was also shared by personal finance expert Andrew Hagger, at, earlier this month.

He said travellers should always pay in the local currency when using their bank cards abroad.

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Jetsetters are usually given the choice between paying in pounds or euros when using a debit or credit card in Europe.

And the rule applies to withdrawing cash in addition to paying by card in shops and restaurants.

Mr Hagger told The Sun: “Never pay in GBP when using your plastic overseas – always pay in the local currency of the country you are visiting.

"If you say yes to paying in pounds sterling it’s the equivalent of agreeing to an extra 5-10 per cent hit on your shopping, restaurant bill or cash withdrawal."

He added: "Basically it means that the local retailer uses an inferior local exchange rate, rather than the fairer Visa or Mastercard international exchange rate."

You save money because when you pay in euros your bank or credit card company do the currency conversion for you.

If you choose to pay in the pound then this calculation, known as the dynamic currency exchange, is left to the foreign bank, shop or restaurants bank.

This means paying a much worse rate and racking up your holiday costs.

How else can I save money on holiday?

Despite mass cancellation of flights out of the UK, many people will still be considering going away this holiday.

But what other tricks and hacks can you employ to save on those unwanted costs?

Here is our list:

Buy ahead

Buying foreign currency ahead of travelling means you're given time to search for the best rates.

One major thing to avoid is buying cash at the airport on the day, as exchange rates can be around 20% higher than normal.

So make sure you're not left making a last-minute dash to the currency counter in your airport.

Use comparison sites

Compare travel money companies as these will show you how to get the best rates and any possible fees you might have to pay.

If you've left it last-minute, you may still be able to order online and collect it at the airport.

You can use comparison websites such as MoneySavingExpert's TravelMoneyMax, where you can compare pick-up and pre-order rates.

Avoid using your credit card

If you use your credit card to buy travel money, it's likely you'll be charged a cash withdrawal fee which adds to the cost.

You may also be charged a higher interest rate if you don't pay off the bill each month.

And try to not use your credit card abroad if possible, as you're unlikely to get the best exchange rate unless you have one offering good rates for foreign travel.

If you do plan on using your credit card abroad, for example for a large purchase to get extra buyer protection with section 75, then check the fess in the T&Cs first to avoid any surprises later on.

Lock in current rates

If you want to use a card instead of cash abroad as you're worried about safety, you can lock in the current rate by topping up a prepaid card.

If you're happy to take whatever rates are available at the time you travel then choose a debit card that offers good rates and no fees.

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