If you are travelling to another country, it is obvious that you would need the currency of that country to be able to spend for your accommodation, food, shopping, commuting and sightseeing. It would therefore be necessary to exchange the currency of your own country with that of the country that you are visiting. It has been observed that if you change your money at the airport of your destination, it would prove to be most expensive. The best way to do so is to order online beforehand as this will give you the best rates of the provider. You will be able to pick up your foreign currency at the airport (Heathrow Airport in the case of London) or from the provider’s high street branch.
Heathrow Airport Bureau de Change: Travel money providers are located at Heathrow Airport in any of the five terminals. For people moving out of London for a holiday abroad, it is an easy option to pick up foreign currency at a cheap rate if you order online beforehand and pick it up at the airport before leaving for your holiday. The advantage is that you get online rates of the provider instead of the high airport rates and you have the ease of just picking up the money at the airport. You also have the option of ordering your money online to be delivered to your home before you leave for your destination. The Bureau de Change of Travelex is situated before security at Heathrow Airport. It is the world’s biggest foreign exchange provider having more than 30 million customers each year. All usual currency exchange services are provided by Travelex including a VAT refund service for non EU residents.
Bureau de Change outside Heathrow Airport
Those currency exchange providers who do not have bureaux de change situated in Heathrow airport operate from their high street branches. They can provide good rates online and some of them even send the money to your home. It is best to order online and get the cash delivered to your home or pick it up rather than going to their branch for purchasing the foreign exchange cash.
The Post Office in the UK is also a reliable travel money provider that offers home delivery of your foreign exchange Monday to Saturday. It is also possible to pick up the currency from one of their 12,500 branches. For getting the best rates it is essential to order online beforehand.
Ways of Getting Foreign Exchange at Heathrow Airport
There are different ways in which you can change your travel money to get the cheapest foreign exchange. Different methods provide different rates and as such it is important to know which one would be the best to get the cheapest foreign exchange. It is important to realise that exchange rates change daily and as such if you get a certain deal on a particular day, it may not be available even the next day. Moreover, another provider may be cheaper when the time comes for you to change your money.
Visitors to London who wish to stay close to Heathrow Airport for proximity to the airport and also would like to be able to reach central London easily should stay at hotels near Hounslow tube station.
Buying Foreign Currency at Heathrow Airport
This may often be the most expensive option to get foreign exchange but this is not so if you order it online with a provider who has a bureau de change outlet at the airport. The online rate of the provider will usually be much better and as such ordering online and picking up the money at the airport would save you time and money.
Prepaid Currency Cards
Another option of carrying money is to buy pre loaded currency cards which are becoming very popular. These cards are similar to debit cards which you can load with currency before leaving for your destination. The currency can be a single currency that you will need at your destination or it can also be in pounds that you can convert while using abroad. This works out to be a cheap option if you order one of them online for delivery before you travel. However, you will need to keep a margin of about seven days so that the card can be delivered to your home but this will give you the best rate. You can also purchase the cards from the provider’s bureau de change at the airport. However, all foreign exchange providers do not offer these cards.
If you are staying near the Lancaster Gate area in London it would be best to get a Lancaster Gate tube station guide so that you can commute to other places in London with ease.
If you want to use credit cards abroad, it is essential to make sure that the card available with you is one of the special “good cards” because other cards would prove to be very costly and you will have to shell out a lot of your own currency for the foreign exchange that you need. It is important to note that banks often change the terms and conditions of your credit or debit card and as such you should check whether your card still offers the same terms before using it abroad. If you have sufficient time before going abroad, it would be best to apply for one of the “good cards” but you should ensure that you will get this card before your departure date.
Travel Credit Cards
Another cheap way to spend when you are travelling in different countries is to use a specialist credit card but you have to take care of the fees and interest charges that will be charged by your bank for your specific card before you start to spend abroad. You can also opt for specialist travel credit cards because they can prove to be the cheapest option for spending abroad. To get the most benefits, it is best to use these cards only for spending abroad.
Fergus Brandon is a travel writer by profession and nomad by choice. He was born in Cambridge and completed his masters (International Tourism Management ) from London School of Commerce. He is working as the travel Editor for TheMontcalm hotels group.