• 20 Jun 2018
I have always been lucky enough to travel abroad as a child and throughout my life, so it’s important for me that my children get to experience the same.
Juggling a full-time job, school runs, homework, housework, cooking, bedtimes, bath time and weekend hobbies can be at times challenging for parents, then throw planning and packing for a holiday in the mix and things start to get even more challenging and expensive!
- Do we have the right seasonal clothes?
- Sun cream, Medication & Toiletries & Bug Spray!
- Did I buy insurance?
- How are we getting to the airport?
- Arrghhhh! when do I have time to get my foreign currency!! What’s my budget!?!
Over the years I have always left the foreign currency to the last minute and ended up buying currency in a rush at the airport at ridiculous rates, then using my bank card on holiday to top things up which meant I was subject to some ridiculous charges and unfair exchange rates. Overall, I was spending unnecessary holiday funds that were going into some large corporate bank rather than towards our holiday experience.
We decided that we would book a half term holiday to Corfu in May. We managed to get a great deal and as things this year are a little tighter financially I was determined to budget correctly and not handover my well earnt cash in silly charges with foreign currency. I went online and looked at the various foreign exchange options and I found a number of pre-paid cards on offer. Some like the Post Office were charging rates not dissimilar to my bank & other big brand owned cards were too. I then came across SWAPX. I could load on my holiday budget for a small fee of 1% (Plus admin fee of £2.50) and receive a card that I could use throughout my holiday & monitor on a user friendly app. I ordered a card with £1000 on which cost me £12.50. I could then “swap” my pounds to euros at the true exchange rate with other users at no additional cost!! Great idea!
Before we left for the holiday, I decided to swap £500 to euros to start with which gave me €565. I checked online to see what I would get with my bank & it showed €543. I’m already Euros up!! I used my card throughout the holiday with no issues, constantly managing what was available. When the euros were getting low, I swapped some more over, and it was instant. We needed a little cash in our pockets for various treats too, so I used the ATM to get €200 –for which I was charged £1.50. My bank charges 3.25% to withdraw foreign currency! That saving is enough for extra ice cream or 2 rubber rings for the kids or even a large G&T for me!!
My SWAPX card not only saved me money, it gave me peace of mind that I wasn’t been charged hidden fees, the ability to budget and the ease of being able to use it anywhere that took Mastercard. I saved valuable money that we put towards creating special memories together as a family!!
The other great thing is that I returned to the UK with Euros and swapped them back to GBP to use my card at the supermarket for the weekly shop!