Summer‘s officially here, and so is festival season. If you’re heading abroad for one this year, Phillip Garlick from travel money service provider H&T Pawnbrokers has some top money tips to make sure you’re getting the most out of your money.

Sunshine, culture, and some of the biggest names in the business — it’s easy to see why travelling abroad for festivalsis on the rise (Festival Insights). But before you jet off it’s important to ensure you’re fully prepared, especially when it comes to money.

In particular, it can be difficult to know how to get the best exchange rate for your currency. So, I’ve put together some travel money tips to help make things a bit easier.

Learn some currency terminology

The language used to talk about money can be quite complicated. Here’s a few of the key terms you’ll need to know before you take your money abroad:

• Exchange rate

Different currencies are worth different amounts, so exchanging your cash is not as simple as swapping £500 for €500. An exchange rate is just the value of one currency compared to another, so you can use it to work out how much money you’ll get when you swap your pounds and pence.

• Floating rate

Most countries have floating exchange rates, which means they fluctuate according to various economic and political factors. You can keep an eye on exchange rates to see if they rise, but there’s always the chance that they could drop lower instead.

• Fixed rate

Some countries, like Cuba, Hong Kong, and United Arab Emirates, have fixed exchange rates set by their central government that don’t change.

• Cross rate

A cross rate comes into play when you’re exchanging two currencies both from outside of the country that you’re in, like if you were to swap euros for dollars in the UK. Your euros would be exchanged into pounds first, and then dollars, so you might not get the same rate as you would exchanging them in Europe.

Before you go, you’ll need to sit down and plan exactly how much cash you’ll need to take with you to cover transport, food, and drink.

Map out your journey, including taxis or buses to and from the festival grounds, and set a meal budget for each day. You’ll want some spending money on top of that for souvenirs, as well as emergency cash in case your money is lost, stolen, or you go overbudget. Side note: it’s best to keep your emergency money stashed away separate from the rest so you can’t lose it all at once.

Although it can feel strange carrying cash around, it’s usuallybetter to bring it with you than use pricey ATMs as they tend to charge fees when you use them abroad.

There are some debit and credit cards available that don’t charge for overseas spending, but you should only consider a credit card if you’re able to make the repayments and have a good credit history.

Make sure you’re getting the best deal

Once you’ve worked out how much money you’ll need, shop around for the best deal. The amount that your pounds and pence are worth is constantly fluctuating, so it’s important to time it right and get the most out of your money.

Having said that, Brexit means that exchange rates for pounds sterling have been unpredictable to say the least. It’s unclear what’s going to happen in the future so it’s difficult to say whether you’d be better off exchanging your money as soon as possible or waiting until later.

If you’re anxious about the value of the pound dropping, you could exchange half your money now and wait to exchange the other half, just in case.

Whatever you decide you do, make sure you exchange your money before you get to the airport as they charge a premium for the convenience.

You can often find a better deal online than on the high street but be aware there’s usually an upper limit to how much you can exchange in one go and you may also have to pay delivery fees.

When it comes to paying for your travel money, you can use cash or a debit card the same way you’d make any other purchase. Try not to use a credit card though, as you might be charged interest even if you pay the amount off in full.

The money tips in this guide can help your money go further when you’re at a festival abroad. Remember to always keep your money somewhere safe and carry a little bit extra in case of emergency.

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