13 days to go- and now I want to stop everything and watch Jerry Maguire… But I won't, coz today we're talking about money!!Do you need to carry Travel Money anymore? Where do you order Euros online? What's the best exchange rate on the high street? Let's begin…
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If you've just joined us, WELCOME! This is the 21 day Road Trip countdown- whether you're exploring by Motorhome, RV, car or caravan, this daily countdown contains a list of all the things you need to check and organise in the 3 weeks before you go. Each day there's a new task for you to focus on, which will break the whole process down into manageable units and ensure you don't forget anything.
If you want to see the full list of tasks, here’s the main page: Road Trip Travel Checklist- Countdown to Departure.
List of countries in Europe that don't use the Euro
Of course, I know you have diligently completed every day of this course and you are now completely prepared for my next question. Right? Right? *sobs into pillow*
The question is, of course- DO THE COUNTRIES YOU ARE TRAVELLING TO USE EUROS? Because, believe it or not, they don't all have the Euro as their currency.
Firstly, let's explain something which honestly I'm not entirely sure I understand myself!! Europe is a continent. The countries in Europe are either members of the European Union (EU) or not. Some members of the EU use the Euro. Some do not. Some non-members of the EU use the Euro. Most do not. Clear?? Thought not. Weirdly, the best list I've found of which countries use the Euro or not is on an Airport Parking website. Check your country here.
So, from my research, here's what I found:
- Netherlands- Euro
- Belgium- Euro
- Germany- Euro
- Denmark- Danish Krone
- Sweden- Swedish Krona
- Norway- Norwegian Krone
- Finland- Euro
Oh goody. That's going to be fun. Denmark, Sweden and Norway all use Krone… but they are NOT the same currency. So I'm going to have to order them. We already have Euros from our last trip, but otherwise I'd order them too.
TOP TIP- Don't wait until the ferry port/ tunnel/ airport to get your travel money. The exchange rate is horrible and if, like us, you require some slightly more unusual currency, they may not have it in stock.
How to order Euros online
It's funny, but even in these days of online shopping and getting things delivered, I STILL prefer to get my currency in person. Silly, isn't it? But I DO order it online in advance for collection in store. I used to always use the Post Office, but recently we've started using Debenhams (yes, really) because we get money off vouchers every time AND they normally offer a more competitive rate than the Post Office! Here's the link we use: DEBENHAMS
Where to find the best Euro exchange rate on the High Street
TOP TIP- the rate you see advertised is NOT necessarily the rate you will get. Most of the time, that preferential rate is only if you order over a certain amount, usually £1000 upwards! Also, remember that the online rate is normally better than the rate you will get if you walk in off the street.
To check rates, you can either visit each individual website in turn and see what they are offering, but I use Compare Holiday Money to check rates in my area, especially when I'm looking to order euros online. You can use the table below to find the best rates for the amount you want to buy.
Another option is to order currency through your bank. Occasionally you can get some great deals doing this, so you may want to ask.
What about Travel cards or Credit cards for your road trip?
This is the way we pay for more things abroad- even though we often get a poorer exchange rate. But we don't like carrying a lot of cash with us and so cards are the best option. Some of these are very good. One we've heard many good things about is the Halifax Clarity Card, which doesn't charge any fees for overseas payments (yay!) We have never had a problem using our English cards (debit or credit) in a supermarket, but occasionally in a petrol station we've had a few problems. Once in Italy we were using a prepay fuel pump late at night and it refused to authorise our UK cards. We had to move on to the next station- something to bear in mind!!
Try to avoid withdrawing money from your cards whilst overseas, especially on credit cards, as the exchange rate is horrible!
Travellers cheques are no longer as widely used or accepted as they were a few years ago, but I believe you can still order them as you used to. Just be advised that many places may not take a large amount.
Prepaid travel cards can be a great way to ensure you don't overspend. It can also be a really good idea if you are travelling with friends- you all pay onto the card and spend it until it's gone. Just make sure to check the charges for use overseas- some can charge per transaction which really eats into your spending money.
- Decide if you want to carry Euros (or another currency) with you. I certainly would take some, even if it's only a small amount.
- Order euros online from your chosen provider
- Collect your travel money
- TELL your bank you are going overseas so they don't block your cards. Most banks now allow you to do this online or over the phone.
- If necessary, create a Travel Budget. Check out this post for advice on how to do that.
Looking for essential Motorhome kit to take on your Road Trip? Check out our resources page HERE
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