Travel Money Options to take along on a Trip to UK

Getting your hotel reservations done and your flight tickets booked are not the only things involved while travelling abroad. Taking foreign currency is yet another important decision to make. If you are going abroad you will have to check that what kind of travel money suits you the best. No matter what all shopping you have to do and how you want to pay for your things it’s always a good idea to decide few things before you leave. Taking some cash in local currency is always advisable no matter where you travel.

However, here we are especially talking about UK there are variety of options as far as travel money goes. Travel money options include cards, cash and travellers cheques etc. For those planning to travel to the UK must be wondering that whether they should carry traveller’s cheques or cards with them. Thus, it is quite important to understand the positives and negatives of all currency options.

Credit and Debit Cards:

Use of credit and debit cards is by far the most convenient way to spend money. It is all the more convenient while you are on a trip to some other country. This is a kind of money that always stays with you and walks around where ever you go. Many people prefer to use these cards however; there are several pros and cons associated with it. These much be calculated well in advance. It is vital for you to choose the right cards as this makes it easy to pay for certain things.


  • Widely Accepted throughout UK – Credit cards are widely accepted throughout the country. Especially in UK you can simply purchase anything with a debit card. From basic necessary items to expensive luxury goods everything can be purchased.
  • Availability of ATMs – The Automated Teller machines are available at almost all major places. You will find an ATM at the gas stations in UK to cinemas, shops and in banks too.
  • Cheapest Option – The credit & debit cards are probably the cheapest option as far as travel money is concerned. Moreover, there are some specialist card providers who will not charge you while using these cards abroad.


With positives also come few negatives. The disadvantages of using these cards are as follows:

  • Some cards will charge an additional fee on anything and everything you buy.
  • Though these cards are functional in UK, but there are chances that you have a minimum card payment amount. In that case you will have to carry some cash along.
  • Some cards are not well accepted in this country such as the Discover Cards and Diners Cards. Even American Express cards are refused sometimes.

These cards can even be used for booking your accommodation and Afternoon Tea Package London.

Pre-paid Cards Abroad:

Another travel money option which you can take along to UK is pre-paid cards. This is an alternative to traveller’s cheques. As the name suggests you can simply get the card recharged and you can then spend it as per your convenience and will. Mentioned below are few positives and negatives of this travel money option:


  • Since it’s a pre-paid card you will only be able to spend the amount which is there in your card. You won’t be able to spend any more money. Thus, this way you can keep your expenses in control.
  • Even if you lose your card, you shall get a new one, however you will have to pay an extra amount for £10.
  • While you are on a travel to multiple countries, the card can be pre-loaded with the currency of that country.


  • For these pre-paid cards if you need to withdraw money from the ATM or you need to do a top-up you will be charged a fee.
  • There may be some hidden charges associated with these pre-paid cards. Read the fine print carefully.

Traveller’s Cheques:

These cheques are not just like usual cheques but are pre-printed cheques for a fixed amount. These cheques can be used for any shopping. You can even exchange them for cash. These cheques are available in almost all major currencies. While you get these cheques the first thing you need to do is you will need to sign each one. To use a travellers cheque at present is the most expensive and inconvenient option especially in the UK.


  • As far as security goes, these cheques are quite safe to use as long as you have the record of all cheque numbers you have.
  • These are mostly available in all currencies including pounds sterling, Euros and dollars etc.


  • These are quite expensive. On the total value of the cheques you purchased you will be charged one percent additional fee.
  • If you want to get these exchanged for cash you will have to find someone who will accept these cheques. So, you need to put in a little extra effort to get these re-funded for cash.

Where to buy Foreign Currency:

Foreign currency must be bought from a trusted source. It can be purchased from bureaux de change, supermarket, travel agents and banks. There are specialist online providers from whom you can purchase your foreign currency.

Moreover, if above all you are planning to take cash along, it is not as safe as using cards or traveller’s cheques. The best thing to decide upon choosing for travel money option is to sort out your money before you go. Also check for best currency exchange rates. This way you as a tourist will be able to save and plan your money well.

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