Get the best rates for your travel money…

logo for Avios… and save money on flights

When we went to a 50th birthday party in Berlin last October, we changed our cash to Euros at the airport because it was convenient.

We had a load of Euros left but all we wanted to do on the way back was get home – we couldn’t face staying at Gatwick a moment longer than necessary. As a result we lost money on the transaction, which was annoying.

I also didn’t realise different exchanges gave different rates. Duh. I just assumed the exchange rate was the exchange rate, wherever you changed your money. Why do they vary?

As you can tell, we don’t go abroad much! In retrospect it would have been sensible to get our money exchange asses in gear earlier and find the best rate. Lesson learned.

Money exchange comparison tools

I could do hours’ worth of research myself. But Money Supermarket has already done it. The site features travel money and foreign currency comparison pages including the best rates for travellers cheques, debit , credit and prepaid cards for use abroad.

Martin Lewis’s site, Money Saving Expert, is also really helpful, with an excellent article about cheap travel money plus a nifty travel money comparison tool

Collect Avios miles and cut the cost of flying

There are loads of brilliant cheap flights offers out there. We often have air travel discount codes on offer through our holiday partners. But you can also cut the cost of flights with Avios, which used to be called Air Miles. You can collect them by spending at a wide range of shops including Avon, Argus and B&Q, and through some credit cards.

The Avios Calculator on their website is excellent fun. You specify how much you spend on fuel, credit cards and groceries every month. The calculator works out how many Avios you could collect. Then it tells you where you could fly to. And they have a handful of handy apps, too, as well as a dedicated mobile-friendly site:

  • An interactive explorer map for iPads
  • Find out where your Avios can fly you to
  • Find local places offering Avios
  • Special deals for the week