Unless you are a very frequent traveler changing currency is something that takes a bit of getting used to. With lots of jargon and technical terms, it can be confusing for the casual holidaymaker, to say the least.
To give you a hand with all of your currency conundrums, here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions.
How often do currency markets change?
Currency is one of the most volatile markets, moving up and down every second. If you spot a good deal, it's often a good idea to lock it in, as you have no way of predicting the likely direction the market might take.
I don't understand the difference between buy and sell - which rates apply to me?
If you are looking to swap UK pounds for some foreign money, you will need to focus on the sell rate. This is how much you will get for your pound if you are purchasing foreign currency. When you return from overseas, the buy rate is what you will get if you exchange your leftover holiday cash for UK money.
Should I change my cash at the airport?
It is possible to get your holiday money at the airport, but the chances are you won't get a very competitive deal. The best rates tend to be available online via currency brokers. You can get up to 5% more than in high street banks, leaving you more in your pocket to spend on your holiday!
But aren't online companies a bit risky?
Not at all if you take the right precautions. All reputable companies are registered and regulated by the Financial Services Authority, which means they have passed robust financial audits. In addition, all of the companies used by soswitch.com use secure SSL technology, which means that all your data is encrypted. It's just as safe as internet banking, which is now more or less commonplace!
OK - so what do I look for on comparison tables?
To get the best deals, you need to focus on two things, namely exchange rates and commission charges. The companies offering the most competitive package will provide the best exchange rates and either 0% or low commission charges.
But how do I pay for it?
All of the companies on online are different, so check their websites for individual details. As a general rule you can usually pay by credit or debit card, cheque or bank transfer.
What if I have currency left over when I get back?
Some companies operate a buy-back policy. This means they guarantee to exchange your currency back into UK cash without charging you commission. Very handy!
How will I receive my money?
Many companies offer a delivery service, which is insured up to 2,500 via Royal Mail. Money over this amount is normally broken down into smaller parcels for security purposes. Someone will need to be at the delivery address to sign for the parcel.
Could I not just use my bankcard instead?
You could but you might get a nasty shock when you return. There's a myriad of different charges, fees and exchanges you need to watch out for unless you have a card that has been specifically designed for use overseas.