Guest Blogs contactless payments on holiday

Published on April 20th, 2018 | by Guest Post

Post Office Travel Guest Blog: Why Cash is No Longer King on Holiday

The world is becoming less cash-dependent, and alternatives to cash can be a traveller’s best friend.

Cashless payments have long-since overtaken the use of notes and coins in the UK, with many other parts of the world following suit.

But there is one place that people still use a lot of cash: abroad.

That doesn’t mean cash is the best option. Carrying lots of cash with you can feel risky and if it were to get stolen, you’d have a difficult time recouping it. It’s much easier to lose, and it’s harder to keep a close eye on your spending.

There will be situations when you’ll need a bit of spare cash, like the taxi from the airport. But in most places, an alternative could suit you better.

Why is Cashless Travel Good?

Cashless is fundamentally safer. It’s difficult to recover lost or stolen cash. A digitally-prepaid taxi driver cannot demand too much at your destination. Countries still heavily reliant on cash make people with more of it (i.e. tourists) an attractive target for scams and theft.

Cashless payments give clear records of what you have spent, and you don’t have the problem of wandering around with a pocket full of baffling coins.

Not every situation will be cashless, but when it’s possible to avoid cash, it’s usually better.

Cashless Destinations

The top cashless countries include Canada, Sweden, France, Germany, Japan and Australia. These are countries with a preference for services such as Uber, contactless payment in cafes and shops, and online transactions.

But if you visit these places, should you use your card? It would be expensive, but there are alternatives.

Post Office Travel Money Card

The Post Office Travel Money Card is prepaid and is can be used anywhere that accepts Mastercard™. It also comes with contactless capability.

You can top it up online and use it to withdraw cash and pay for treats.

But, like cash, you can’t spend what you don’t have.

This makes it a reliable and safe way to take money overseas. You’re in control of how much you take, how much you top up, and what you spend.

You can switch cash between 13 currencies easily, so any leftover money from one holiday can be put towards the next – even if it’s in another part of the world.

That also makes it ideal for people travelling through multiple countries.

Where is Cash Necessary?

shopping on holiday

There are a few places where cash is still required. Despite moves by India’s government to reduce its use of banknotes, cash dominates every day transactions, especially when outside major cities.

In South Africa it’s not uncommon to see cashless payments but you would still need a ready supply of cash.

Many South American and more remote African countries will need cash at hand, including popular tourist destinations such as Cuba, where cash needs to be exchanged for the national currency when you arrive.

Research how cash is used at your destination in plenty of time to withdraw enough, and use our Holiday Money Report to work out where your money will go furthest.

Looking After Your Cash

Whether your cash is in the form of paper notes or tidily stored on the Post Office Travel Money Card, it’s still capable of being lost. Make sure that you have a contingency for this by purchasing travel insurance.

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