Sunday, May 10, 2009

ATM's, Traveler's Checks and more...

So we talked about this in quite a few of our meetings, but it bears repeating -- and deserves to be its own blog post. It's probably the most common question I hear: "how do we get money over there?" Amazingly, England and Scotland work much the same way as the U.S. I'll quickly break down the money situation in the U.K.


Probably the best way to get money in the U.K. ATM's work the same way over there as they do here, and typically you get the best exchange rate possible.
**Make sure that you call your financial institution in the States and let them know you're going, or else there's a chance you could get your card shut down.**

Traveler's Checks

I have no problem with traveler's checks, especially if you're going to be carrying a lot of money. The main reason I don't use them is because the ATM card is so much simpler. It might not be a bad back-up if you want to get some, but I don't think it's a necessity.

Changing Money in the U.S. for the U.K.

If you want to get some British Pounds while still in the States so you can hit the ground running, absolutely do it. It can be a bit difficult through your financial institution, because typically a branch bank doesn't have foreign currency sitting around. Usually it takes a couple of days -- or you'd have to go to the main branch to get it. It's worth calling your bank and finding out their policy.

Changing U.S. Money in the U.K.

Usually I take about 100 dollars with me to London, and change it when I get there (not in the airport though!). You can usually get an okay rate from some of the money changers around Chelsea though. That's where I'd try to change money.

So there are some tips for money in London. Definitely have an ATM and credit card, and if you want, have some cash on you when you get there. Just like any big city, there are many options to change your money, or to get money in the native currency. It's something that seems daunting, but it really isn't much of a big deal, as long as you take the proper precautions.

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