So, your bags are all packed and flights booked. All you need now is some money - what could be simpler, you might think; surely all high street exchange rates are pretty much the same, right?
Sadly that's not normally the case. Indeed the difference between the good deals and the worst ones can sometimes be quite surprising. When making a high street exchange rate comparison it pays to understand how they think.
All highstreet providers are playing a precarious balancing act - providing an offer which appears to be enticing, while looking to squeeze as much money out of the unsuspecting customer as possible.
There are several ways they can do this. First, they can offer what appears to be a highly appealing exchange rate, but add on substantial commission rates and other charges, which you may not be initially aware of.
Likewise, if you should see a provider proudly displaying a no commission sign in their doorway there's a fair chance they're raking that back through the exchange rate.
So how can you see through their fiendish plans and ensure you get the best high street exchange rate possible?
Know the territory
The best way to compare high street exchange rates is to understand the lay of the land by ensuring you keep track of the latest developments in the exchange rate. Keep track of it in the weeks leading up to your holiday so you'll have a good idea of its movements and can have an idea what constitutes a 'good' exchange rate. This will also let you know about when is a good time to buy.
Exchange rates can be volatile so if you spot a moment when the rate appears to be in your favour you should grab it with both hands. For example, if you're looking to travel to Europe, you should keep track of market movements and comparing that against the high street euro exchange rate.
The next step is to clearly understand the pricing of the services. You need to know firstly what the exchange rate is and secondly what charges will be added.
Equally, you should reassure yourself that the advertised exchange rate will apply to the amount that you want to change. Many providers will impose minimum sums below which their headline rate no longer applies.
However all that information can be confusing, and it's sometimes easier just to get a solid number you can expect to receive. Most high street providers will be happy to tell you how much you can expect to get while others will provide a simple calculator where you can enter a sum and instantly see how much you're getting.
It's a quick simple tool and is perhaps the clearest indication of best currency exchange rates on the high street.
But hold your horses, before you head out to make your euro exchange rate comparison on the high street, you might be able to save some time and money by staying home and firing up the computer.
High Street providers are increasingly opening up online services and are also offering customers price incentives in order to use them.
Online is potentially one of the cheapest ways to change money. As well as discounted exchange rates they increase the range and scope of companies you can approach.
As with anything on the internet, security will be a concern especially if you're looking to transfer cash. Many companies will phone you after you've completed the order to check it was indeed you who made the order.
When ordering cash online be sure to take postage into consideration as you will often be charged for the delivery of the cash to you and this could be a cost that you hadn't considered in your comparison
When ordering cash online be sure to take postage into consideration as you will often be charged for the delivery of the cash to you and this could be a cost that you hadn't considered in your comparison.
You can also check the FCA website to see if they are registered. This will offer a degree of reassurance, but it's important to remember that this is not quite the same as being FCA Regulated. Foreign exchange is not regulated by the FCA and your funds will not necessarily be protected if a company should go to the wall. It's always worth finding out how your funds will be stored before delivery.
If you would like to make a high street euro exchange rates comparison, visit this Euro comparison table.