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Cash in on your holiday.

THE summer holiday is often the biggest spend of the year for most families.

And that means it is more important than ever that you get the best deal for your holiday spending money - in order to make sure you enjoy the sun, sea and sangria.

Finance experts say it is a good idea to shop around for your currency and travellers' cheques, and point out that your travel agent may not offer the best value.

The reality, however, is that with all the rushing and organising to get away on holiday, many travellers simply do not have the time to search around.

The average holiday spend is around pounds 700 pounds, and Spain is still by far the most popular of the European sunspots.

So a variety of providers were asked what they would charge for 47,000 pesetas (around pounds 200) in cash and 115,000 pesetas (around pounds 500) in peseta travellers' cheques.

And since we nearly all bring some foreign money back home with us, we worked in the refund for bringing back 12,000 pesetas.

The cheapest was the Co-operative Bank with a total charge of pounds 631.85. That produced a saving of pounds 13.01 on American Express.

A spokesman for Co-operative Bank said: "These figures show that we provide a competitive and high quality foreign exchange service. It clearly pays to shop around."

The survey also revealed that it is worth starting your search by finding out the charges at your own bank or building society. They may offer a deal where you can save the cost of commission.

The advantage of taking travellers' cheques in foreign currency is that you are buying them at a fixed exchange rate and that lets you know exactly how much money you have to play with.

When changing cheques, remember there can be a high commission charge each time, so you could save by cashing a few at one time.

But be careful in carrying the cash around on holiday. Divide the cash between you and your partner or family. It is also a good idea to buy a money belt which can be hidden away.

Travel experts advise taking a mix of cash and travellers' cheques with you as you are bound to need some cash in the

local currency for the first few days. The advice is also to make sure you have sufficient funds available on your credit card before you leave home for any emergencies or surprise purchases.

But rememember that credit card fraud is widespread. If you are paying with your credit card abroad, keep an eye on the transaction and keep all receipts.

Now you are prepared to have a nice holiday- just the sunburn to worry about now.

Provider Cash Cheques Unspent Total

47,000 115,000 12,000 cost

pesetas pesetas pesetas

Co-op 201.47 477.08 (46.70) 631.85

Thomas

Cook 196.65 480.87 (43.89) 633.34

Alliance &

Leicester 199.36 484.54 (47.32) 636.58

Royal Bank

Scotland 200.08 482.10 (44.38) 637.80

Abbey

National 200.93 484.22 (46.64) 638.51

American

Express 201.65 489.65 (46.44) 644.86
COPYRIGHT 1999 Scottish Daily Record & Sunday
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1999 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Apr 28, 1999
Words:535
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