We unlock the currency myths around booking and planning your next trip.

How to pay less for your holiday

We all want to pay less for our holidays, without sacrificing any of the fun. A quick tip is knowing you can start saving money before you even travel, by loading currency when the market rate is at a high, opposed to just before you travel or if you need to pay for anything upfront in the local currency, using your bank to transfer the money will cost you more than sending it in the right currency via an international payment.

Here’s some of our savvy money savings tips to bear in mind before you even pack your suitcase.

1. Paying for accommodation

If you’re planning a city break to Barcelona or a two-week chill-out in Bali, you’ll need somewhere to sleep when you finally hit the hay. With many of us opting to tailor make our holidays these days, it’s likely that your accommodation will need to be secured with a deposit in advance. Larger tour operators usually accept payment in Sterling where FX rates are covered – we suggest securing with a Credit Card as you’ll receive purchase protection should anything go wrong. However, boutique hotels and local rentals may require payment in the local currency – it’s always worthwhile checking before you make any kind of commitment. Using your bank to transfer the money will cost more than sending it in the right currency, which is why an international payment is a much better option.

2. Airport transfers and taxis

Make sure you plan your airport transfers, taxi or car hire in advance of your travels – the last thing you want to be doing on arrival at is lugging cases and flagging down transport in 40-degree heat! Bear in mind that you’ll need to pay for your transport in the local currency, unless you pay for it in advance. The best option is to load your Caxton currency card before you fly and withdraw cash from an ATM on arrival at your destination. Airports have plenty of ATM’s and with zero fees*, your quids in before you’ve even reached your accommodation. Caxton also offers a cash delivery service, so if you still want to take cash with you for your airport transfers, order it ahead of your trip.

3. Excursions, retreats and classes

Whether it’s a catamaran across the med, sightseeing around the Colosseum or a cooking class in Thailand, planning what we want to do on holiday is just as important as the destination itself. If you book in advance, it’s likely that you’ll need to secure your trip with payment in full or at the very least, a deposit. Depending on whether you’re going through a large tour operator or organising yourself, it’s worth checking if you can pay via an international payment in the local currency. You’re also likely to pay more if going through an operator as they’ll take their commission, but on the plus side you’re guaranteed a place on your excursion. If you choose to book on arrival you’ll most likely be presented with an array of options and can probably haggle the price of your trip quite significantly - you’ll also save by paying in the local currency. Make sure you load your Caxton currency card ahead of your trip to secure the best possible rate – you can then pay via the card directly in the local currency or withdraw cash free from an ATM.

4. Sending money to friends and family

International payments are useful if you have friends and family living abroad and you need to transfer some cash over on an ad-hoc or regular basis. If you have are visiting family on your next trip, maybe you’ll want to send them money to draw out for you upon arrival, or maybe they can book some or your planned trips in the local currency. International payments ensure you avoid costly bank fees, and will save you money on the current exchange rate.

5. Cruising and island hoping

If you’re an avid cruiser or island hopper visiting multiple destinations in one trip is the dream – but how do you keep in top of your currency requirements? It’s simple – with a Caxton Currency card you can pre-load up to 15 different currencies in advance of your trip, so you don’t have to worry about carrying around multiple currencies when you hop between destinations and you won’t lose out at costly exchange bureau’s. And with our Buy Back Guarantee there’s no need to worry about buying too much currency as we’ll buy it back at the same rate we sold it to you – it’s the little savings that all add up!


Whatever your holiday booking requirements, Caxton can support all of your payment needs. Whether it be via loading your currency card in advance and using it to pay locally when you are abroad, to using our international payments service to secure the deposit on your holiday villa. With no hidden fees or charges, we’ll ensure you avoid wasting money.

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