The silly season is upon us. For some, that might involve being surrounded by friends and family and indulging in one too many Christmas puddings. For others, it might mean jetting away on a holiday they have spent all year saving for.

Whilst we don’t have much advice in the way of portion control (seriously, have that extra pudding, it’s Christmas), we do know a thing or two about travel, particularly Travel Money. Here are some travel money trips to keep your money safe over the holidays, and ensure your festive season is Grinch-less.

On the 1st day of Christmas, Travel Money NZ showed me… that destination research is key!

Just like Santa has been researching for the naughty and nice list, you should be researching for your overseas holiday! Each destination has its own cultural and currency related characteristics that differ from home. A little knowledge can go a long way when in a new country, so why not check out your destinations Travel Money guide here!

On the 2nd day of Christmas, Travel Money NZ gave me… the best price guarantee!*

It says it in the title – find the best price and we will beat it. More money in your pocket = an extra nights accommodation for you (or another few puddings, once again its Christmas!)

On the 3rd day of Christmas, Travel Money NZ told me... that getting a currency card is easy!

So you’ve heard how crazy the fees are that banks charge for international withdrawal, but you also don’t want to walk around with a big wad of cash in your back pocket? Stress less, as a pre-paid currency card is here to save the day (and your pocket)!

Reloadable pre-paid currency cards are a safe and secure way to carry your hard earned travel money overseas and can often be topped up 24/7 online. Our Cash Passport card allows you to lock in your exchange rate before you go!

On the 4th day of Christmas, Travel Money NZ taught me… how to save money!

Look for ways to save your money so you can stretch it further and get more out of your holiday. Choose accommodation that includes breakfast, buy snacks (aka Christmas pudding) from the supermarket and re-use a water bottle. Look for restaurants and attractions that have free Wi-Fi to avoid nasty roaming charges on your phone bill, and take advantage of the extensive public transport systems available in many cities.

On the 5th day of Christmas, Travel Money NZ taught me… how to avoid costs that are sneaky!

Every country has costs beyond flights and accommodation that should be budgeted for.  Tipping culture is massive in many countries and can often take travellers by surprise. Other countries charge you to use a public toilet (always have spare change on hand). Finally, if you are headed to Europe and need your caffeine hit, you may be charged more for sitting down to enjoy your morning brew.

Don’t know where to start with these hidden costs? Don’t stress, we’ve got you covered here.

On the 6th day of Christmas, Travel Money NZ told me… that travel insurance is necessary!

Regardless of where your holiday takes you, it is important to be covered in the event of an emergency. Travel insurance is an integral part of any trip, so give yourself (and your family back home) the peace of mind knowing you are protected on your Christmas trip.

On the 7th day of Christmas, Travel Money NZ told me… that exchanging at the airport is silly!

So, in the midst of packing your bags and wrapping presents you completely forgot to get your foreign currency, and now you are stuck with terrible exchange rates at the airport.

If you plan ahead and grab some currency before the airport you are guaranteed to get a better rate.

Can’t stand the thought of waiting in the Christmas crowds? Order online and we will have it delivered to your closest store – easy!

On the 8th day of Christmas, Travel Money NZ showed me… How to hide my money discreetly.

Nothing ruins your Christmas spirit more than having your money or valuables taken whilst overseas. Be clever with how you distribute and carry your cash and cards. Don’t keep all of your cash in the one spot, distribute it between bags, pockets and even your travel companions.

Need some more hiding places? Read about them here: 6 Ways to Carry Money Overseas

On the 9th day of Christmas, Travel Money NZ gave me… tips to be scam free!

You’ve finally landed in your dream destination, unpacked your bags, and started enjoying your first holiday cocktail, only to realise that you have been sold counterfeit notes… that’s a not so Merry Christmas.

Money exchanging scams can be quite common in some countries, so we recommend getting your cash sorted before you go from a brand you trust. If this isn’t possible, watch out for vendors when they are counting your money and always double check the legitimacy of the notes. We have plenty more tips for skipping the scams, check them out here: Travel Money Scams to Watch Out For

On the 10th day of Christmas, Travel Money NZ taught me… that in some countries haggling is key!

Depending on the country you visit, haggling is often expected and, if you know how to do it properly, can become a fun part of your international experience.

When it comes to haggling we have three key tips:

1.       Be bold: don’t be afraid and show the vendor that you are decisive and upfront. Even if you aren’t feeling confident just fake it till you make it!

2.       Aim for win – win: Haggling should be beneficial for both the buyer and the seller. If either party gets ripped off it takes the fun out of the process.

3.       Know when to walk away: if your negotiations not going anywhere take a breath and walk away. You never know, turning your back might drop the price that little bit more.

Keen on some more insight? We have a whole blog dedicated to the art of haggling here.

On the 11th day of Christmas, Travel Money NZ showed me… how to tip appropriately.

To tip or not to tip? That is the question.

It is always worthwhile to brush up on your destinations cultural etiquette which includes when, how much and how to tip.

Hankering for that Christmas Cherry Pie in an American Diner? It’s polite to tip between 15 – 20% of your total bill. Parched and in need of an eggnog in South Africa (can neither confirm nor deny if eggnog can be found here) definitely leave a 10 – 15% tip for your service.

Depending on your destination, tipping can very quickly add up so it is worthwhile including in your holiday budget.  

On the 12th day of Christmas, Travel Money NZ told me… to sell back leftover currency!

Bringing foreign bank notes back home? Don’t save them for a rainy day! Instead sell them back for NZ dollars and voila – some more cash to help ease those post-holiday blues (maybe buy another Christmas pudding?).

Looking for some more advice before you jet off? Speak to one our friendly experts today (they may even have a cracking pudding recipe for you**) – click here to find your nearest store.

**Cannot guarantee Travel Money NZ consultants will have a recipe for pudding.

This blog is provided for information only and does not take into consideration your objectives, financial situation or needs.  You should consider whether the information and suggestions contained in any blog entry are appropriate for you, having regard to your own objectives, financial situation and needs.  While we take reasonable care in providing the blog, we give no warranties or representations that it is complete or accurate, or is appropriate for you.  We are not liable for any loss caused, whether due to negligence or otherwise, arising from use of, or reliance on, the information and/or suggestions contained in this blog.

*Terms and conditions apply. Travel Money Currency Exchange Pty Ltd trading as Travel Money NZ..

Abbie Taylor

Abbie has 3 loves: travel, food and marketing. She combines all three by working with Travel Money Group, travelling as much as her budget allows and indulging in one too many doughnuts.