Travel Money Research Finds Foreign Currency Not Always Readily Available from Bureaux de Change

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Post Office Travel Money warns UK holidaymakers that popular foreign currency may not be available on the high street.

Post Office Travel Money research has revealed that more than 75 per cent of foreign currencies are not immediately available over the counter at high-street bureaux de change.

A survey of the 12 best-selling foreign currencies at high-street bureaux found that while all the foreign currencies were available over the counter immediately at the Post Office, a same-day foreign currency service was more limited in other high-street bureaux and banks.

According to the travel money research, euros and US dollars were the only foreign currencies readily available in large amounts, while more than 75 per cent of the 10 remaining foreign currencies surveyed needed to be pre-ordered for next-day collection.

Although popular types of foreign currency such as the Turkish lira and Egyptian pound were generally available on demand, the Post Office Travel Money survey found it was more difficult to get travel money immediately available for other popular holiday destinations, such as the East Caribbean dollar. Advance notice was required for the foreign currency at one leading high-street bureau, while pre-ordering was required at another top travel agency. Used by UK holidaymakers visiting Antigua and St Lucia, the foreign currency was not stocked at one of the major UK banks, nor was the Turkish lira - the Post Office's third best-selling foreign currency in 2009.

In light of these findings, Post Office Travel Money advises that UK holidaymakers heading abroad, particularly to less popular or up-and-coming summer sun destinations such as Bulgaria and Croatia, may have to plan ahead and pre-order their foreign currency, rather than expecting to turn up and buy their travel money on the spot from many foreign currency exchange locations.


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