Passports packed? Check. Boarding passes printed? Check. Travel pillow pumped up? Check. Now all you need to do is read our guide on how not to get scammed when you’re heading abroad. So sit back, relax and enjoy our five essential do’s and don’ts for making your money go further when you’re going further.

DON’T change money at the airport

It may be tempting to pick up some foreign currency while you’re waiting for your flight, but be warned: using an airport exchange kiosk will put a severe dent in your holiday spending money before you’ve even taken off. Walk-up rates and fees in the airport are appalling, so do a little forward planning and sort out your holiday cash a few days before you set off. That way, you can buy another round of mojitos on the beach.

So where should you change money before you go? The best place to start is a price comparison site such as Choose the amount you want to convert, the currency, and whether you want delivery or collection, and a list of the best rates comes up. Or you can simply send money to yourself with Azimo’s cash pick-up service. It’s so easy – transfer money to yourself abroad and pick up the local currency at one of more than 270,000 cash pick-up locations worldwide.

DO be wary of credit and debit card fees

Most debit cards charge a hefty transaction fee on each purchase and ATM withdrawal you make abroad (plus there’s usually a cash machine fee on top). Using your credit card to withdraw money from an ATM while abroad is a definite no-no unless it’s an emergency – not only will you pay a transaction fee and ATM fee, you’ll also pay interest on the cash withdrawal until you pay off your credit card bill in full.

DON’T fall for the currency conversion trick

When you use your credit or debit card abroad, you’re often given an on-screen option to pay in your home currency rather than the local currency. This sly practice is known as dynamic currency conversion (DCC) and basically allows retailers and banks to set their own conversion rate, which is almost certainly worse than the rate applied by your card issuer. It’s a tempting option, but don’t be fooled into thinking it’s a good deal – always opt to be charged in the local currency of the country you are in.

DO look and book early

Read up on where you’re going and book well in advance – an overpriced airline ticket or holiday meal will soon wipe out any savings you’ve made by following our tips. Nowadays it pays to book early for everything from flights and car hire to hotel rooms and even museums – some sights offer discounts when you book in advance and it also means you can skip the queues. Believe us, it’s worth it when you breeze past all the tourists waiting outside the Vatican in Rome or the Alhambra in Granada. Just make sure of your dates, though, as refunds are a rarity.


Since launching in 2011, we’ve revolutionised the way people send money around the globe, bridging the gap between the world’s 250 million international migrants and their families back home.

Ready to join the Azimo revolution? Head to our homepage, check out our brilliant rates and start saving today!