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Money Matters

I will be travelling to Scotland in May.  My first time out of the country other that Canada 10 years ago.  What is the best way to handle money.  I mean do I use credit card for exchange rates to be correct and all?  Do I exchange my US dollars before I get in the country?  If so how do I do that?  Or do I just wait til I get there and exchange in Scotland?
i'm guessing most places do not take US dollars.  I know this may seem a really silly question for most but as i said I havn't traveled outside the US before.


  • HorizonsHorizons Member, VisitScotland Ambassador ✭✭✭✭
    edited March 2018
    Hiya @Islanderswede, no question is a silly question and I can assure you that this question is a FAQ for most 1st time travelers flying abroad from the US. Also, I am stating my opinion below based on experience and this should not be taken as financial advice :smile: Whatever, you do, the worst possible exchange rate would be for bringing your USD cash to the UK and exchanging it at the airport.

    Every US-based international traveler has at least one 0% foreign exchange credit card in their wallet (I hold this one from HSBC, use it heavily though I've moved to the UK 3.5 years back). It does what it says, I am charged in USD exactly what Google would say is the current exchange rate with no fees.

    On the cash front, I do bite the 3% bullet and use HSBC debit cards to withdraw a large amount of cash on landing. The optimal way to work with Forex cash is to get a Schwab checking account. I recommend you read through this Travel subreddit FAQ written by many US-based world travelers.

    For balance, here is the link for European travelers wanting efficient financial instruments, I have recently begun using Revolut. I travel internationally frequently and have compiled all my tips and resources in this blogpost (not fully relevant to Scotland travel but it may help you immensely)

    Hope this response helps.
    I'm Anirudh, an Indian travel blogger who has explored a lot of Scotland by public transport. My blog. Find me on Facebook | Instagram

    Best of Scotland in 1 week itinerary (fully by public transport)

    My Scotland travels (includes EdinburghSkye, HarrisMullArranOrkneyLoch Lomond, Islay, Oban, DunoonSpeyside)

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