Delay: Claire Sawyer won’t buy euros for her Italian holiday until the last minute
Holidaymakers are being warned not to carry large sums of cash in Greece or elsewhere on the Continent, despite earlier advice.
The dreaded ‘Grexit’ – as the process whereby Greece might ditch the euro has been dubbed – seems to be drawing closer.
This had prompted travel agents to urge holidaymakers to load up with euro notes before they left Britain. They argued that if Greece did withdraw, tourists could be left stranded as cash machines and card payment systems froze amid the chaos.
However, other experts are now warning against carrying too much cash, saying most insurance will not cover the loss of more than £250, and less for travellers under 18, where the limit is typically £50.
‘The cover is limited and it’s hard to claim,’ warns Jeremy Cryer of gocompare.com.
‘You would have to report the theft to police and get a crime reference number, showing it was stolen either from your person or a locked hotel safe. And you would also need proof of purchasing the currency too, such as a receipt.’
Reporting a theft in a country gripped by financial crisis would be difficult or impossible, Cryer says.
To limit the risk, holidaymakers are instead advised to carry a range of cards belonging to different payments networks such as Visa, MasterCard or American Express.
One of the major networks, which declined to be named, says: ‘Currencies do come into and leave our networks from time to time so the procedures do exist.’
Elvin Edic, spokesman for foreign exchange firm Travelex, advises taking a ‘mixture of cash and cards’ and also to ‘take time to check the details of your travel insurance’.
Teaching assistant Claire Sawyer is delaying buying euros for her trip to Italy in July until the last minute, believing that the currency will fall further. It is already at a 42-month low against sterling.
Claire, 53, says: ‘I think that I’ll get more euros the longer I wait.’
She usually buys foreign currency at her Asda store in Esher, Surrey, and has watched the price slump in recent weeks. ‘I doubt that Italy will leave the eurozone, whatever happens to Greece,’ she says.
‘The whole issue is a cause for concern, but I’m certainly not panicking. I’m going to have a lovely holiday come what may.’
A survey by Travelex found most customers were relaxed about travelling to Greece, with some hoping for cheaper flights and accommodation. Only two per cent had cancelled a trip and most said they were only ‘mildly concerned’. Even so, half of all those questioned expected Greece to leave the euro, with most predicting an exit by the autumn.
Read more: Source
‘Keep calm, your cash is safe’: Banks ordered to display details of savings protection to head of bank runs ›
Categories: News mix