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How much foreign money should one have for a 12 day UK cruise


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First time cruise to the Uk. 9 ports.    London, Ireland,Scotland , Normandy.  I know debit cards and credit cards are widely used..Ihave. Euros and British pounds left over from last Mediterranean cruise .  We like to eat local restaurants and shop local venders .also is the ATM machine still the best place to get cash . I understand this question is quite open to each person’s spending habits . 

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7 hours ago, Larrytheg said:

First time cruise to the Uk. 9 ports.    London, Ireland,Scotland , Normandy.  I know debit cards and credit cards are widely used..Ihave. Euros and British pounds left over from last Mediterranean cruise .  We like to eat local restaurants and shop local venders .also is the ATM machine still the best place to get cash . I understand this question is quite open to each person’s spending habits . 

 

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The last time I was in London pre-pandemic, I probably got £50 or so at the airport, and brought most of it home. I was in London the whole time (7 nights), and would probably have used more pounds out of town, but I've used cards almost exclusively my last few trips to the UK, unless with a group where we were sharing the check.

 

Unless you're on a tour that requires cash, or isn't going near an ATM, a Visa or MasterCard, probably Visa preference, is going to take care of 80%+ of your needs. And a bank ATM should be easy to find when you need cash. If you don't have one, get a contactless card. Apple Pay is pretty easy to use in the UK and most of the Eurozone and acts like a contactless card. I'd definitely err on fewer Euros and Pounds on the first withdrawal and plan to use a card everywhere you can, which is becoming more and more everywhere. And you don't end up with a pocket full of coins to try to spend at duty free! There will undoubtedly be small vendors that don't take cards, but they're becoming fewer and fewer. 

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For London, you certainly won't need much cash unless you deliberately choose to use it. About 10 days ago, I paid for something in cash for the first time in 2022. I had literally been carrying the same four £10 notes in my wallet for since Christmas (and I've still got three of them left).

 

markeb's advice about a contactless card is very useful. This has been a very big part of the move away from cash, which was then accelerated by the pandemic. It's now acceptable to use a contactless card even for purchases of well under £1. IME, there are rather more merchants who do not take cash than merchants who do not take cards.

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10 hours ago, Larrytheg said:

Thanks for input Kind of what I thought. I still have. 50 British pounds left from. Our last trip from 2019. 

Be aware that some of the notes you have may no longer be legal tender! 

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1 hour ago, wowzz said:
11 hours ago, Larrytheg said:

Thanks for input Kind of what I thought. I still have. 50 British pounds left from. Our last trip from 2019. 

Be aware that some of the notes you have may no longer be legal tender! 

 

I think the OP's cruise is in late June, so anything that was valid in 2019 should still be valid now.

 

AUI, the next withdrawals are on 30 September 2022 of the paper £20 and £50 notes. So if the OP has any of these (presumably only likely to be a couple of £20 notes), it'll be worth dropping in to a bank to swap them for current ones.

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, Globaliser said:

I had literally been carrying the same four £10 notes in my wallet for since Christmas (and I've still got three of them left).

Just in case anyone thinks this says more about G than the UK payments landscape, I was in the same position until I bought some raffle tickets at the village May Fair yesterday!

Edited by Cotswold Eagle
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Other than paying my cleaning woman (I asked her once about etransfer and she looked at me with a complete lack of understanding), I have used cash twice since the pandemic started, for 2 small concerts. Otherwise, everything has been on my credit card(s). Oh, I also keep some coins in my purse because some grocery stores require a deposit to collect a cart. (You get it back when you return the cart, so it goes back into the same pocket.)

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On 5/2/2022 at 3:31 PM, Globaliser said:

the next withdrawals are on 30 September 2022 of the paper £20

Thanks for mentioning this fact.  Just looked in our 'FX reserves' and discovered 11 of the soon to be discontinued £20 notes.  Will have to plan a trip before September 30th.

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18 minutes ago, VMax1700 said:

Thanks for mentioning this fact.  Just looked in our 'FX reserves' and discovered 11 of the soon to be discontinued £20 notes.  Will have to plan a trip before September 30th.

 

There's no rush! IME ordinary banks will often swap them long after the withdrawal date. And you can always pop in to the Bank of England itself to swap them, for which there is no time limit.

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1 minute ago, Globaliser said:

 

There's no rush! IME ordinary banks will often swap them long after the withdrawal date. And you can always pop in to the Bank of England itself to swap them, for which there is no time limit.

Good to know.  Thanks

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  • 3 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

I thought about each port on an individual basis and planned out what was needed. For example, I knew we would need cash for gratuities in certain ports. We had already paid for the shore excursions when booking. So, just pondered on each port for cash needs.

Edited by nini
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  • 4 weeks later...
On 5/2/2022 at 10:31 AM, Globaliser said:

 

I think the OP's cruise is in late June, so anything that was valid in 2019 should still be valid now.

 

AUI, the next withdrawals are on 30 September 2022 of the paper £20 and £50 notes. So if the OP has any of these (presumably only likely to be a couple of £20 notes), it'll be worth dropping in to a bank to swap them for current ones.

I have lots of those . I’m coming to London in November and just bought £800 worth of money, mostly in £20’s and £50’s.  Are you saying that they will no longer be legal tender as of October?? 😲.   Please let me know!

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1 hour ago, ladysail2 said:

I have lots of those . I’m coming to London in November and just bought £800 worth of money, mostly in £20’s and £50’s.  Are you saying that they will no longer be legal tender as of October?? 😲.   Please let me know!

 

If you've only just bought these notes, they're unlikely to be the ones that are due to be withdrawn this year.

 

Here are all of the notes that are still valid: https://www.bankofengland.co.uk/banknotes/current-banknotes. Only the last two (the paper £20 note and the paper £50 note) are being withdrawn. I think that this will complete the transition to polymer notes.

 

You may be in for some culture shock, though, if you're expecting to use banknotes. Cash is not much used in the UK any more (this is certainly true in London), and there are a lot of places that will no longer accept cash at all.

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55 minutes ago, Globaliser said:

 

If you've only just bought these notes, they're unlikely to be the ones that are due to be withdrawn this year.

 

Here are all of the notes that are still valid: https://www.bankofengland.co.uk/banknotes/current-banknotes. Only the last two (the paper £20 note and the paper £50 note) are being withdrawn. I think that this will complete the transition to polymer notes.

 

You may be in for some culture shock, though, if you're expecting to use banknotes. Cash is not much used in the UK any more (this is certainly true in London), and there are a lot of places that will no longer accept cash at all.

They do seem to be slippery, so perhaps they are the polymer types. 
 

I’ve been reading about the usage of credit cards and am surprised.  I don’t like using them due to  all the charges when used outside Canada. This is why I like to pre-pay most expenditures before I leave home…hotel, transportation, entrance tickets, etc.  I will bring a credit card , but hope to use my cash. Mostly it will be used to buy food and for souvenir shopping. 
 

What do the people do who can’t get a credit card due to financial stress or other reasons?  

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1 hour ago, ladysail2 said:

They do seem to be slippery, so perhaps they are the polymer types.

 

You can check the images against what's on the Bank of England's website. Each of those notes has its own page with images of the front and back of the note. Each successive issue has different images (particularly of the famous person on the back), so you will always be able to tell what you've got.

 

1 hour ago, ladysail2 said:

What do the people do who can’t get a credit card due to financial stress or other reasons?  

 

They could use a debit card, or a pre-pay card (about which we had a recent thread). The truly unbanked are a pretty small proportion of the population.

 

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1 hour ago, ladysail2 said:


 

What do the people do who can’t get a credit card due to financial stress or other reasons?  

 

Debit cards, the pandemic basically accelerated the movement to contactless payment using either debit or credit card. Most transactions under a £100 in the UK are now conducted this way.

 

As for visitors, I'm not sure but in the UK its fairly easy to get credit or debit cards that have little to no charges for foreign transactions 

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5 hours ago, ladysail2 said:

I’ve been reading about the usage of credit cards and am surprised.  I don’t like using them due to  all the charges when used outside Canada.

I too am Canadian. It may not help you for this trip, but the Home Trust Visa is a no-fee credit card that doesn’t charge foreign exchange fees. It is my go to travel card, and I am travelling with less and less cash each time. 

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17 hours ago, defbref said:

in the UK its fairly easy to get credit or debit cards that have little to no charges for foreign transactions 

Absolutely. We have our normal bank debit & credit cards but they have quite a high fee for overseas transactions, so we also have a separate credit card which we only use overseas. Visiitng Spain annually, we use that card to pay for most things, as well as withdrawing cash from ATMs

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How much foreign money should one have for a 12 day UK cruise

 

Larrytheg, no disrespect intended at al, nor am I putting you down, but would just like to politely point out that perhaps you consider using the term "local currency" instead of "foreign money" in future as "local currency"is what we use here in the UK 😉

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49 minutes ago, edinburgher said:

 

Larrytheg, no disrespect intended at al, nor am I putting you down, but would just like to politely point out that perhaps you consider using the term "local currency" instead of "foreign money" in future as "local currency"is what we use here in the UK 😉

 

But I thought you Scots consider Bank of England notes to be "foreign money"? 😉

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Posted (edited)

But I thought you Scots consider Bank of England notes to be "foreign money"?

 

On the contrary, Bank of England notes are not considered to be "foreign money" at all, and I even received some from my local (Scottish) bank this week when I made a cash withdrawal without requesting them, as we routinely do when travelling out of the UK.  They are actually widely accepted here, much more often than you might think, unlike in England where Scottish notes are less commonly accepted outside of airports and tourist areas.

 

Next time you visit Scotland you should not need to change to more local banknotes, but try spending any leftover Scots notes  once back home and see how easily they are accepoted-or not..

Edited by edinburgher
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