Vacationing Abroad? Cash Still Makes Sense

Imagine you’re planning a dream vacation to Denmark’s picturesque capital, Copenhagen. Exploring the city, you chance upon a quaint café serving the most delicious smelling coffee and pastries. Perfect! And then, only after you’ve ordered, do you realise they are “cash only”. The moment of mild panic underscores an apparently small but important lesson: in our increasingly digital day-to-day, cash still matters. While credit and debit cards offer convenience, carrying cash abroad remains practical, and sometimes irreplaceable.

The Enduring Value of Cash in a Digital World

Despite the spread of digital payment systems, cash retains charm and practicality for tourists and travelers alike. From tipping, to small purchases where digital transactions may not be feasible, cash provides a level of flexibility cards cannot always provide. Cash proves its worth where you may doubt the security of a particular vendor, and in remote areas where not everyone accepts cards.

Back to our café on Copenhagen: if you’re on a tour of Europe it might be easy to assume the Euro is accepted everywhere. However, not all European countries adopted the Euro, and Denmark is a case in point. So, having local Kroner as cash makes life easy. On this, the “Visit Copenhagen” website is very clear.

The currency in Denmark is Danish Kroner (DKK). One krone is divided into 100 Øre…Most places accept Euros, while some accept American Dollars, Norwegian, and Swedish, Kroner, but please note that the exchange rate is not to your benefit.

Navigating Currency Needs Abroad

That last point is important. It’s not just about having the right currency – it’s about buying before your travel, to get best value and avoid punitive exchange rates. This is almost always the case, wherever your adventures take you, so it’s worth preparing well.

Similar lessons might be learnt elsewhere. For example, while Insider Monkey’s Yahoo Finance article, 20 Safest Countries for US Travelers in the World,  features several in the EU, it includes many which are not, or are in the EU but not in the Eurozone – Sweden and the Czech Republic for example. Further afield, in most of the listed countries, including Bhutan, having local cash will be useful, and sometimes essential.

Leveraging Digital for Physical Currency: The Money 4 Travel Advantage

This is where services like Money 4 Travel from Essiell provides a winning foreign exchange service. Simultaneously convenient for the consumer, easy to administer, and highly cost effective, Money 4 Travel presents a seamless, digital platform for ordering and collecting cash travel money. Users can order from up to 90 currencies by default, either online or in branch.

As you’d expect, exchange rates update daily, and the platform can be configured for the specific needs of each organization. Streamlined functionality means branch staff are freed up to talk with customers about other products and services – travel insurance, for example. This caters to the savvy traveler’s needs, and it aligns with the credit unions’ mission to provide value-driven services to their members.

The travel industry has a long history of evolution. The younger world of digital services is equally dynamic. For future growth in travel, the art (and science) is going to lie in combining the two. What better place to start to with than the old but seemingly timeless pleasure – cash in your vacation pocket.

By Declan Morton, staff writer at Money 4 Travel and Essiell Ltd.


For reference: Visit Copenhagen20 Safest Countries for US Travelers in the World, Yahoo Finance, January 24, 2024.

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