Every year, Flight Centre Australia compiles a list of red-hot travel spots that deliver amazing travel experiences to all that visit them. And you can’t go past 2017’s list – full of oldies-but-goodies with some out-there favourites, Top Travel Destinations of 2017 is worth the read.
But we wanted to put our spin it.
So we combined Flight Centre’s list with our travel money expertise. Check out what we came up with below.
Ichiban! (Translation: Number 1).
Offering a captivating mix of culture, food, natural beauty and a unique history, the allure of Japan is unmistakeable. No wonder it made the top position for 2017.
Fun fact: The Japanese currency is the Yen (code: JPY; symbol: ¥), but is pronounced “en” in Japanese.
In Japan, money is quite easy to access. You’ll find ATMs everywhere, but something that trips a lot of travellers up is the fact that many of them do not accept debit or credit cards issued outside of Japan! If you need to withdraw money using your Aussie bank card, you’ll need to find an ATM located in the post office or a convenience store – which, again, are everywhere.
Japan Money Tip: Tipping isn’t customary. In fact, a tip may even be refused because it can be considered rude.
Iceland’s capital is full of natural beauty, creative cityscapes, Viking history and diverse food. So it’s easy to see why it took the number 2 spot in the list.
Although it’s part of Europe, Iceland isn’t a member of the EU and it doesn’t use the Euro as its currency. The currency you’ll need for a visit to Reykjavik is the Icelandic Krona (code: ISK, symbol: kr).
Not a lot of banks and exchange bureaus carry the Icelandic krona (Travel Money Oz included), so it can be difficult to exchange your currency before you go. However, you can easily exchange US dollars or Euros at the Keflavik Airport, or in Reykjavik. So, before you go, we can help you get this sorted.
Iceland is very much a cashless society – credit and debit cards are used more than cash. So, if you have a travel money card with EUR on it, then that’s another way to go. You’ll still be subject to daily conversion rate changes, but your money will be safe and payments will be easy.
Our Travel Money Oz Currency Pass may be the perfect solution. You can load up to 10 currencies* on one card, so if you travelling to more than one location, you can re-use the same card.
Reykjavik Money Tip: Exchange surplus ISK at the end of your trip before you leave the country, otherwise you may be stuck with it when you get home.
Whether you’re a Game of Thrones mega-fan and want to explore the filming locations, or are drawn to the diverse history, beauty, culture and food of this Eastern Europe wonder, Croatia as a holiday destination is hard to beat.
Croatia joined the EU in 2013, but still use their own currency, the Croatian kuna (code: HRK, symbol: kn). It’s easy to exchange foreign currencies into HRK when you’re on the mainland, but if you’re visiting one of the islands, it’s best to take cash with you.
Croatia Money Tip: The exchange rate of the Kuna is fixed to the Euro, so it may be accepted in some stores.
Edinburgh makes the list for its all-round feel-good vibe, and its heady mix of history, culture and sense of humour. Just take a coat if your visit in winter – they don’t call it Edinbrrrr for nothing.
As Scotland is part of the United Kingdom, they use the British Pound (code: GBP, symbol £) to pay for things. Scotland does issue its own banknote version of the GBP, but it’s interchangeable with the banknotes issued by the Bank of England, so you can use either while you’re gallivanting around Edinburgh (just expect to be given change in the Scottish version).
We’re halfway through the list, and of course, the good ol’ US of A could not be left out! Always an Aussie favourite, the 50 states each give us their own type of holiday and leave us with completely different experiences. That’s probably why we keep going back again and again.
You guessed it: the US dollar is the currency used (code: USD, symbol: $). Debit and credit cards are widely accepted throughout the USA, but it’s a good idea to keep cash on you for smaller purchases and tips. Because tipping in every state is essential.
USA Money Tip: Make sure you apply for your ESTA visa before you leave Australia (if applicable) – it’ll only cost you $14. It’s super easy to do online, and you don’t need a visa agent to help you. The extra fee is a waste of money for sure!
Sun, sand and sea. If Portugal is calling you, you’re in for a treat. And while it’s not as cheap as it used to be, it is a cheaper travel destination than other Western and Northern European countries.
As part of the EU, Portugal uses the Euro (code: EUR, symbol: €) as its currency. Visa and MasterCard credit and debit cards, as well as our Travel Money Oz Currency Pass, are easily accepted in Portugal – and you’ll find ATM’s everywhere.
Portugal Money Tip: Most Portuguese ATM’s (Multibanco) don’t charge a local ATM operator fee, so if you’re withdrawing cash, you’ll only have to pay a fee for the International Withdrawal (as charged by your card operator).
This hidden gem in Latin America’s crown is bursting with undiscovered land, isolated beaches and striking colonial architecture. It’s a must-do for those seeking adventure and spectacular outdoor settings.
In Colombia, the currency used is the Peso (code: COP, symbol: $). Credit and debit cards aren’t used in a lot of places, and ATMs can be expensive to use. Plus, if you’re exchanging money in Colombia, you may find a cap on how much you can exchange at any one time. So, we definitely recommend taking some COP with you, or you may cop a bunch of fees.
Colombia Money Tip: If you’re paying by credit card, you’ll likely need to show photo ID to complete the transaction.
There’s Nor-way they’d leave this out of the list. The Scandi allure of Norway is enchanting and it’s brimming with pure, unspoilt natural beauty, delightful animals and an intriguing culture.
The currency used in Norway is the Norwegian Krone (code: NOK, symbol: kr). But in Norway, cash is no longer King, and plastic is all the rage. In almost all places you will find that debit cards are accepted, but it’s still a good idea to have some cash on you for small transactions and emergencies.
Foreign cash is rarely accepted in Norway, including the Euro, but you’ll find ATMs everywhere you go – even in rural areas.
Norway Money Tip: NOK is informally accepted at many shops in Sweden and Finland that are close to the Norwegian border, as well as at Danish ferry ports.
This list needed a crowning jewel (like the one in the Tower of London). London continues to reign supreme as a must-see destination for Australians, as it’s impossible to beat its mix of history, culture, landmarks and unique experiences.
The currency you’ll need on a London holiday is the British Pound (code: GBP, symbol: £), which is divided into 100 pence. You’ll also use the same currency if you’re visiting #4 on this list (Edinburgh, Scotland), Wales, Northern Ireland or a host of other UK territories.
London Money Tip: An Oyster Card is the best way to travel the Underground Metro – or is it? You can tap on and off with your Travel Money Oz Currency Pass. Just pre-load and go!
Last but by no means least, the City of Love. Seducing travellers for years, Paris is intoxicating for those that love to indulge in culture, history and wine.
In Paris, you’ll need the Euro to pay for those drinks and escargot, among other things. As Paris is a very card-friendly country, you may prefer the option of a travel money card rather than using your bank cards from home, which tend to come with lots of fees and extras when you use them overseas.
Paris Money Tip: If you insert a foreign bank card into the ATM, the language on the screen will automatically default to English – no need to learn financial phrases en Français.
Whether you’re going to one of the above countries or somewhere entirely different, we can help you explore your travel money options. Visit your local store and chat with our FXperts today.
*10 currencies for the Currency Pass include: USD, EUR, GBP, THB, SGD, NZD, HKD, JPY, CAD & AUD.
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