If You’re Planning a Holiday in Greece, Here’s What You Need to Know

Anybody who has watched the film version of the musical Mamma Mia! – or has just looked wistfully at a travel brochure – has probably given serious thought to Greece as a holiday destination. What’s not to love about those brilliant blue skies and waters, whitewashed buildings, sun-bleached ruins, and centuries of history? If you’re dreaming of a holiday in Greece you’re hardly alone, as more than a million British holidaymakers will be heading there this summer. But there’s trouble in that blue-and-white paradise. As the Greek financial and political crises heat up, we’re even feeling it here in the UK, with British chancellor George Osborne saying on June 16, 2015 that the Government is taking “all steps” to protect Britain from “serious economic risk” should Greece default on its massive debt.

More to the point, many prospective holidaymakers are also getting a little nervous, wondering if Greece is such a good idea after all. Don’t rule it out yet, but if you have your heart set on going to the Greek islands here is what you need to know.

Bring enough cash (in case history repeats itself).

This is not the first time Greece has been in crisis; they’ve had quite a shaky time of it for years. In recent memory there was the Cyprus banking crisis of 2013, which caused Cypriot banks to close down for two weeks. When the banks reopened, a 300-euro limit was imposed on daily cash transactions and there were serious limits on credit card transactions as well as on the amount of money that could be taken out of the country. More recently Greeks have been withdrawing billions of euros from the banks, giving rise to fears that such a thing could happen again and that severe limits could be placed on how much cash anyone in Greece – including tourists – can withdraw.

There’s no reason to panic at this point but you do need to plan ahead. The Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA), as well as Post Office Travel Money, the UK’s largest provider of travel money, are both currently advising tourists to take enough cash in euros to see them through their holidays.

According to Andrew Brown of Post Office Travel Money, couples spend an average of around £500 in cash on a fortnight’s holiday, and for a family the average figure is about £700. This doesn’t include accommodation, so experts advise contacting your hotel or booking agent beforehand to see if it is possible to pay in advance in sterling. And it is advised that once you’re there you store your cash in a secure place, and split money between family members. As well, you should check your travel insurance to see how much cover you have for stolen or lost cash.

Don’t overlook alternative methods of payment.

Though cash is desirable you should also be able to use your credit or debit card as usual. There may be limits imposed on how much you can spend (apart from your own credit or cash limit of course), but these limits are likely to be set at several thousand pounds, according to James Hickman of currency specialists Caxton FS. Thus any limits imposed should not affect ordinary transactions. On the other hand Mr. Brown of Post Office Travel Money notes that during the crisis in 2012, some restaurateurs and retailers were reluctant to take cards, preferring cash.

Prepaid currency cards are another option. You can load them with a foreign currency at a pre-agreed exchange rate and use them in shops or at ATMs when abroad without incurring commissions or transaction fees. But you might want to leave your travellers’ cheques at home, as they are not widely accepted in the region.

If Greece leaves the Eurozone, don’t panic… yet.

According to Mr. Brown, if Greece does leave the Eurozone, as widely speculated, this is no cause for holidaymakers to panic. It should take about eighteen months for the Greek drachma to be reinstated, and during that time the euro will still be the legal currency.

And the good news is that Greece continues to be a bargain, made even more so by the strength of sterling. Even the prices in the lovely resort areas such as Crete are down by 13 percent in 2015.

If you decide that Greece isn’t for you at this time, there are plenty of other glorious destinations. But some things hold true no matter where you go on holiday. If you’re headed outside of your currency zone you need to know exactly how much that dream trip will cost you. Remember that foreign currency exchange rates are constantly in flux, and it is crucial to keep up to date.

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What Is Cashback? | Guest Post – From Aldi To Harrods

What is cashback

Cashback is, as it sounds, money given back to you for making a purchase. These days you can get cashback on almost anything, including purchases you make in store. I recently got married and I managed to get cashback on our wedding rings, table centerpieces and even on the honeymoon!

Why do the cashback websites pay you? Simply put, they are sharing the commission they earn from the supplier with you. It is a win-win situation for both parties – you get extra money in your pocket and the cashback company makes a profit.

There are also plenty of Free Cashback offers, such as requesting a free SIM card, that can help you to earn some extra cash without spending a penny.

Best of all, joining cashback websites is free! There are membership upgrades available (costing as little as ?5 per year) which will get you some added extras such as live chat.

Topcashback

TopCashback offer both cashback and discount codes from over 4,300 merchants. You can easily search for a retailer and then earn cashback on your purchase when you click through.

Register your cards for OnCard?and you can also benefit from earning cashback when using your card in high street stores.

The minimum payout is just 1p via BACS, Paypal, Tesco Clubcard points or Amazon vouchers.

Quidco

Quidco is my preferred cashback website – I find it easier to navigate and find that their support team is great at resolving issues. Over the years I have managed to get ?1,171 paid out via Quidco.

Quidco also?have a highest cashback guarantee – ff you find a higher applicable cashback rate for your purchase on any other UK cashback site, Quidco will match that rate in full once you have submitted a request to them.

Quidco also offer ClickSnap, where you can get cashback or free products in your supermarket shopping. They also allow you to register your card(s) online for in store cashback at a range of merchants, including Cineworld and H Samuel.

Quidco have also produced their own insurance comparison tool, which helps you to not only search for the best deal, but also to figure out how much cashback you can make by purchasing your cashback through Quidco.

The minimum payout is ?1, via BACS, Paypal or Amazon vouchers.

Get £5 free

If you aren’t already a member of Quidco, then you can join today and get £5 absolutely free!

6 Week Money Making Challenge | The Results

Well – the 6 week money making challenge finished at the end of May and I was so caught up with it, I forgot to update Keene On Saving for that time after my original post – so here I am, full of apologies and with my final total.

First off, I need to say how much I loved competing in the challenge set by Emma aka From Aldi To Harrods. It gave me motivation and people I could turn to when I lost my mojo – Emma was so encouraging! – and I loved it so much I’ve signed up to a June challenge, hosted by Katy. So how exactly did I do?

My total is a mixture of cash and vouchers but altogether I made:

£963.70

I am totally gutted that I missed out on hitting 1k but I am so happy that I managed to make as much as I did. It would be great if it was all cash but the vouchers will also come in handy.

Do you ever take part in challenges? If you never have, would you?