Ready For Travel?
When you prepare for a holiday travel a to-do list of things to be sorted is long. There are obvious things like buying flight tickets (probably you chose Ryan Air, EasyJet or WizzAir), booking accommodation (via booking.com or airbnb.com) and things we tend to forget about, but they should also be crossed out from to-do lists well before boarding a plane to give us peace of mind while travelling.
Cash or Cashless?
Partially, I mean budgeting, however it is not only about how much money you have allowed yourself to spend during your leisure time.
It is more about whether you’re going to spend your travel money in cash or by card. So, is it better to pay in cash or by card?
Well, there is no easy answer to that – it all depends. Firstly, it depends on where you travel – number of terminals varies from country to country and from city to city.
I recently traveled to Bari and Naples in Italy for my yearly holidays – well, to make card payments there wasn’t easy. Some places have their own policy to accept card payments above 10, 20 or 30 EUR. Some places – street shops with fruits and veggies – aren’t even equipped with a card terminal so, I was lucky to have cash. Supermarkets and bigger restaurants were fine with card payments.
Poland Goes Cashless Quickly
Poland with accepting card payments of all types (VISA, MasterCard, AMEX, ect.) is well advanced. Every corner shop, local store, restaurant, taxi (including Uber and Bolt) accept card payments so no worries about that. However, does it mean you can feel safe about it? Not really as we use PLN as a currency (officially: Polish Złoty; commonly: Polish Pound, Polish Euros, Polish Dollars) if you use a card in your local currency (EUR, GBP, USD) you might lose on lower exchange rates (you get “we sell” rates) provided by your bank on currency change & possible exchange fees – sad but true not many people pay attention to this tiny detail.
We Buy & We Sell Exchange Rates
Another real life example from my recent travel to Italy is when renting a car – I didn’t care about applying for a credit card early enough so I ended up not having a credit card with me. Car rentals normally require a credit card to secure the deposit in case of car theft or damage. Luckily for me, some accept deposit in real money from your debit card – 500 EUR in my case, however, I used my card in PLN so the bank exchanged on “we sell rate”. Still, I was happy to get a car & explore amazing cities and beaches around Bari. They just transferred my deposit back today. This time I’m not happy because I got 500 EUR at a lower “we buy rate” to my local account. In this particular case I have lost ~30 EUR.
There is a famous proverb in Polish language that goes like this in literal translation “a Pole is wise after the event” and the interpreted sense is “it is easy to be wise after the event”. Well, I’m much wiser now and want to share my wisdom with you – probably planning your trip to Krakow or Warsaw in Poland. Simply, in the midst of searching for a company that accepts debit cards for deposit I had forgotten to top up my Revolut prepaid card and ended up using my local bank debit card. Topping up the Revolut when still in Krakow, I would have been ready to pay the deposit in EUR at super attractive exchange rates and save money for a nice dinner.
That is my message for you – get a prepaid card that offers some features useful while traveling.
For instance, Revolut is a prepaid card and app used by 4.5m+ customers across Europe and Australia, to make massive savings on fees when spending and sending money abroad.
You can open an app-based account in minutes. Hold and exchange 29 different currencies and spend anywhere with no fees in over 150 countries with a contactless MasterCard or Visa. Withdraw £200 per month free from international ATM (2% fee thereafter). Have in mind that exchange rates are almost like in Bureau de Change!
With individual GBP and EUR IBANs auto-savings, cutting edge budgeting and analytics, Revolut is also perfect for spending at home.
Bureau de Change – Avoid Tourist Traps!
If you wish to stick to cash transactions that’s absolutely fine too. Just bring your wallet filled with EUR or GBP notes and find a place with fair rates to get PLNs. We recommend exchanging money at the best rates in Old Town at Bureaux de Change (Polish: Kantor) located on Sławkowska Street, 2 examples below:
- 2 x J. Exchange, Sławkowska 11, 31-016 Kraków, Poland — Google Maps, closes at 6 pm, open only on weekdays.
- Grosz, Sławkowska 4, 31-014 Kraków, Poland — Google Maps, closes at 5 pm, open only on weekdays.
Bare in mind they close early in the evening and operate only on weekdays. Also, having big amounts of money on you makes you a good target for pickpockets in pubs, clubs and crowded public areas.
Just To Mention: Book With Us & Pay With Card
Obviously we accept card payments for activities, tours and transfers when it comes to settle 30% deposit and 70% balance on the day. It is possible to pay in cash too, however we prefer card payment as money goes straight to our account and we don’t have to visiting ATMs to deposit cash in the bank.