Holidays: Horrifying reason you should think twice about handling travel money in cash

Holidays often require travellers to think about how they’ll be spending when they go away. Getting travel money out in cash used to the norm but now more travellers are sticking to cards. Not only can this be more convenient but there are concerns concerning the sanitation of banknotes amid coronavirus.


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Earlier this year the World Health Organisation issued a warning about the potential transmission of coronavirus via cash.

What’s more, according to a 2017 study conducted in New York City, researchers found microorganisms living on the surface of cash, ranging from mouth and vaginal bacteria to flu-like viruses, reported CNN.

Foreign currency provider Spendology carried out research in June.

Findings showed that people ranked cash number three in terms of exposure to bacteria and viruses after door handles and public transport.

That is higher than toilets and mobile phones.

Karen Gee, Business Development Director for Spendology exclusively told “In the aftermath of Covid-19, the nation is suffering from coronaphobia and in a heightened state of awareness about germs and bacteria.

“As travel restrictions ease and foreign holidays resume, many people are considering how to relax and enjoy themselves on holiday whilst minimising the risks.

“In a survey of 277 customers, 82 percent said they were concerned or very concerned about staying virus-free and healthy on holiday.

“Touching door handles and using public transport were the top concerns followed by handling cash.

“Britons strongly prefer cash on holiday rather than cards because it helps with budgeting, something that’s even more important this year.”

These worrying statistics lead to Clean Currency which develops bacteria and virus-free currency.

“It’s for this reason that we created Clean Currency, sterile bundles of virus and germ-free euros and dollars,” said Gee.

“It’s a small thing that we hope will really make a difference – reassuring people, giving them peace of mind, and helping them protect their families on holiday this year.”

Each Clean Currency order is made up of 250 either euros or mint notes that are divided into small denomination notes – fives and 10s – to reduce the need for change and the staff count the notes in PPE in a sterile area.


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Alternatively, some holidaymakers may prefer to go contactless altogether.

“If you choose the right prepaid travel-specific card, you can really minimise the cost of your foreign exchange currency,” said Gee.

“But there are many different cards all with different offerings and terms so don’t rush into the first one you see.

“Take time to see if it’s the best for you and how you want to use it.”

Gee cautioned that there are negatives to steering clear of cash totally.

 “However bear in mind that there are some things you can’t do with a card,” she said, “for example, you can’t share a card with the other members of your party, you can’t tip with it and you can’t use it in places where there aren’t card machines.”

Gee continued: “It’s for this reason that we always advise people to take cash as well as a card.

“Don’t forget that many shops, bars, restaurants, kiosks in resorts will be starting up again or trading for the first time and will be very focused on cash.

“They may not be set up with a bank account and consequently not be able to accept card payments.

“So to avoid being constrained on holiday, look for cash in addition to your card.”

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