World Cup 2010 – How Easily Accessible Will Your Travel Money Be?

South Africa will become the first African nation to host the World Cup this year between 11th June and 11th July 2010. Minister of Police, Mr Nathi Mthethwa, has promised FIFA World Cup visitors and fans that “any type of deviant behaviour be it criminality or terrorism will be dealt with swiftly and with no mercy” during the month-long soccer spectacle. He also stated that South-Africa’s track record of hosting events of international importance spoke for itself. This includes, amongst others, the recent Indian Premier League IPL in 2009, which ironically was moved to South Africa for safety reasons.

Nine host cities are taking part in the internationally represented event which undoubtedly is the most exciting experience to descend on the country since the release of Nelson Mandela. However, five of these host cities, are in fact classed as small towns (Mangaung, Rustenburg, Port Elizabeth, Polokwane and Nelspruit). These small towns have limited resources, including access to an international banking infrastructure and foreign currency exchange portals. It’s often difficult to buy euros and dollars, and travellers often wait up to 48 hours for their travel money to arrive. To make matters worse, traveller’s cheques are often deemed unusable as many establishments won’t accept them.

It’s not all bad news though. One option to visitors who have foreign currency woes and who want to ensure that they have sufficient holiday money would be to take along a prepaid travel money card. Currency cards from companies like MyTravelCash.Com often offer the best exchange rates, and some even offer to buy back your currency when you return from your holiday. These cards are available in euro, dollar and pound denominations, so for South Africa UK travellers will be best off with the pound cards as then payments will only be subject to one currency exchange transaction. Any cross currency transactions will usually be at a more favourable rate than received with UK bank cards, and will be subject to fewer commission fees.

Currency cards work like any Mastercard or Visa card – you are able to make cash withdrawals from any ATM worldwide and like a debit card it’s accepted by most establishments. The cards are preloaded with foreign currency, leaving you in control to spend while abroad. If you run out of credit, you can easily top up your card, so you never need be without. Most providers let you top-up on-line allowing you to exchange euros or dollars anywhere in the world.