Currency and More Travel Questions on Newstalk

Newstalk 10th July Practical Travel Advice


As we are now in the throes of Peak Travel Season I have some advice that was inspired by listeners Questions regarding money and packing.


Hi Michell and Ivan. We are travelling to Indonesia a couple of weeks. Lucky us we hope. We are getting on in years and are not usually so adventurous. One of our concerns is the money. We are getting mixed advice from banks etc. What currency to bring and we had thought of putting cash on the credit card before we go so is that a cheaper way of doing it. Find it all so confusing and costly. Regards Kathleen

To answer Kathleen’s question the currency in Indonesia is the Rupiah and runs into 15k to one euro in conversion – anyone I know who has travelled there has had no issue using credit or debit cards linked to visa or Mastercard. ATMs are everywhere in Bali but the Gili islands are a little more restricted so best to take out cash on a larger island. If you are rejected by an ATM it may mean having to travel to a different machine a few steps away just check if they have accept your visa or Mastercard symbol.

Be mindful that there will be a charge for changing you money of about $5 and many machines have a cash limit between €200/400. I don’t believe in changing my money twice when travelling to places such as Tanzania or Caribbean islands like Barbados where the US dollar is accepted – I prefer to go to an ATM and take out local currency.

I can no longer notify bank of Ireland that I am travelling however they sent me a text while abroad to confirm that I had used an ATM and once I replied it was ok to use the card for the rest of the trip. However my visa credit card was refused and I had notified the company of my arrangements but it worked when purchasing goods. So do bring a couple of different card types.

There are three ATMs in terminal two which give our sterling and dollars.

Another option in the An Post Currency Card which you can get at your post office. Why Choose a Currency Card? Contactless, Safer than cash – no surprises with fees

Exchange rates are locked into the dates of purchase, top up or when you move money between currencies

Free Point of Sale transactions & online transactions when you have funds available in the transaction currency

Chip and Pin protected, Manage your account online

Available at over 900 Post Offices Nationwide, Top up online, Swap currencies online

Customer services 24 /7 /365 at 1800 535 564

What are the 10 Currencies?

The 10 currencies are;

US Dollars – USD, Sterling – GBP, Canadian Dollars – CAD, Australian Dollars – AUD

New Zealand Dollars – NZD, South African Rand – ZAR, Swiss Francs – CHF, Turkish Lira – TRY

United Arab Emirates Dirhams – AED, Euro ­ EUR

An Post Currency card click here an post

A new app is coming on stream next year with some more currencies including the Japenese Yen, Swedish Krona, Mexican Peso, Polish Zloty, Croatian Kuna and Czech Koruna

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While we are talking about practicalities I will suggest some packing tips. Weight restrictions are real and you can’t travel with 19.8kg in your case on way over and expect to come back with same after adding your holiday purchases so Don’t Pack Too Many Clothes!

  1. Roll your clothes when packing them, this keeps them free of creases and creates space.
  2. Don’t bring too many shoes – some resorts give free flip flops.
  3. Check if the hotel has pool towels – they take up lots of space and many hotels offer them
  4. make sure any carry on liquids and gels are under 100mls. It is worth investing in a travel pack for essential toiletries.
  5. I always bring wet wipes – it started when the kids were small but they are so handy for cleaning up spillages during travel –
  6. If travelling long haul loose comfortable clothes are essential.
  7. Know the weather and check the forecast before travel – if you are                travelling to the Caribbean or country near the equator you won’t need a jacket or jumper. If you are going to the west coast of Portugal you may well need a fleece in the evening.
  8. for the ladies – you won’t need much makeup – bring minimum travel size if possible and put them in the hold as toiletries are the cause of delays at security in airports
  9. I always carry a cross over bag and separate my cards and cash.
  10. take a photo of essential documents and passports should the worst happen and you lose them it is best to have an accessible copy
  11. Don’t forget your adaptors to charge phones etc – however many hotels now have usb ports built in.


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Hi Michelle

I was just wondering if you had a recommendation for a 2/3 night break for myself and my daughter who turns 12 in October? We are open to anything really – home or away! 

Thanks Gillian


I love questions like this because I think travel with one of your children is the most precious way to spend time together.

I have taken a number of trips with my daughter from the age of 10 and it really depends on Gillian’s Budget and what her daughter likes to do. The ultimate mum and daughter trip for me was a trip to New York when she was finding out about make-up and loved the American Girls dolls. We went to see Mammia on Broadway and had our nails painted in Macys. It was expensive and decadent but truly a moment in time when she wanted to be with me and we have precious photos of ourselves on top of the Empire State Building and eating ice creams in Central Park. Go to a tour operator such as tour America or American holidays and see what deals they have.

Surprisingly I find London an equally perfect destination for a mum and daughter trip and as long as you pre-book your tickets and save time in queues then the attractions such as The London Eye and Madame Tussauds are must see – Mathilda or Wicked are wonderful shows to see for a mum and daughter. Keith Prowse Travel offer good value special theatre weekends.

Another unusual city that I visited with my daughter was Aberdeen and it was really quaint with great shopping again – similar to other Scottish cities Glasgow and Edinburgh. We went to the Scottish Ballet and of course the food had a strange similarity to Canadian with delicacies such as poutine. In case you haven’t gathered by now my daughter loves to shop!

If they are planning to stay in Ireland then there are lots of great places – Fota Resort is lovely and they may meet other families and of course have special access to the wildlife park. It’s also close to Cobh which has lots to do with the history of the Titanic I think resorts that allow little girls use their spa is a major mum and daughter treat. My daughter and I went to the Ice House when she made her confirmation and it has a small spa and we were able to use the hot tub and she had a mini pedicure which was a real treat. If they haven’t been to Belfast yet there is great shopping up there and some nice eateries such a Fratellis Pizzeria and of course the Titanic exhibition. Hastings Hotel Group often have special offers or a for a real treat stay at the Titanic hotel.



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Hi Michelle

I am looking for some advice on how to organise a sailing holiday in greece with a skipper please.  Any advice/help would be appreciated.
many thanks Olive


Sailing is an expensive holiday and you really need to go to experts to ensure that you have a safe and good experience. G Adventures offer small craft sailings I found this last minute trip for a small group reduced from €1249 to €1062. Ryanair have great connections to Greece so check out

Going out August 24th for 8 days from Santorini to Mykonos but this does not include flights. The great part of G Adventure sailings trips is that the itinerary is very flexible – the skippers will tailor each day based on the group. If the weather is good and they are enjoying sailing then they can stay at sea, if they want more land time then that will be built in. No travellers are obliged to sail as the yacht is fully manned but if they want to participate, the skippers are always happy to teach! Most of the yachts sleep eight with travellers sleeping with same-sex travellers. If they want to have their own cabin, they can pay for the “My own room” option.


Neilsons offer a rance of sailing holidays and the option of a flotilla – their packages include flights from the UK and are in sterling prices

These are great holidays for families and those learning to sail as you can stay and sail with a course.

Another company that offers flotillas is Sunsail see the link here


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