Martin Lewis shares tips for the best foreign exchange rates – ‘I’d go to all of them’ | Travel News | Travel


Martin Lewis gave tips on how to get the best exchange rates on his Your Money Matters segment on ITV This Morning. Many expats have been selling their properties overseas and are trying to get their money back into the UK.

Martin advised to go to the big foreign exchange brokers.

He said: “The likes of Currency Direct, Global Reach and Moneycorp, I’d go to all of them.”

Martin said to ask exactly what rate they will give Yvonne and how much she would get for her money.

He emphasised she should ask for how much she would get after all fees.

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Martin said to then compare and go with the one company that gave her the most money.

He said he “would do all three, I wouldn’t do one”.

He continued: “You could also ask your own bank, unlikely they will be the best, but you may as well.”

Martin also gave a warning: “These companies are not heavily regulated.”

An alternative for Britons going on holidays is to use their cards at overseas ATMs.

This can turn out to be a great exchange rate.

But this will be the exchange rate at the time Britons spend their money, and there won’t be much choice.

Locking in a great exchange rate before leaving depending on the strength of the pound in the weeks and months before the holiday.





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Latest dollar exchange rate and how tipping, contactless payments and credit cards work


From figuring out how much to tip to paying for almost everything in cash, travelling in the US can be a minefield of money questions.

If you want to avoid blowing too many bucks on card fees and poor exchange rates it can pay to do your research before you travel.

A lot has changed in the 20 months since UK visitors were last spending dollar bills stateside, so read on to make cents of what’s new.

How’s the exchange rate right now?

Unfortunately for holidaymakers, news of the US opening to tourists from the UK and Europe had the effect of boosting the value of the dollar against the pound.

You’ll spend 2p more for every dollar you buy now than on 28 October. The rate as of Monday 15 November was 74 pence to the dollar.

Contactless payments

In the 400-plus days that British tourists have been away, the US has slowly caught up with the rest of the developed world when it comes to contactless payments.

Originally slow to the wireless payments game, Apple Pay and Google Pay helped accelerate the uptake of contactless payments stateside.

The best change in the past 20 months? You can finally use Apple or Google Pay on the entire New York Subway and bus system – just like the London Underground and other local transport networks back home.

Bank credit cards

There are lots of bank credit cards on the market that work for travelling with, but Halifax’s Clarity Credit Card regularly tops expert charts.

Anecdotally, the Mastercard is favoured by some of the world’s most frequent and frugal travellers. I took a quick poll of travel writers on a recent trip to New York, and it was the most popular card by far.

You don’t pay any charges on transactions or to take money out of ATMs while overseas and the currency rate is pegged to Mastercard’s official rate.

Digital bank cards

Digital banks are more popular than ever, with many customers choosing to leave brick and mortar banks in favour of online-only brands like Revolut, Starling and Monzo.

Currensea is a great pick for travel. The UK’s first direct debit travel card, it offers a great exchange – you’ll pay no more than 0.5 on the FX travel rate. Simply link it to your current account by direct debit and it takes the money out of your main account after you’ve spent it, providing an extra level of security and peace of mind while travelling. A Mastercard, this plastic is contactless, and chip and pin.

Tipping and cash

In big cities in the US, tipping in bars and restaurants is now expected at 20 per cent, according to every local I asked while reporting from New York last week.

Evelyn Jack, 35, a bartender at Pendry Manhattan West in Manhattan admits what many of us suspect – that service industry workers sometimes give locals preferential service because they know they’ll tip at the local standard rate of 20 per cent.

She said: “It’s not just Europeans who think that 15 per cent is what they should be tipping, some tourists from the Midwest don’t think to pay 20 per cent when they visit New York. The cost of living in the city is so high, wait staff really rely on people paying tips at that higher rate to survive.”

Ms Jack also says that even if you think your main server has not been up to scratch, it is important to tip anyway, as the money is usually split among the entire front-of-house team.

And on the question of cash or card, she says that servers prefer it if you can pay your tips in cash, as in some bars this can mean they will avoid paying tax on the cash.

Currency exchange shops

The golden rule here is to never exchange your money at the airport, where the rates are always poor.

An investigation by FairFX found that Travelex currency exchange desks at Heathrow Airport are offering rates that are 17 per cent less than the market rate, meaning you could lose out on £211 for every £1,000 exchanged.

A safe alternative is always the Post Office who will give you a much fairer rate.



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Currency Exchange International : A Travel Experience in Santiago, Chile Guided by a CXI Regional Manager



Getting There

In September 2017, I traveled to Santiago, Chile. My mother is originally from there and although she took me there when I was very young, this felt like my first trip! I went with my aunt, she was able to get a great deal through a travel agent. We flew LATAM out of Miami International Airport. Evening flight of only 8 hours! Incidentally, our flight was almost canceled due to Hurricane Irma, we left the Friday before it was due to hit!

Travel tip: According to Kayak.com, the cheapest month to fly to Chile is in August.


Getting Around

Depending on where we were going, we either walked, took the public bus, or their version of uber called “radio taxi”. Depending on how far we went, these trips were fairly inexpensive anywhere between 2,000 – 4,500 Chilean pesos which was roughly $4 – $9 USD.

Travel tip: The best way to get around Santiago is either by foot or the metro. Other options are taxis, buses, or cars. Learn more details here.


Where’s the Fun

While I was there I mostly spent time with family. I did travel into the city and go to Santa Lucia Hill. The climb up the stairs to the top was tough but the view was amazing. It was definitely a highlight of the trip. There is no cost to visit the hill.

Travel tip: Santiago has a lot to offer for all types of travelers – check out this Expedia list for a ton of activities to do and must see landmarks!


Where to Stay

I was fortunate enough to stay with family, right down the street from where my mom grew up. I got to see the house she grew up in, and the neighborhood and schools she went to! I could see the mountains from the street when the weather was clear.

Travel tip: Check out Booking.com, they have a wide range of choices from budget-friendly options like hostels to 5-star hotels near top-rated tourist attractions to visit.


Where to Eat?

Eating was all I did while there! Every morning my cousin and I went to the local bread market to buy fresh bread to have for our breakfast and tea. Everyone sat together to eat every meal, breakfast (tea time around noon), lunch, and dinner. What caught my attention most is visiting the food market daily for meals, everything was always fresh and bought for cooking the day of. My cousin is a chef and he made us some empanadas de queso (fried dough with melted cheese in the middle). Delish!

Travel tip: Santiago has become one of the top cities for food-focused travel in South America. According to Food and Wine, these are the best restaurants to visit.


Travel Tips

I loved the slower pace of life while I was there. I loved sitting down with the entire family each meal. Take your time and enjoy each moment of the day. Given the opportunity, I would definitely visit again! It’s a long flight so be ready for that!

Good news! U.S. citizens (as well as citizens of the E.U.) won’t need to acquire a visa or pay a fee to enter the county. Here are some more things to know before traveling to Chile.

Disclaimer

Currency Exchange International Corp. published this content on 04 October 2021 and is solely responsible for the information contained therein. Distributed by Public, unedited and unaltered, on 04 October 2021 21:10:32 UTC.



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6 Tips To Exchange Currency Without Paying Huge Fees – Forbes Advisor


Editorial Note: Forbes Advisor may earn a commission on sales made from partner links on this page, but that doesn’t affect our editors’ opinions or evaluations.

Americans are getting ready to travel again as part of the pent-up consumer demand from the pandemic. If your next vacation is going to take you to another country, you may want to know how to get foreign currency without paying extra fees.

Undeniably, when traveling internationally, it’s important to watch out for currency exchange conversion fees, foreign transaction fees and other costs. Currency exchange rates are complicated and are constantly fluctuating as part of the everyday rush of global commerce. One bank, merchant or currency exchange location could give you a slightly better deal on currency exchange rates, just based on the daily ups and downs of the markets.

Of course, it can be easy to overspend in a foreign country. At least in part, this is because spending money in foreign currency may feel different. The prices at stores and restaurant menus may not feel as real as they do in U.S. dollars. It can also be exciting to see and use the colorful foreign banknotes and interesting coins that you may not experience in your everyday life. But, if you’re not careful, you could end up paying more than you bargained for.

In general, some methods of getting cash and making purchases will give you a better deal than others when you’re ready to take your next international trip. Here are a few tips and insights on how to enjoy your international travels while minimizing currency fees.

1. Get Cash at Your Bank Before Leaving the U.S.

One of the best ways to minimize currency exchange fees is to get some cash from your bank or credit union in the U.S. before you depart on your trip. Depending on which country (or countries) you’re visiting, most major U.S. banks will have foreign currency available to sell to you. For example, Wells Fargo offers 70 currencies for use in more than 100 countries, and Bank of America exchanges currencies for more than 100 countries.

You may be able to get currency in cash at your local bank branch, or order currency online or by phone to be delivered to your home. Depending on your bank, where you live and which country’s currency you need, some currencies may be available for same-day exchange. Other less frequently requested currencies could require a few days of advance notice or longer.

If you can plan ahead, there’s a good chance you can get cash at a more favorable exchange rate by dealing directly with your bank in the U.S. before you travel.

“Customers who order currency through their own bank can ensure the money they receive is authentic and that they have received the best, legal rate,” says John Sellers, rewards executive at Bank of America. “As these rates are constantly changing, Bank of America uses a variety of factors to determine its exchange rate—including market conditions and rates charged by other financial institutions,” he says.

Depending on where you do your banking and your overall relationship with them, you may qualify for special rewards or perks on foreign currency exchange.

“By ordering your currency in advance through your bank, you may also qualify for extra perks or benefits,” says Sellers. “For example, Bank of America Preferred Rewards members receive a discount of up to 2% on online and mobile foreign currency orders, plus free standard shipping,” he says.

2. Avoid Currency Exchange Kiosks at Airports

If you don’t have time to get cash at the bank before your trip, it can be tempting to get foreign currency at an airport kiosk or currency exchange counter. These places offer convenience, but their exchange rates are typically much less favorable than your bank at home.

For example, if you are traveling to the United Kingdom and your bank would have given you an exchange rate of £72 per $100, the airport kiosk may give you only £67 per $100, costing you extra money in the form of fewer pounds for your dollar. If you had made that exchange back at your home bank, you’d have an additional £5 in your pocket.

Airport kiosks may also charge higher fees, which sometimes are hidden within the poorer exchange rates they offer for converting your dollars to euros, pounds, pesos or another currency. If you are traveling on short notice and need some foreign currency in cash at the airport, then it could be worth paying the extra costs for the sake of convenience. If you can plan ahead, try to avoid airport kiosks and other exchange counters in heavily touristed areas—their business is based on charging extra for being a convenient, last-minute option.

3. Pay by Card, but Watch Out for Foreign Transaction Fees

Once you arrive at your destination country, you may choose to conserve your foreign currency cash and try to make payments with your credit or debit card as much as possible.

But this can pose another problem: foreign transaction fees. Depending on your bank and what card you have in your wallet, your credit card or debit card might charge a foreign transaction fee of up to 3% on every purchase in other countries.

This means that if you go out for dinner in London, Paris or Tokyo and spend the equivalent of $100 at the restaurant, your bank or card issuer will add an extra $3 fee to the cost of your meal. If you spend a total of $5,000 on a trip, and get charged a foreign transaction fee of 3% on every purchase, it would amount to $150 of extra charges.

How can you avoid foreign transaction fees? Do your research and read the fine print of your bank and credit card accounts before you travel. Call your bank and ask if they charge foreign transaction fees.

If you have time before your trip, you may want to open a new account with a credit card that doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees, especially if it’s a good travel rewards credit card.

4. Pay in the Local Currency to Avoid Currency Conversion Fees

Some merchants will let you choose whether you want to pay for your purchase in the local currency or U.S. dollars.

This doesn’t happen with every purchase. But sometimes, after swiping your card, the merchant will present you with a screen offering you an option: You can either pay the amount in the equivalent of U.S. dollars or pay in the local currency amount.

If you ever find yourself in this situation, you should always choose to pay in the local currency. If you choose to pay in dollars, you’ll be charged an extra currency conversion fee. You’ll also likely get a poor exchange rate. The merchant’s point of sale system may make it seem like it’s a convenient choice to pay in dollars instead of the local currency, but it will ultimately cost you more. Just pay in local currency when using your card.

5. Know Your ATM Fees and Limits

If you want to get cash from an ATM in another country, check to see if your bank has ATMs in your destination city—you may be able to avoid costly ATM fees. Keep in mind that your bank may charge you a fee for using an out-of-network ATM. That’s on top of any local fee being charged by the foreign ATM. The exchange rate that you get from a foreign ATM is likely to be a better deal overall than what you would get from an airport kiosk, but ATM fees can add up, so make sure you’re taking out enough cash to be worth the fee.

Check with your bank before your trip to ask about the daily ATM withdrawal limits on your account. If your daily withdrawal limit is currently set too low, consider asking your bank to raise that limit so you can withdraw what you need while traveling.

Keep in mind that some international ATMs limit you to a lower amount of cash withdrawals than your bank allows. Even if your daily withdrawal limit is $500, the foreign ATM network or bank may only permit you to withdraw $300 or $400. Plan ahead to make sure you have enough cash during your trip.

“Do a little research before you travel and see if your U.S. bank offers free or discounted international ATM withdrawals,” says Sellers. “This way, you’re minimizing your ATM fees while maximizing your cash out. This is also where ordering your foreign currency ahead of time can be beneficial, because it means cutting back on ATM visits, which could also reduce your incurred fees,” he says.

6. Use International Banking Apps

If you’re a frequent international traveler, consider using an international banking app to manage your money, such as TransferWise (now known as Wise), Revolut or others. These apps make it easier to transfer money between countries and hold accounts with multiple currencies.

For example, with a multiple currency account, you can keep some money in various currencies. It’s helpful if, for instance, you frequently travel to Canada or Mexico, or if you love to go on vacation in Spain every summer. This helps you avoid the volatility of currency exchange rates, since you’ll always have some money ready for your next trip.

Bottom Line

Before you plan your next exciting international trip, give some thought to how you’re going to get cash and how you want to pay for everyday purchases. Understanding currency exchange fees, foreign transaction fees, ATM withdrawal limits and other aspects of making payments in foreign currencies can help you save money, save time and enjoy your travels to the fullest.



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Exchange Travel Language Skills |


Student Mike Miller, left, grabs a German-language book from language instructor Evelyn Ruffing during a class April 19 at her Derry Township, Pa., home. Miller has been taking German lessons from Ruffing since 1993, when she was teaching a course in the language at Saint Vincent College in Unity.



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Pound euro exchange rate ‘well supported’ thanks to vaccine roll out – travel money advice | Travel News






Pound euro exchange rate ‘well supported’ thanks to vaccine roll out – travel money advice | Travel News | Travel » TechnoCodex




















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The Exchange: How Bruce Poon Tip is rejigging his travel company in the age of COVID


Sahar Rana/The Globe and Mail

Eight months ago, the world was Bruce Poon Tip’s playground. He was at home at 30,000 feet, and his next stop could have been just about any country on the map.

Over the previous 30 years, he’d built his Toronto-based G Adventures into a tourism brand recognized around the globe. He wrote bestselling books, gave speeches at the United Nations, teamed up with National Geographic. In 2019, some 200,000 people took a G Adventures tour, and 50,000 more travelled under one of its subsidiary brands.

And it all came to a shuddering stop, as Poon Tip remembers it, at four in the afternoon on March 14. That’s when the government of Canada issued an advisory recommending Canadians cancel all international travel due to the spread of COVID-19.

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Now, like the rest of the tourism industry, Poon Tip is in limbo. At the moment of this Zoom interview, he sits in a nondescript hotel room in Calgary, waiting for the all-clear on his just-completed COVID test, so he can go visit his 88-year-old mom.

It must feel strange, not being on a plane all the time.

It’s the weirdest thing ever. Six weeks, maybe, would be the longest I’d been in one place, so the idea of going six months has caused all kinds of challenges.

What is the state of things right now in the travel industry?

The entire industry’s in hibernation until people decide they’re comfortable to travel again. So we’re all kind of scrambling to figure out a way we can keep people safe.

Are you running any tours?

Last weekend we had four departures—the first trips in six months. And we had 20 depart in September. That might seem like something, but it’s just a start. We basically have no Americans, no Australians on any trips, ’cause those countries are shut off. Those are two massive markets for us. Canadians are limited—it’s only Canadians who are willing to quarantine when they get home, so that limits the numbers to next to nothing. And then there’s Europeans. Our groups are filled with Europeans taking European trips.

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And there’s always the possibility the rules will change at a moment’s notice.

We had some trips to depart to Spain in September, and then Spain shut. Greece is open. Croatia’s open. Switzerland’s open for Mont Blanc. Italy’s open, which is a big destination for us. Morocco, Egypt—they’re open for Europeans. But other than that, it’s a day-to-day fluid situation. We’ve lived through SARS, Ebola, Zika. This one, when it started escalating, went from being just a virus to living in a Will Smith movie.

How has it affected your bottom line?

Oh, it’s devastating. Leading up to the pandemic, we grew 35% to 40% every month. We were absolutely crushing it. Right now it’s impossible to make money. So we’re losing money. I’m not shying away from that.

Have you plotted out how long you can last in the state you’re in?

It’s all about cash burn. We were in a good position, luckily. Last year we made acquisition offers on three companies. I was actually angry when all three fell through. But if any one of them had gone through, we would have been in a very different cash position now.

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How have you decided whether to terminate or lay off employees?

When this all started, we had a five-phase plan. The first two phases were quite easy. We’re a 30-year-old company. We had assistants of assistants of assistants. It was actually a breath of fresh air to get an opportunity to restructure a bit. But then with every cut, it gets closer to the bone. The third phase was people answering phones. Phase four was when we started to look at job duplication. Phase five would be cutting to the bone of our key people. On Monday, March 16, we were enacting phase one. By Wednesday, I gave the order to go right to phase five.

Wow.

It escalated that quickly. And then it got to a point where we were in survival mode to just preserve our institutional knowledge and make sure we have the top people who could bring this knowledge with them to the other side. Someone who’s exceptionally good at one thing became less important to us than someone who did many different things, or had been there longer and moved around in different departments.

Is what the company used to be still relevant to what you will be?

It’s extremely relevant. We’ll still have all the partners, we’ll still have all the trade relationships, we’ll still have all the same customers. I’m pretty excited about things at the moment, ’cause we’re almost in startup mode. The idea that I get to rethink everything is super exciting.

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What will change?

We’ve already had a few companies declare they’re not going to make it to the other side. We’re actually going into an acquisition strategy to look at companies we can acquire. And we’re taking this downtime to rethink and double down on technology. Sometimes it’s very hard to change the wheels on a car when it’s moving, right? But now that we’re forced to stop, there’s so many opportunities for us to streamline things. History has shown when there’s been any disruptions in the economy, great opportunities exist for companies that stay aggressive.

One of the things G Adventures tried to do is give travellers a genuine experience. And that experience itself is changed now, right?

In the short term, for the customers who want really intimate experiences with local communities, we have to find ways we can make them feel safe. A lot of those small communities don’t have the standards of sanitation and disinfecting required right now. I can think of an elephant orphanage we visit in Africa, and the women’s weaving co-op in Peru, and the San people in South Africa. Customers are going to be less likely to want to do things like that in the short term. As an operator, our job is completely changed because we’re suddenly educating all these small operators. They want to know what to do to get travellers back. What will it take?

Without tourism dollars, what’s happening to the communities G Adventures has helped lift up out of poverty?

Some—a majority—are fine. They have to adjust, but they can survive; they have other forms of income. But many are in a very difficult situation. We’ve actually started a relief fund. I personally match donations. We are sending food parcels to some of these communities. We’re helping with medicine and medical care with a lot of them.

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You’ve said that prior to the pandemic, the travel industry was in a very dangerous place. What did you mean by that?

The destination was irrelevant in tourism. People were selling amenities. The main form of travel was about whether you’re going to have 10 restaurants to choose from, Broadway shows, indoor ziplines, swim-up bars, the thread counts on sheets. The amenities and distractions took away the connection to destination. When people travel with this mindset that it’s their right to travel, they suddenly demand these things they have at home. They want to feel like they never left home.

Do you try to change that mindset, or do you target customers who don’t think that way?

There’s been an evolution on that for us. For our first 15 or 20 years, we were a very unknown, cool company, and we were preaching to the converted. It was a very small market. And then it started crossing over into the mainstream. Now, G Adventures is recommended by every travel agent on the planet, and we’re right up there beside the Disney Cruise. That’s where we’ve always wanted to be, to get more people off cruise ships.

What are the chances that the pandemic will actually have a positive effect on that?

I think it’s going to have a huge effect. I don’t think the cruise industry’s going to stop. But it’s so massive that it just takes a small percentage of people changing how they travel to change the entire landscape.

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You’ve been doing this for 30 years now. How have you changed?

The biggest change for me is in my leadership style. The easiest form of leadership is to lead by example. If everyone who works for you is in your office, and they see you work hard, they work hard. Evolving into a leader by coaching and developing people is very difficult. The next stage is what I call inspired leadership, where you have to inspire people because you don’t have contact with them. Fifty percent of my employees, I never meet in their entire careers. Yet they love the company. They love me. They want to work hard every day. That constant self-evaluation as an entrepreneur is very hard. ‘Cause entrepreneurs are notoriously self-centred egomaniacs.

Some of my proudest moments have been in the past year — getting Most Admired CEOs in Canada. Getting Entrepreneur of the Year for the third time. And then Glassdoor put me at No. 6 for the top-rated CEOs in North America, ahead of Tim Cook, I might add. Those kind of things really motivate me to create that change.

Your comment about entrepreneurs being self-centred—are you speaking from personal awareness?

One hundred percent. To bring your ideas out of your head into the world takes an unnatural level of confidence.

Not just your first idea; it’s your next 10 ideas. Being an entrepreneur is very emotionally draining, because your company becomes part of you, and it reflects on you. I think entrepreneurs are the artists in the business community. We create every day.

Looking ahead to next year, where do you think things will open first?

The countries that are going to open first are the ones that have handled COVID the best—countries like Vietnam, Korea, Thailand, Croatia, Greece. Italy was one of the worst, but the way they handled it was incredible. A majority of the countries people travel to in the developing world want passengers as soon as possible. I think it’s going to be the developed countries that are going to have the issues with opening.

The next time I step foot in a place I’ve never been before, what’s one thing I must do?

Break bread with a local person. You can always find someone to take for lunch. You don’t have to speak the same language. Buy packs of those postcards with the most cliché images of Canada—the kind you find in airports. Take those corny pictures with you on holidays, along with images of your family. And when you’re having lunch, show them where you’re from. Show your family and your kids. That’s all you need. No one should leave any country without having a meal with a local person. That’s my advice, always.

This interview has been edited and condensed.

Trevor Cole is the award-winning author of five books, including The Whisky King, a non-fiction account of Canada’s most infamous mobster bootlegger.



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Pound euro exchange rate: GBP ‘on front foot’ – latest travel money advice amid covid | Travel News






Pound euro exchange rate: GBP ‘on front foot’ – latest travel money advice amid covid | Travel News | Travel » TechnoCodex




















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Pound euro exchange rate hits highest levels since May thanks to ‘vaccine optimism’ | Travel News


Pound euro exchange rate hits highest levels since May thanks to ‘vaccine optimism’ | Travel News | Travel » TechnoCodex





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Pound euro exchange rate may ‘give way’ amid lockdown economic hit warn experts | Travel News


Pound euro exchange rate may ‘give way’ amid lockdown economic hit warn experts | Travel News | Travel » TechnoCodex





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