Ordering a Post Office Travel Money Card
When we travel abroad, we usually split currency between the two of us in case of any mishaps but we were recently asked if we'd like to try out the Travel Money Card from the Post Office, a pre-paid debit card backed by MasterCard, which we could use around the world in seemingly 36 million locations and you can load 13 currencies onto the card!
The Post Office Travel Money Card can be ordered online or through your local Post Office branch.
I went into my local branch, with my driving licence (you can also use your passport) and got my Travel Money Card right away. It did take around 24 hours to activate, but total time to sort it at the counter was around 15 mins. No problem at all (if you’ve moved house in the last 3 years then you’ll need to also upload a bill in addition to your photo ID and make sure that the entire document is scanned). A PIN will also be sent to you which you can change at ATMs to whatever you want.
If you order online, your card will be delivered 4-6 days after ordering.
With the card ordered, activated and ready to go - what next? Download the app (details further down)! Once that was done I set up a password for security and topped up the card through the app, where you can also check the balance and view recent transactions. So it's easy to manage your spending and a lot safer than carrying around cash.
Spending the money
This was super easy! I used it as I would use my normal debit card in shops and restaurants - it's contactless so you don't need to keep entering your PIN for small amounts. (Top Tip! - Always choose to spend in the local currency to avoid unnecessary charges and exchange rates being applied.)
You can also withdraw cash from ATMs and make online transactions There's a €2 charge for taking any amount of cash out from an ATM but this should be cheaper than most debit card fees.
Click HERE to apply for The Post Office Travel Money Card online
Find your nearest Post Office Branch
Click HERE to find your nearest Post Office branch.
Get the app
We picked Palma in Majorca, Spain as our destination to test drive the Travel Money Card as it was one of their best value destinations in 2017. View this year's list here.
Exploring Palma, Mallorca - Day 1
Our first full day in Palma and we were awake bright and early to watch the sunrise from our hotel room window.
As a result, we got to breakfast before it got busy - and what a selection! They have fried and scrambled eggs, beans, bacon, cooked vegetables, cereals, cold meat and fish, cheese...
But most impressively they have a huge selection of pastries, so if you like a sweet start to your day, Melia Palma Bay is the hotel for you! Featuring local ensaimadas, churros, waffles, croissants, cupcakes, cookies, chocolate cake, everything it seems!
Don’t worry if you are trying to be healthy as there’s a wide selection of fresh fruit, yoghurt and seeds as well.
Suitably full, we gathered our bits together, slapped on some sun cream and planned what to do.
Our hotel, Melia Palma Bay, is around a 15-min walk along the seafront to the Cathedral. Some fresh air and sun was needed. It certainly was fresh! It was a summer’s day temperature for Scotland, so we were loving it and had a chuckle at the Mallorquins who looked like they were wrapped up for winter!
We soon arrived at one of the most famous sights in Palma. The Catedral de Mallorca, which we planned to return to later in our trip.
Just in front of the Cathedral is an archway with a train engraved into it. This was originally for a railway line which ran from Placa Espanya to what was the port of Palma. The line ceased to be used sometime in 1965. However, you can still get trains from Placa Espanya in the opposite direction.
The area around the Cathedral of Santa Maria of Palma has lots of interesting areas to explore or relax in if you prefer.
A few minutes away from the Cathedral area you will find this retro sweet shop, Forn Fondo.
Inside on display are traditional Easter biscuits, which may cause you to look twice.
They represent the brotherhoods wearing the Capirote, or pointed hat of the Penant.
By this time we were thirsty, so made a pit stop at one of the bars within the covered market, Mercat De L'olivar. We brought along our little mascot, Mr. Macaroni, for a break. He enjoyed the rest and a glass of local Mallorcan wine. Prices from €3 a glass.
Time to try the Post Office Travel Money Card for the first time!
No probs! As it's contactless all that was required was a quick swipe and we had paid. No rummaging about for coins!
Then it was time for lunch, we had booked Marc Fosh online before coming over, which is a short walk from the market (expect a full review soon). Top tip for dining at Michelin Star restaurants - book lunch. It’s usually a lot cheaper than dinner and luckily at Marc Fosh’s the €29.50 3-course lunch menu is available on Saturdays.
Again, we paid quickly and easily using the Post Office Travel Money Card, which saved us thinking about how much cash to lift for the day and keeping it safe.
Heading home for a siesta via the tram station for Soller. We pondered a visit but at €32 each, it seemed a bit steep for a day trip. This would be much better spent on tapas and vermouth!
A quick pop into El Corte Ingles for a shopping fix and we were soon back to base for a siesta.
By the time we had woken back up it was dark, and a lot less windy. With no fixed plans we decided to wander along the beachfront to the nearby Portixol / El Molinar neighbourhoods.
A bonus cat friend was made amongst all the dogs out for their evening walks. A handsome man, but we had forgotten to bring cat crunchies!
Mr. Foodie was moaning that his belly was empty again, and handily Vermuteria La Gloria was nearby.
Top tapas and vermouth. Mr. Macaroni approved!
Bill paid (Post Office Travel Money Card of course!) and time for some more fresh air and seafront walking. It was now suitably dark for a bit of geocaching and sightseeing at the same time with a visit to Carrer Nuredduna.
So Day 1 in Palma was relaxed. It’s an easy city to walk around in - the centre (aside from the cathedral) is flat and you can easily do over 10,000 steps. There’s lots of scenery, sights and shade should you wish to hide from the sun.
See what we got up to on day 2 here.