June 2014 Travel Smart Events by The Travel Ambassador

By on June 5, 2014

Healthy Hotel TipSaturday May 17 – Rooten’s Travel Center

10:00 am
17775 Main Street  
Irvine, CA 92614

(949) 250-0774 to RSVP


Passport June 2014



June 23 7pm & June 28 9am – Distant Lands Travel Bookstore & Outfitter – Pasadena, CA

Distant Lands Event

All events are free and open to the public. Please call to RSVP. Angel Castellanos is a travel expert who advocates smart travel. He is available to present programs on a wide variety of travel subjects. For Corporate Events or booking contact (travel ambassador [at] me [dot] com) for availability.

  1. Reply

    Eilene Jacobs

    June 12, 2014

    Hi Angel,
    We had the pleasure of meeting you at Savinar Luggage several weeks back. We will be in London for the better part of 2 days. You said to buy an Oyster Card. Would that be our best bet. Some of the sites are so confusing as to what to buy. We will be in Fare Zone 1 the entire time. Also, we were going to exchange USD at Wells Fargo bank, as they do not have a transaction fee. (we have an account there) I noticed you suggested waiting till we get to Heathrow and look for a bank owned ATM. Just wondering why you wouldn’t exchange $$$ in the US before leaving. Thanks again for all of your wondering insight.
    All the best,
    Eilene Jacobs

    • Reply


      June 12, 2014

      Hi Eilene,

      Buying an Oyster card will save you time & money. The price is about 60% cheaper compared to buying a single ticket. The oyster cards also have built in price capping. There is a desk at Heathrow where you can purchase cards. I would highly recommend it.

      Wells Fargo may not charge you a service fee but they are likely to charge you a shipping fee if the branch does not have the currency you desire. For example, B of A charges a shipping fee even if the currency is delivered to the branch. For Wells Fargo, the shipping charge is about $15. Ouch! And their exchange rate for the day is $1.75=1£. Today’s interbank rate (the rate you get an ATM is 1.68).

      In the end, I can’t be bothered, especially if I’m arriving at Heathrow, to get foreign currency beforehand. Heathrow is a great airport, with lots of services, where travelers can get all sorts of chores done before heading into town. In my opinion, you don’t even need cash until you get to your hotel. You can buy the oyster card with your Credit Card. You can purchase Heathrow Express tickets with a Credit Card. My favorite option is to pre-book a car to pick you up. Sort out getting cash at your hotel neighborhood.

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Angel Castellanos
Pasadena, CA

I'm a US based travel expert and spend my time teaching people how to travel well, smart and often. I'm passionate about travel and helping people save time & money. This blog, or travel lounge, is a collection of my practical travel advice and experiences from traveling 8-10 weeks internationally each year. I believe that travel has never been easier and that everyone can achieve their travel dreams. Happy Travels!


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