Money & costs
In general, when you eat in a restaurant you should leave a tip of at least 10% unless the service was unsatisfactory. Waiting staff are often paid derisory wages on the assumption that the money will be supplemented by tips. If the bill already includes a service charge (usually 10%), you needn’t add a further tip. Tipping in bars is not customary.
Taxis in Wales are expensive, and drivers rarely expect a tip unless they have gone out of their way to help you.
Wales uses the pound sterling (£), and the same major banks as the rest of the UK. There are 1p, 2p, 5p, 10p, 20p, 50p, £1 and £2 coins and £5, £10, £20 and £50 notes.
Most banks and larger post offices can change foreign currency; US dollars and euros are the easiest currencies to change and will get the best rates.
Whichever way you decide to carry your money, it makes sense to keep most of it in a money belt and an emergency stash somewhere else.
Nearly all banks in Wales have ATMs linked to international systems such as Cirrus, Maestro or Plus. An increasing number of ATMs, especially ones you find in shops, make a charge for withdrawal (at least £1.50).
Various cards including Visa, MasterCard, American Express (Amex) and Diners Club are widely accepted in Wales, although small businesses such as B&Bs prefer cash. If your credit card is lost or stolen contact the relevant provider.
Diners Club (0870 190 0011)
MasterCard (0800 964767)
Visa (0800 891725)
Travellers cheques issued by Amex, Thomas Cook and Visa are widely recognised. Eurocheques are not commonly used in the UK and many places refuse to accept them. Keep a record of the numbers of your cheques and which cheques you have cashed, so if they’re lost or stolen you’ll be able to tell the issuing agency which cheques have gone. Keep this list separate from the cheques themselves. If they are lost or stolen contact the relevant issuer.
Amex (0800 521313)
Thomas Cook (0800 622101)
Visa (0800 895078)