A troubling experience when leaving LCY for ZRH a short while ago.
I was stopped by Revenue and Customs and asked how much cash I was carrying. Totting up my various Euro’s, Swissies, Pounds, Dollars, Rands and for good measure some Singapore Dollars left over from my July trip there, it came to about £3,000. The bulk being € & CHF.
I had no receipts, and my bags were searched and I had to account for my stay from landing till then. I was also warned, and here’s the frightening bit, that my cash could be confiscated, and I would have 48 hours in which to appeal to a magistrate who would decide whether I could keep it or not!!! It should be noted you are allowed to leave with £10,000 in cash without having to declare it, so I was well within that amount.
In the end he did not confiscate it but it left me quite shaken and I almost missed the flight.
As foolish as it may seem, I have always carried cash with me. I have this, perhaps irrational, fear, that all my credit cards will stop working and so I like to have enough cash for emergencies. Considering a good hotel can cost upwards of £ 500 a night, a London meal for two £ 100, and a cab £60, not to mention tips etc, that amount equates to about 4 days in London.
I was wondering how many of you fellow forum contributors knew about this rule, or should I say ruse, and what sort of sums you carry when you travel? Am I really an exception?