It might not be the best time to be running a travel site, but Ihug's Travel Online has expanded its online booking offering with Travel Money - a service which allows travellers to track exchange rates and chose the best day to buy their foreign currency.
"We also do duty free online shopping so basically we're becoming a one-stop shop for all travel needs," says general manager Julie-Ann Bell.
The site includes a currency converter as well as the ability to set up a graph of currency rates over a period of time. Customers can also enter a destination and a range of dates to compare prices and then book directly through the site. There are chat rooms as well as online auctions to offer more than simply an online shop, says Bell.
The functionality is provided by US-based Travelex, which describes itself as the world's largest operator of airport currency exchange facilities.
"The site will also tell customers where the nearest branch of either NZ Post or Travelex is to pick up their cash and traveller's cheques." Transactions can be ordered up to 60 days before departure, which allows users to monitor price fluctuations and hopefully get the best deal on the exchange rate.
"Customers also earn frequent flier points from their currency purchases through the site."
Bell says despite the current worldwide concerns about air travel the site has experienced only mild turbulence.
"Our site traffic has reduced slightly but a lot of our destinations are closer to home and we have a domestic offering as well." Bell says there have been a number of customers wanting to travel to the US but it's very much uncertain at the moment.