Many international travelers exchange currency before they leave, so they have at least a small amount of money for a cab at the airport or other immediate expenses.Currency exchange kiosks are located at airports, ferry terminals, hotels and other areas where tourists congregate.The total fees can be as high as 7 percent, and they tend to charge more than banks.If you’re willing to plan ahead, there are other ways to save.
Step 1: Understand the process to get the best deal.
If you’ve never exchanged currency before, it’s a good idea for you to understand the process so that you don’t get any expensive surprises.The general idea is that if you find a business that exchanges currency, they’ll give you the currency that you want in exchange for a small fee.It’s important to understand that some currencies are worth more than others.One euro is usually equivalent to US dollars or British pounds.The state of those economies will affect how much the difference is.Even though you’re exchanging $100, you may only get 75.If you want to exchange currency when your currency is high and your foreign one is low, you’ll get more of the foreign money than you would otherwise.It doesn’t have much to do with the cost of items if the dollar is worth less than the euro.The market in that area determines the relative cost of items.Even though the dollar is strong, a banana in the US is much cheaper than one in Sweden.
Step 2: Before you leave, exchange some money.
The Pareto principle states that the ideal ratio is 80:20.You can buy 20% in cash and 80% in the card.Before you leave for your trip, it’s a good idea to exchange some money.If you are going to explore common countries, you will most likely be told that it is better to exchange currency in the country of your choice.If it’s a relatively off the chart country, you may not want to follow this advice.One of the ways to understand this is to know that there are two different types of currency.Exotic currencies are less traded.It’s better to buy Exotic currency at the location than it is to exchange it for a strong currency.You will want to have some cash with you when you arrive.Between landing in your destination and getting the chance to exchange more money, there is going to be a lot of travel time.It is a good idea to have small bills and coins with you so that you are prepared for anything.If you are going to be in your destination for more than 3 days, the equivalent of $40USD is a good starting point.
Step 3: The exchange rate can be looked at.
You should research the exchange rate before you exchange money.If you exchange a lot of money, you will want to time it carefully so that you don’t lose too much money.You should wait to exchange most of your money until you arrive.If the rate for your home currency is going down, you should exchange everything you need before you leave.You can use the currency exchange rate to see where your currency is currently sitting.
Step 4: You can go to the bank.
You can exchange currency at your bank.You can exchange currency at the banking institution that you use.Most banks will only charge a small fee for exchanging currency and you will know you are getting a good rate.Unless it is a major bank in a big city, they are unlikely to have currency on hand.You will need to order the currency at least a few days in advance.Don’t forget to plan ahead!
Step 5: You can get a traveler-friendly account.
Before you leave, ask your bank if they have a policy on charging your card overseas.If you use your card at an ATM, a foreign bank, or write a check, you will be charged a fee.When you are overseas.Start a separate bank account with another bank if they charge a lot of fees.You should shop around until you find a bank that charges no fees at all.Transfer your money to that account.Whenever you want to travel abroad, you can use this account.A monthly fee is charged by some banks for having less than a certain amount of money in your account.If you plan on keeping a traveler’s account, you should keep at least a certain amount of money in the account at all times.
Step 6: Cash can be bought online.
Money can be ordered online as well.This will need to be done before you leave, as it isn’t particularly safe to do once you arrive.The rates are up-to-date and the fees are fair, but the cost to have the money shipped to you can make this option undesirable.This can save you a trip to the bank if you are feeling lazy.If you are planning on exchanging a lot of cash, this is the best time to do this.You can ask them to waive delivery fees if you order more than a few hundred dollars.It makes the rate more reasonable for some companies.
Step 7: You should be prepared to pay in cash.
If you travel outside of your country, you should be prepared to pay cash for a lot more services and products than you would at home.English speaking countries have a widespread use of cards.You should be aware that you might have to pay for things with cash if you use your card normally.You should plan ahead.It is common in poorer countries.They don’t have a lot of infrastructure for widespread use of cards.
Step 8: You can use an ATM.
ATMs are the best place to exchange currency when you are traveling.If you have one of the major VISA or Master/Maestro cards, you can use an ATM with a major bank in the area.If you have a travel-friendly bank, you won’t pay any fees at all.It can be difficult to find an ATM.Let Google be your guide.Get to a place, early on, where you will have internet access and then ask Google Maps for the locations of all nearby ATMs.You can find an ATM by going to a bank.Ask a local hotel concierge or taxi driver if you don’t know where to find them.ATMs only accept chip/EMV cards.You will not be able to use many of the ATMs worldwide if you don’t have a chip card.
Step 9: You can pay with your card.
Simply use your card to pay for items and services.Any business that accepts credit and debit cards should be able to take your card, as long as it is one of the major cards.You don’t have to worry about exchanging currency yourself because your bank will simply exchange the money on their end.You should be aware that there may be problems with the card itself.The chip-and-pin system is more secure for certain countries.Some card readers won’t be able to read the traditional card.Some banks charge extortionate fees for this.Before you leave, make sure you know what your bank charges.
Step 10: Once you arrive, go to the local bank.
You can use any bank when you arrive in your destination, just like you can exchange currency at home.You are more likely to get a legitimate rate and minimal fees if you do this at home.If you go to a major bank in a central location and you speak English, you are likely to find a teller who speaks English.If you’re not a customer, some banks won’t exchange currency.Ask around and hope for the best.They will probably be able to help you find a bank if they don’t exchange your currency.If you use your card to withdraw money, they are more likely to exchange your currency.If you want to find a bank that will exchange your currency, you can ask your hotel concierge.
Step 11: Purchase a card.
This is not the best option, but it is an option that is available.Pre-paid cards have a set amount of cash on them.You can either order them before you leave or after you arrive.The rates on these are terrible, some businesses may not accept them, and you are in hot water if you lose it.It might be the best option for some people.Don’t purchase these cards if you’re extremely cautious.They should come from legit vendors.
Step 12: It’s a good idea to plan ahead to prevent over-exchanging.
Before you leave or at least before you exchange too much money, make a plan on what you will do and how much you need.Exchange on the high side of how much you will use.If you have to exchange the money back once you return, you will risk over-exchanging and wasting money.If the exchange fee with your chosen method is a one-time fee, this will help you incur the minimum number of fees.
Step 13: Do your research.
If you are using a currency exchange service, look for the most current exchange rate.Businesses that specialize in exchanging currency and some small businesses that exchange currency will often give you an outdated exchange rate that works in their favor, so that they can make more money off of you.You can check the exchange rate on your phone if you download an app before you leave.Don’t go over on your data plan while you’re abroad if you leave data on when you check the rate.
Step 14: You can get the best rate by shopping around.
It is possible to get something at a different location.Currency exchange businesses will have variable rates, although some banks might have less fees than others.Since a small currency exchange will be more willing to fight for your business, this will give you the added bonus of possibly being able to haggle with the business.
Step 15: When you can, pay in your own currency.
If you have the option to pay in your own currency, do that.If a business allows this, they will either mark the price or tell you about it.Before you pay, make sure you know the exchange rate.It should be small, so that they can pay the exchange fees on their end.In areas and countries where your currency is highly valued, this is common.
Step 16: You can exchange in the country you travel to.
Most of the time, you should exchange your money in the country you travel to.If you are coming from one of the major countries to a minor one, your money will be more highly valued.When you travel, you want to carry as little cash on you as possible, so exchanging it once you get there is better than forgetting your wallet at an airport layover in Bangladesh.
Step 17: Don’t go to the airport and hotels.
Exchange currency at an airport or hotel is not possible.You will pay a lot of fees and the exchange rate will be terrible.They will give you the worst exchange rate if they advertise as having zero fees or fee free.It should be a last resort to change in either of these locations.