Are you planning a trip abroad? It’s easy to get caught up in finding the perfect travel destinations and planning your itinerary. But, besides preparing for where you want to go, your travel budget should also be on top of mind if you plan to have a stress-free vacation abroad. Typically travel budget includes how much money you’re willing to spend and then converting that to your destination’s foreign currency.
Whether you’re a travel junkie or a first-timer, carrying cash can be convenient, especially when some shops abroad don’t accept foreign credit cards. As a traveler, you’ll want to get your money’s worth for every purchase you’ll make during your escapade. This same principle applies when you go through currency exchange transactions.
When exchanging currency, you’re basically buying the currency used in your destination country. However, swapping local currency for another currency may involve different rates, depending on the bank, money changer, or your travel destination.
To this day, exchanging currency through your local bank offers the best deal and is one of the safest options for travelers. However, it’s also worthy to note that bank exchange rate can be lower.
With all these in mind, you might be wondering how you can get the best deal in terms of exchanging your local money for your travel destination.
Here are five money-saving tips you can do when exchanging currency:
- Do Your Research
Believe it or not, if you don’t do your homework before exchanging currency, you risk losing more money than you should. Do your research about the current exchange rates of your local currency to your destination’s currency. Getting familiar with exchange rates allows you to get a better idea of how much your current money is valued in the country you’re traveling to.
Monitor currency forecasts online or call your bank to get exchange rate information. You can also use currency calculators online, which provide current information about exchange rates.
If you do your research, you can get your money’s worth, have more budget for your lavish travel expenditures, and enjoy your vacation abroad stress-free.
- Estimate Your Spending For The Whole Trip
It pays to have a spending plan mapped out before you go on a vacation abroad. Estimate how much you plan on spending during your trip so that you can set aside all the cash you’ll need to have exchanged. It’s important to consider that banks and money changers will modify their rates to make a profit. Although they’ll slash a tiny percentage of money out of your transaction, this could quickly compound to several dollars, which you could’ve added to your travel funds.
Before swapping your money for a foreign currency, talk with your credit card or ATM provider to see how much fees you might incur for overseas transactions. Compare those fees against the percentage money changers may charge during your transaction.
- Plan Where You’ll Exchange Currency
Another thing you must consider in exchanging currency is where you’ll conduct your transactions. Where you exchange your money can have a considerable impact on how much you’ll take home.
You can buy currencies at your local bank, money changers, airports, and through person-to-person transactions.
By far, the best and most secure out of the bunch is exchanging through banks. Do note that certain banks may require you to schedule a currency exchange transaction a few days prior to allow them to prepare the cash you’ll need.
- Buy Cash Ahead Of Your Trip
As most people stop at planning how much they’ll spend, they end up cramming to exchange their local money for foreign currency at the airport. You can find a good number of money changer booths at the airport, but they tend to jack up exchange rates for passengers. That’s not exactly the best option if you plan on getting your money’s worth.
If you really want a cheaper alternative, you can do a person-to-person currency exchange. You can find people who recently traveled and have an excess amount of foreign bills on Craigslist. If you plan on conducting a person-to-person interaction, bring another person along with you. You can never be too cautious when dealing in this manner.
- Use Three Modes Of Payment
Yes, nothing beats the convenience of carrying a stash of cash in your pocket. But, it’s not practical to exchange all your hard-earned money and not receive its actual worth.
Nowadays, people who travel a lot suggest that you combine three methods of payment when traveling overseas. Use your debit or credit card when you shop and dine, but also bring some cash with you if your plastic doesn’t work in some stores.
Traveling abroad is undoubtedly a memorable experience. But, if you fail to plan for your budget and currency exchange strategy, you’ll be spending more than what you intended, which can make for a very stressful trip. To avoid this, follow these tips to pay fewer fees on currency exchange and get your money’s worth during your vacation abroad.
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