Traveling is one of the greatest joys of life, especially traveling overseas. However, there is one aspect of traveling that isn’t so fun: dealing with exchange rates.
Most countries don’t accept the US dollar. So, if you’re planning to make some purchases in cash, you’ll need to pay in the local currency. This means you’ll need to convert your US dollars to the local currency. And, if you don’t spend all of your money, you may need to convert the money back.
The downside? When you switch money from one currency to another, you lose money due to the high exchange fees. Luckily, there are some tricks you can use to ensure you don’t lose a ton of money when exchanging currencies. Read on to learn more.
Head to Your Local Bank
Heading to your local bank before you leave the country is one of the best ways to save on pricey currency exchanges. However, you’ll likely need to arrange for the money several days ahead of time. This is especially the case if you’re traveling to a lesser-known destination.
Also, make sure you alert the bank of your travels. If you plan to use a credit card or ATM during your trip, your bank needs to know ahead of time. Otherwise, the bank may freeze your account due to suspicious activity.
Getting Foreign Currency Outside of the US
You’re in a foreign country and you realize you didn’t take out as much cash at home as you need – it happens. So, what should you do if you need more cash?
Your best bet is to find an ATM in your bank’s network. At an ATM, you can withdraw cash in the local currency and potentially get access to low withdrawal fees.
To find an in-network ATM, you can use your bank’s app. If you’re going to be traveling for a while, it’s best to withdraw a large amount of money at once. This way, you won’t have to pay more ATM fees to withdraw more money. But, be careful about overdrawing cash.
If you take out too much money, you’ll have to eventually exchange it back to your home country’s currency, causing you to lose even more money. To figure out how much money you’re going to lose, you can use a currency convertor.
What to Avoid
While international airports are littered with currency exchange kiosks, these should only be used as a last resort. Airport kiosks know that people are using these options as a last resort, and therefore, exchange rates are poor and fees are high.
Also, you can always use your credit card. While credit card companies do charge currency conversion fees, they’re generally quite small – usually somewhere between 1 and 2 percent. Plus, many credit card companies offer travel reward perks, giving you more bang for your buck.
Exchange Rates: Time to Travel
Now that you know what to do to get the best exchange rates, it’s time to get ready for your trip. With the tips above, you’ll be able to spend less money converting currencies and more money on your travels.
Check back in with us for more money-saving tips.