When we travel, there are a number of things that we need to take care of. The air or rail tickets, accommodation in the new destination, conveyance, sightseeing and even the kind of entertainment that we will avail is usually well chalked-out before we travel. The one thing that ties all of this together and actually makes it all possible is money. Going out of the country and spending in a place where the dollar does not have the same value can be quite a challenging task indeed. Also, finding out the best way to exchange your money and making good use of the same on foreign shores can be quite overwhelming, especially for the new and uninitiated traveler. So here is a quick list of tips that will help you manage your foreign exchange woes.
Know the destination: For your foreign exchange to work well when you travel, you will have to start by getting to know a little more about your destination. There are many countries in the world where plastic is not as widely used as it is in the US. This puts you in a spot because your transaction charge, free credit and debit cards may become redundant in many cases when you are traveling to such countries. So, you would do well to find out more about the destination beforehand so that you know exactly what to expect, and you can carry the coveted cash accordingly. This will ensure that you are not left stranded in a foreign land.
Banks and credit unions: These are the financial institutions that will offer you the cheapest buying rate when you are converting your dollars into the foreign exchange or currency. You can easily order your foreign exchange for pick up at your branch, if you have an account at banks like Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Citibank, US Bank, Chase, and others. Most banks will charge a fee for such foreign exchange and you would do well to order the same on time.
Currency converter: There are many currency converter tools that you can avail online so that the money is available for pick up at your bank’s branch, or can even be sent across by the bank depending on what kind of a card or account you hold with the bank. These are usually slightly more expensive than the above options and should be used only if you are hard pressed for time.
Airports: This is an emergency option because it is very expensive. When you exchange money at an airport, you will get the lowest exchange rate; so it should be used only if you are in an absolute emergency.
Travel agent: Travel partners like Thomas Cook and others offer some of the best foreign exchange rates through their services and will also give you the option of transactions without a fee.