As you are about to go on vacation, you are no doubt very excited about the time you can spend with your family or friends far away from any thoughts about work. You will of course need to plan many of the essential things that you will need for your trip. From a range of outfits and beach wear, you will also need to exchange some money, so that you can treat yourself to some souvenirs.
There are many factors to consider when you are thinking about how you will access money on your trip. These will likely vary depending on your destination, but you will need to think about commission, credit card charges and ATM fees. However, you plan to exchange your money, you will lose a little money in the process. The question is, how to do you keep this to an absolute minimum?
Here are our 5 top tips on how you can get the best deal on your currency exchange:
1. Shop around
This one may seem obvious, but you should do your research to make sure that you are getting the best deal possible. You have probably spent a great deal of time looking around at various websites trying to get the best deal on flights and hotels, so why not do the same for your currency exchange rate?
2. Get familiar with the exchange rate
It is very likely, that unless you travel to the same destination each year, you will not have an idea of the value of the currency that you need. The first step then is clear, you should do your research and get familiar with what is considered a good rate for exchanging your money into the currency that you want, and what is considered a bad rate.
It is worth noting that the exchange rate that you see online will be a little bit better than what you are able to find in the stores, this is due to commission not being applied and other factors. It is a great place to start though.
3. Pick you currency exchange location carefully
High traffic tourist areas such as airports and train stations will not be the best place if you are looking for the best possible currency exchange rate. On the flip side, banks can offer a great secure option and favorable rates. Just make sure they have enough of the currency that you need before you go to them.
4. Commission makes a big difference
Commission free, does not always mean the best deal. There may be no commission, but you may also not be getting the best rate. Here is where you need to do a little bit of math. Check the rate that they are offering and see if it is a fair rate, or if you would be better off paying commission at another location and getting a better overall deal. As we said earlier, do your research and come prepared.
5. Planning to use your credit card?
A credit card can be a very good safety net to use in an emergency, or perhaps something to use to buy a big-ticket item that you did not want to bring a lot of cash for. When planning to use a credit card in another country, you should first do a little prep work. The first step is to make sure that you have contacted your financial institution to tell them that you are going on vacation and any charges that you make overseas should not be flagged. This will prevent them from blocking your card the moment you try to use it. Next, you will need to ask them about any fees or charges that you may have to pay when using the card in another country other than the one it was issued in.