Exchanging Money For Vacation

So you got the transportation, the room, and the excitement, already to go!  Right?  Yet, the last thing most travelers think of, is the money they need to spend out there.  So how do you make the decision whether to exchange overseas or here at home?  Well here are some strategies to consider when exchanging money before going over seas.  Later in the article is a new update regarding credit and debit cards.

  1.  Minimize your losses by exchanging half over here, and the other half out there.

This is still the favorite strategy in 2017 and into 2018, travelers want to enjoy themselves and buy themselves time to get away from the airports where the highest rates are.

This is a good strategy, because it gives you room to shop around.  If you do not exchange money before you go, you will be rushing and more willing to exchange whatever chance you get.  If you have some money to spend when you get there, you have time to shop around.  With more time to shop around you can stop and ask a rate at local exchanges, do some research, or ask a relative for advice.  This will make your arrival more relaxing and since most travelers have jet lag and just want to get out of the airport at all costs, you can do so and still have half of your funds on your person.

  1. Ask the company near you, if they will match rates to a bank or other business.  If they are willing to, then you have an opportunity to save a little money.  This is good because not all banks hold all currencies at one time.  But you do not have to let the local company know that; look up the rate of your bank and ask the other place to match it.
  2. Check with your bank if they exchange currency.  This can be good for you to exchange with them or go to another business and see if they can match your bank.  Once again the best way to benefit from this will be because most banks have good rates but they do not have the currency when you need it.  It is better to get their rate and get a local business to match it.
  3. Check prices of commodities of the area your visiting.  Yes, this is possible!  Some places have higher premiums (like Paris, where water can cost 2 euros depending on where you are which is more than $2 for a water bottle).  Any given city can have different prices depending on what they produce and import.  If a country is landlocked, or sea-locked; commodities could have a different price depending on how they are shipped.  A website you can visit is numbeo.com.  Enter the nearest metropolitan area that you will visit and see if it can provide insight to the price of things where you are going.

Is It Better to Use a Debit or Credit Card?

You could use a Debit or Credit Card when over seas.  Check with your bank if they have sister banks overseas, what the process would be like, and what fees or rates you could expect by using your card.  I heard some customers say they loved this as it made it a breeze for them to just use their card like normal.  I personally do not use my cards overseas for the following reasons.

Data hacks.

We hear about them happening all the time in the United States; Target, Chase, and other companies that make our lives easier; receive attention from thieves.  A customer mentioned to me to not use my card as they experienced fraudulent withdrawals after coming back and resolving issue with his bank was a long and painful process.  I would hate to make travelling abroad receive such a negative vibe and experience for myself.  So I try to leave my important plastic in the states.  I guess there is less risk if I get a new card when I get back.  But I am used to cash and good with cash, so I see no reason to change that.

Fees

Even though banks might not charge a fee any terminal still has the right to, out in some malls, ATM could have a $7 – $15 fee to Use.  That is way more then a currency exchange I might as well exchange at the airport at least I can show someone my dissapointment.

Geographic Possibilites

Once I am in a new place, I want to see it!  Running around looking for ATM’s is time that could be better put to use after paying close to a grand to get there.

So if making data available to another continent, terminal fees and a ATM hunts are not enough to swade you, then you probably like credit and debit cards for the main reasons.

Liquidity

Its your money and you need it… whenever you need it and near an ATM.  That is cool to know you do not have to worry about being broke and destitute anywhere between the city of love, to the holy rock, the holy city, or anywhere in between.  Just withdraw money like you are used to.

Cutting Out One Stop Shop

If you plan to withdraw money from an ATM you do not have to exchange before you go.  More time to rub it in peoples faces where you are going and how carefree you already are.  Instead of researching rates and how much you need back home.

So there is the update for 2018, Credit and Debit cards are a popular option that was popular and could be so if the vulnurabilty is figured out.  There are some reloadable debit cards that you can use if you want the pluses of a card but no further link to your finances.  Still the most popular options is the loss minimizing strategy of exchangeing half at home and half abroad.

Learn More About Currency

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