Heading overseas and not sure when, where or how to get your currency exchanged? Here are just a few benefits to exchanging your hard-earned cash before you head off on that next adventure of a lifetime.
Take Time To Research The Best Rates
Unless you’ve just booked a last-minute getaway, time is on your side when it comes to sorting out your travel money. Taking the time out to do some thorough research on where the best currency exchange rates are, can help ensure that you get the best rate possible.
When thinking about foreign cash, consider weighing up all the costs involved with converting currency. If you’re purchasing your travel money online, how much are postage fees going to cost? Or if you are buying foreign cash in-store, it can be worthwhile noting what you can expect to pay in potential commission fees.
Using sites such as Finder or Compare the Market are great places to start researching. It can be beneficial to check with individual currency providers or local banks for their exchange rates for the specific currency you are after.
After all, depending on any additional costs or fees, the rate you see may not always be the rate you get. However, leaving your currency exchange to the last minute or waiting till you are overseas may leave you experiencing weaker rates and even worse, high commission fees.
Familiarise Yourself With The Currency
Purchasing your foreign cash prior to your overseas departure gives you the opportunity to familiarise yourself with the local currency. There is nothing worse than not knowing how much to pay with, or feeling like you’ve been overcharged or last track of your spending money.
Currencies right across the world can be so different in size, colour and material. Getting your cash in hand before heading off on holiday can make you feel a lot more comfortable when it comes to paying for things. It can also help you keep track of how much you’re spending if you’re on a tight budget.
Airports Are Notoriously Bad For Currency Exchange
Given their highly captive audience, airports right across the world are notoriously bad places to exchange currency. Why? Because when you’re there and you need some local currency, there is unfortunately nowhere else to go to get it.
Getting your foreign currency at a local currency exchanger or provider before you get to the airport can see you saving heaps of money. Avoid paying high commission fees and get better rates outside the Airport before you head off on holiday.
Hidden Charges Overseas
If you’re planning on using your debit or credit card overseas, you could get a shock when you get back home by seeing hidden ATM or card usage fees on your statement. It can, therefore, be beneficial to get cash out before you leave and avoid using your card abroad.
If it’s convenience you are after, you can consider getting your hands on a travel card before your trip. Prepaid travel cards are a great way to carry large amounts of foreign currency overseas, without having to worry about cash or loose change.
Abhishek Sharma from currency exchange provider Foreign Xchange said that “Prepaid travel cards can take the worry out of carrying foreign cash around with you 24/7. If you are planning on using a debit or credit card overseas, expect to see extra charges on your bank statement when you come back home. We recommend carrying cash and prepaid card so you’re never left short when overseas.”
Support Your Local Economy
Buying your currency from a local exchange provider, bank or travel agency can help support local businesses in your area. Purchasing your currency outside of your home country is supporting economies elsewhere.
Smaller, more local currency exchange stores sometimes offer better rates than larger providers and you’ll often find a better, more personalised level of customer service from locally based currency exchange stores.
Whilst making sure you get the best exchange rate possible can be important, consider taking into account all costs before buying currency. Ultimately, if you carry out your currency exchange before you depart overseas, the better chance you may have to get the most out of your travel budget.