Cash And Currency Tips For Travellers
All your essentials packed in just one bag and you’ve given yourself a congratulatory pat on the back for packing light and travelling smart. But what about your cash exchange know-how in another country? Here are some tips that would help you get the most out of your money and enjoy your vacation to the fullest.
In this ATM age, traveller’s checks are already a thing of the past so leave them at home. It only wastes your precious time lining up at slow banks and lessens the value of money when you convert it to another currency. Use the ATM instead.
The financial industry’s survival depends on the amount of money they can get from consumers (like us) in such a way that we won’t notice it. Every time you exchange your cash to another currency, you lose money. Banks charge a minimum of 5 per cent while Travelex, Forex and other currency exchange booths at airports charge around 15 per cent. If you must, just look for a post office which has a postal bank inside because you can have the best rate there.
You don’t have to give in to that panicking voice inside your head and buy all the foreign currency you can buy even before you can book your flight. Wait until you arrive at your destination and just look for the nearest ATM machine. You won’t miss it.
Even if the store accepts dollars, don’t be too comfortable about it. Its private exchange rate is topping up the merchandise you’ve paid for with an additional 20 per cent minimum. Use local cash instead.
Of course, this trip is all about fun and pleasure and adventure. But if you don’t familiarise yourself with the local currency, you’d be constantly ripped off, which can seriously affect your travel experience. Examine the coins and the name on each bill. It really is not that difficult to figure out which is which so you won’t be fooled all the time.
And you don’t even need a currency converter just to get the exact exchange rate. If you know the rough estimate, then you’ll do just fine. Quiz yourself and soon, it would just be second nature to you.
It’s not for your day-to-day spending but for emergencies like when your ATM card stops working or the banks have gone on strike. Use 20s or 50s instead of 100s because the latter is not always accepted for exchange since there are just too many counterfeits. When things go wrong, you can always rely on US dollars. Plus, you can always sell it.
If you don’t act quick and smart, you’ll always be a victim everywhere you go – ticket booths, restaurants, banks and such. Don’t think for a second that those foreign people care about giving tourists their exact change when nobody is actually counting it. So count yours before you leave the booth or before the waiter turns his back on you. Most of the tourists scratch their heads thinking that it is really too expensive to travel on that particular destination.
Dealing with coins
When you get back home, foreign coins won’t mean anything at all. So instead of taking them home as souvenirs, use them for buying food or drink for your train ride, on postcards or newspaper or if there’s too many of it, change them into bills! When you’re left with no option, just give them away to the pantomime artist on the streets.
Getting back home
Before you board your last trip back home, change your foreign cash at the airport or just spend all of it. With just dollars in your pocket, you have nothing to worry about but sleeping tight on your flight.