When you are traveling in a foreign country, you may quickly find that you need to have the local currency on hand in order to get by. Purchases at restaurants, from street vendors or even just to tip people helping you all may require you to carry the local form of cash. However, currency rates may change from day to day and how and where you exchange your money may make a big difference in the rate you receive. These tips will help you get the best foreign exchange rates possible!
In order to know if you are getting a god exchange rate, you absolutely must know what the exchange rate is first! This is actually quite easy as you can find this information on your computer, at a local bank or even through a currency converter app on your phone. When searching online, you can find a currency calculator, type in AUD to USD, for example, and you will instantly be able to see the current rate of exchange. This is good information to have when you now go to really convert your money, you will have a good idea of what a decent rate should be.
Before You Go
Before you jump on a plane, you may want to exchange some of your money at your local bank before you go. Not only is your local bank a trustworthy place to convert your money to a foreign currency (they may even offer deals for members!), but having some pocket change in the local tender is a smart idea. You also do not want to be stuck using an airport currency exchange store which can charge exorbitant fees.
Best Rates When Overseas
Once you are away on your trip, the best places to exchange your cash are reputable banks or government buildings. Post offices, for example, will be able to give you very competitive exchange rates as will larger, international banks. These places will also likely charge you a standard fee and not mark up their service charges as other exchange centers do.
An ATM machine is actually one of the best places you can go to get local currency quickly and easily. ATM machines charge low exchange rates but may also charge you a usage fee so it is a good idea to take out large amounts when using the ATM rather than multiple small transactions in order to avoid those usage fees.
Places to Avoid
Try not to convert your currency in touristy locations like airports, train stations or popular tourist destinations. These areas will feed off the urgency of your need for money and charge high rates and high fees which means you will not get a lot for your money. Hotel concierge desks may be able to give you fair rates but they can also be unfairly high so be wary of them as well.
When you are looking for the best currency conversion rates, the best idea is to find a reputable bank or a government backed currency exchange location. Always check the current exchange rate before you go to convert your money as the rates can change day to day!