Exchanging your currency may be one of the last things you think about when you plan a trip. It is much more fun to pick out luxury hotels and make dining reservations! However, planning how you will get the some of the local cash into your pocket is quite important and is actually something you should do before you travel. Here is why converting your currency before your trip is essential.
The first reason that you should consider exchanging some cash before you travel is so that you land in the new country completely prepared. When you step off that plane, you never know exactly what to expect. You may instantly need cash for ground transportation or to buy some food from a street vendor. You want to be sure that you have the cash you need on hand right away. This will make your trip less stressful and enable you to start enjoying your trip immediately.
Get the Best Rates
Another reason why exchanging your currency before you travel is essential is that it will ensure that you get the best rates possible. When you wait to exchange your money abroad, you will be subject to the exchange rates at the currency counters which can be quite inflated. You are also stuck with whatever rate is current based on the economy at the time. When you start thinking about currency exchange before your trip, you can avoid all of this. You can research exchange rates on the official NAB currency exchange and see what a fair rate would be. You can look at rate trends to see if they are rising or falling, helping you determine when you should convert your cash. Once you’re happy with the rate you can plan on applying for a foreign currency card which will save you money and allow you to spend more on your vacation!
Avoid High Fees
Once you arrive at your destination, you are much more vulnerable when it comes to currency exchange. You are definitely going to need some of the local cash in order to get around and make basic purchase. However, once you are already in the country you are visiting, you will have to pay the exchange fees and rates that the currency kiosks are asking. You have no other choices! This can cost you quite a bit, especially if you exchange currency in popular tourist places or in an airport where vendors tend to increase their prices significantly. Exchange your money before you go and avoid putting yourself in this scenario.
Stick to Your Budget
If you have planned out your travel budget well, one way to make sure to stick to it is to only get the amount of currency that you have planned to spend. Take out that cash before your trip and only allow yourself to use what you have while abroad! You will come home from your trip without lofty credit card charges or unexpectedly transaction fees. Currency exchange as a form of budgeting can definitely work.