Travelling: 5 Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Money (Part 2 of 5)

Posted on April 10, 2007. Filed under: money, travelling |

Alright, so yesterday, we covered the cheapest ways to get to where ever you want to go. Today, I’ll tell you how to get the most of your dollars when you convert them to the local currency.

 1. Check the Rates Before Your Trip

Before you leave, check the rate on www.xe.com , the website lists up to the minute rates for all the currencies. That way, you can get a good idea of what the exchange rate is. It’ll come in handy to determine whether or not a currency exchange place is ripping you off.

2. Get a Bank with an International Presence

I currently have accounts at Citibank, HSBC, and Chase. These banks all have locations internationally. By using an HSBC bank in Hong Kong or in London, I do not get charged any fees and I get the best possible rates (unless you go to the black market). If you use a non-bank ATM, your bank will charge you a fee.

3. Never Exchange Money at the Airport 

The biggest ripoff is exchanging money at the airport. Not only are the rates horrible, they also charge you a commission on the total amount you exchange. Bad rates + Commission = Rip Off!

 4. Be Sparing With Your Credit Card

Last time I went to Europe, whenever I used my credit card, I as charged a 2% surcharge on all my purchases. Keep this in mind when using your credit card. Sometimes, it might make sense to use a credit card instead of using all your cash. Remember to tack on 2% on all your purchases.

 5. Don’t Carry A Lot of Foreign Currency

Instead of changing or withdrawing a thousand dollars at once, only exchange a few hundred dollars at a time. That way, you won’t be put in the awkward situation of have a lot of extra leftover currency at the end of your trip. Changing the foreign currency back to American dollars to a hassle and EXPENSIVE.

Tomorrow: How to find a cheap bed for the night!

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