Money On Travel: How To Get The Best Exchange Rates and Money Transfer Fees
When booking a holiday, you book the flight and hotel in advance but don’t really think of the travel money and exchange. If you don’t plan ahead with your currency, you could end up having considerably expensive financial deals. In this article are tips to get the best exchange rates and money transfer methods while on holiday in case of an emergency.
There are a few different options to get the right currency for your holiday. Become familiar with all of them so you can decide which is best for you. It is a good idea to know the currency exchange rate ahead of time so you can determine how much you’ll want for your holiday.
• At the bank. Check with your bank to see if they can do a currency exchange for you before you leave. You’ll likely pay a fairly high exchange fee for this and can wait to get the proper currency at your destination.
• At an exchange counter. You’ll likely see exchange counters at airports in the international terminals. This option may be cheaper than the bank if you decide to utilize it, but may still not be the best deal. Some will have no fee for exchanges over or under a certain amount.
• At an ATM. Depending on your bank, this option is most likely your best one. ATMs in airports may offer “free” cash withdrawals. You may see an additional charge on your bank statement for a small percentage of the withdrawal amount.
Save Up and Save Big
When it comes to money, planning for all possibilities is the type of over planning you want to do. You want to be prepared for several situations whether it’s planning fun activities ahead of time or creating an emergency fund.
• Credit cards. Most credit cards are accepted when travelling, but foreign transaction fees can cost you more than you think they will. Choosing a card that will reward you for purchases and has no foreign transaction fees can make your hard earned money go further.
• Book and pay in advance. Several websites allow you to make reservations and pay upon arrival. If you’ve noticed an exchange rate is not moving in your favor, consider paying in advance to make your money go further. Use sites like Groupon to buy vouchers for activities ahead of time.
• Save up for an emergency fund. Have a separate card and/or place to keep the emergency fund so you’re not tempted to spend it. Use a savings calculator to plan how long it’ll take you to save up a decent amount before your trip. A good idea is to have enough to be able to buy a ticket home with no notice.
• Pay for travel insurance. Getting sick can be expensive whether it requires a hospital visit or missing a flight. Opt in to travel insurance so you are covered if you fall ill or some other covered event brings unexpected expenses.
If the Unexpected Happens
As implied before, we never expect something terrible to happen on holiday, but sometimes it does. Two of the worst things that can happen to a traveler are spending all of your money or having it stolen. Thankfully, there is hope if you do find yourself in either of these predicaments.
• Family and friends. Calling your family and friends for help is a great place to start. They may be able to transfer money directly to your bank account or make a payment on your credit card if you still possess the physical card.
• Wire transfer. If you find yourself in a position where your cards have been stolen, services like Western Union allow friends, family, or your bank to wire you money. You’ll likely need to show a photo ID at the location where you’ll collect the transfer.
• Go to your Embassy. There may be options and/or assistance your government can provide if you become a destitute traveler.
Rather than worry about money while you’re on holiday, worry about it beforehand and be as prepared as possible. It will make for a much more enjoyable time while you’re away and give you ease of mind if that emergency does occur.
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