Currency Exchange: 6 Tips Before Your Next Travel

By Naomi Marcus - 2016-08-17

If you are planning a trip abroad, or to the United States, currency exchange should be somewhere at the top of your to-do list. There are different ways to exchange currency, either before you leave or once you reach your destination.

If you are hoping to make the most of your money, here is how you can exchange currency for your next travel.

1. Learn more about currency exchange

Before you exchange currency, make some research to learn more about how currency exchange works. Some currencies are worth more than others, and even though this fluctuates regularly, it helps to have an idea of how much the currency you need is worth compared to the Canadian dollar. You should also take some time to learn more about your different currency exchange options, as some will require you to pay a higher fee than others.

For more information, you can find more resources on currency exchange at the Interchange Financial Currency Exchange website.

2. Check exchange rates

To truly make the most of your money, you should always exchange currency while the value of the Canadian dollar is high, and the value of the foreign currency you need is low. Keeping an eye on exchange rates will help you figure out how much money you should exchange, and what would be the best time to do it.

An online search is the easiest way to find out about the current exchange rates, and to stay updated as soon as they fluctuate. Trading Economics has a useful list of the exchange rates for different countries.

3. Visit your bank

Some people prefer to exchange currency before they leave, while others prefer doing it when they reach their destination. If this is what you are planning to do, you should at least exchange some money before you leave, in case you need to take a cab or to buy a quick snack.

Visiting your bank is an easy way to exchange some currency before you leave, for a small fee. Depending on the currency you need, however, your bank might need to order it, and this might take a few days.

4. Use an online currency exchange service  

If you want to exchange a lot of currency before you leave, it’s also possible to buy currency online. Find an online currency exchange service that can offer you great rates, order the amount of currency you need, and wait until it is shipped to your home.

Depending on the amount of currency you order, you might be able to get it shipped to you for free, which is always a valuable option.

5. Exchange more money when you reach your destination

If you don’t want to exchange a lot of currency before you leave for your next travel, you can wait until you reach your destination. You will easily find currency exchange kiosks at the airport, at your hotel, or at different places where tourists gather.

Be aware, however, that these kiosks will probably charge you much higher fees than your local bank or an online currency exchange service. If you choose this option, you should be ready to pay those fees.

6. Use your credit card

You should be able to use your credit card in any store, restaurant or hotel where major credit cards are accepted. This can be a convenient alternative to exchanging currency at the airport or at your hotel.

Of course, you will still need to pay some fees when you choose to pay with your credit card, but those fees should be more than reasonable. Don’t forget to contact your bank before you leave, to be sure you can use your credit card to pay for your purchases in a foreign country.

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