Your biggest expenses will be paid out before you even step foot inside the airplane. Purchasing your flight ticket to your destination, booking out your hotel or Airbnb in advance, planning out the process of picking up your rental car, these are just a few of the more costly expenses that come with planning a trip abroad.
It will be in your best interest to pay for these commodities in advance, but make sure that you don’t completely banish the thought of finances from your mind until your trip. Once you cover the initial sizable costs of solidifying how you will get to your destination (where you will stay and how you will travel around), there is only one more area that you will need to care of: how you will pay for your activities.
If you are traveling abroad, you are going to need to have money for while you are there. The best practice may be to conduct a currency exchange before you leave for your trip, but it may be of best practice to understand what the best methods of currency exchange are when you are already abroad. This information will be useful if you ever find that you need to exchange more of your money due to an insufficient amount of funds.
Should you use ATMs?
If you need to use your debit card to take out money via an ATM, that should cause no issue other than the fact that you will be charged a transaction fee. In the event that you would need to use your debit card abroad, make sure that you alert your bank that you will be traveling so they don’t suspect that your debit card information has been stolen and freeze your account, cutting you off from all your funds.
Should you use a bank?
A foreign bank wouldn’t be the most ideal option because of how expensive it would be for you. It would be a better idea to pursue other options because that is just wasted money that could be better spent on your trip.
Should you use an airport exchange?
If possible, exchanging your money at an airport should be avoided at all costs. The amount that you will be paying in fees to get your own money out to use is nonsensical. If absolutely necessary, be sure to at least do a little research into which of the surrounding options would have the lowest fees.
Should you use a hotel exchange?
Similar to the airport exchange, try to avoid having to exchange currency at your hotel. It could be comparatively better when compared to some of your other options, which is why it is important to put in a little bit of research.
These are some general rules of thumb in regards to exchanging currency while you are abroad. The more financially careful you can be, the less money you will lose in transactional fees.