|Should I get foreign currency before I leave? In most cases, the answer is no. However, you might like to arrive with a little in your pocket for cab fare to your hotel or something. Options include getting some delivered right to your door by www.oanda.com (free delivery, but exchange fees apply), or from your bank there will be a fee charged, and you should give them at least a week’s notice.
Once you have arrived, the best way to get money is from an ATM machine. Be aware that foreign ATM machines accept 4-number PINs only. If your PIN is longer, you will need to change it before you go.
Will I need foreign money in airports? As you depart, the answer is no, because you will be able to use your US currency, or credit card, to pay for meals, etc. As you return you can also use your credit card, but it is actually a good place to get rid of your leftover foreign currency. In addition to meals or snacks, you might wait until then to buy little souvenirs.
What is the best way to pay for things? Credit cards are the best for hotels, meals, and more costly souvenirs. You will have a record of all your expenses, and they usually give you the best exchange rates. Be aware that most now charge a 1% to 2% fee (Capital One may be an exception). To avoid rejection, always notify your credit card company of your impending trip abroad.
NOTE: Credit cards are NOT the best way to get your foreign currency. For currency conversion, most banks charge an additional 2% fee above the fee charged by the credit card company.
I hope this little refresher has helped.
For more travel tips and fun tourist destinations, check out www.driftersister.com.
Catch the wind…
Taste the rain…
And touch all of your tomorrows…