Money management should be your top priority when traveling to another country or arriving in the U.S. from another country during the holiday season. No matter where you go, you’ll want a little spending cash on hand during those moments when credit cards are not accepted or you want to make a quick purchase.
The currency exchange market is volatile, and world currency is unpredictable. So, before you travel, follow these do’s and don’ts for currency exchange this holiday season:
Money Exchange Do’s
Plan Ahead…Way Ahead
Ideally, you should be monitoring the currency exchange market for at least three months before your holiday trip. World currency values can rise and fall with no warning. If you are not familiar with the rate fluctuation, you could miss out on when the rates are at their lowest.
Like many other services, some institutions will raise their rates during the holidays to take advantage of the increase in travel. If you plan and get a currency exchange at least one month before your trip, you may avoid the sudden spike in fees or commissions.
Find a Money Exchange Service in Your Area
Type ‘Money Exchange Near Me’ in Google and shop around for the companies that provide the best service with the lowest exchange fees. Local businesses such as Continental Currency offer convenient locations, competitive pricing, a wide range of products, diverse services, and exceptional customer service.
By utilizing a local service, you can take advantage of lower exchange rates and avoid paying high fees in foreign institutions or airports.
Exchange What You Need Before You Leave
Although it is impossible to predict the exact amount of cash you’ll need on your trip, consider what expenses you might use cash for, such as:
- Taxi rides
- Quick meals
- City markets or side street vendors
- Emergency money
Take only what you need. Try to avoid taking too much cash. You may find you have a surplus of cash at the end of your trip. If so, you can still exchange the cash at any Continental Currency location in California or Arizona.
Money Exchange Don’ts
Avoid These Places
Whether you are at home or abroad, there are certain places you should avoid getting a currency exchange.
- Currency kiosks
- Anywhere you would not usually exchange money
- Any foreign place in Europe that charges a commission
In general, these places charge high rates and commissions for currency exchange. Airports can charge as high as 15 percent.
Don’t Bring Any Money Back
Every time you exchange your money, you reduce its value. Therefore, you should only exchange it before you leave on your trip. Spend all of your cash to deplete your supply before you arrive back home.
If you have a large surplus of cash and you don’t want to give it away or keep it for a souvenir, you can still exchange it here at home. Your best option is to bring it to a Continental Currency exchange service.
Don’t Spend American Dollars in Foreign Places
If you find a sign that says, “We Accept American Cash,” don’t fall for it. The business owner accounts for the exchange rates when accepting U.S. dollars. There’s also a chance you may run into a vendor that adds a little on the top to make a profit.
Instead, always use local currency. For instance, if you are traveling through Europe, you need to find out which countries use the euro as their base currency. Likewise, if you are traveling to Kenya, Uganda, or Tanzania, then you will exchange your U.S. dollars for shillings.
Currency Exchange Services in California and Nevada
If you are traveling this holiday and need to exchange currency, visit one of our locations or contact Continental Currency Services. We buy and sell foreign currency. We also offer expanded financial services, competitive pricing, and a wide range of products.
To find a location near you, call us at 833-RATES-4-U, or visit our locations page.