If you are planning on taking your dream vacation soon, the last thing you need is to have financial headaches in a foreign land. If anything, the whole experience would be made much better if you ended up saving some money. Now that would be the icing on the cake!
After all, you may be paying thousands of dollars as a result of this trip, so saving money on the exchange rate could be pretty significant. Let’s take a look at some tips to help you save money on currency exchange so your entire trip will be more memorable.
1. Shopping Around Always Helps
Just like a lot of other things, you need to shop around and take your time doing it. Don’t rush it at the last minute. This can help you find good exchange rates. Many people just head off straight to their bank instead of checking around other places to see what kind of rates are being offered. Many bank rates are established as a result of the rate that is listed by the Bank of Canada. On top of this, a margin of 2% or 4% is added. By checking around first, you can actually save some money.
2. Use Credit Cards
When you are on vacation, an easy and convenient way to pay is by using your credit card. This of course depends on whether that merchant takes VISA or MasterCard but it is rare that someone will not. It is also safer because your cash may be stolen while you are in a foreign country. Some of these businesses may charge you in Canadian dollars however, it may be better to pay in the local currency due to the fact that VISA and MasterCard exchange rates can generally be more reasonable.
3. Avoid These Places
There are certain places you should avoid so that more money stays in your pocket. Hotels, tourist sites and airports are the worst places for exchange. These places know you need money fast so they have higher exchange rates compared to other places. They also know that some people will still go for it, so this way, they still make money. So, not only avoid these places like the plague, but the best advice you can get is to be prepared and not exchange money at the eleventh hour.
4. Exchange Before You Travel
Before you travel, you can get some foreign currency and save yourself a lot of hassle later on. Having this cash can be good for any unforeseen emergencies which can happen in another country. Some places still do not take credit cards and if lady luck isn’t smiling on you, you’ll end up in such a place. As mentioned, some places will charge inflated rates and you could spend a lot of your vacation time looking for a place with a reasonable exchange rate. Get the foreign currency before you travel. You will be glad you did.
Remember, if you do need extra cash, you can also use your debit card at an ATM, but make sure the ATM has a PLUS sign. Let the network do the currency exchange because that way, the rates will be lower (instead of going to a local currency exchange). Just be careful not to do it too often.