Traveling to a foreign country always presents a unique experience. With so many new faces, cultures and time zones, in can be really easy to lose control over your spending habits and put a dent in your wallet that’s not easily fixable. That much is especially true if you find yourself in a situation where you have to exchange money. So, pretty much most of the time.
Still, there are some things that you can do to minimize your expenses as much as possible. It’s nothing complicated, don’t worry about a thing. Just follow our instructions that we’re about to lay out, and make sure you don’t get ripped off during your next trip. It’s truly that simple!
Try to pay in local currency as much as possible
Yes, we know this can be a drag, especially if you’re used to frequent trips across the borders. Ultimately, who wants to constantly think about finding the best place to exchange your dollars for local currencies?
Because of this, plenty of people fall for the trap of paying in dollars, even though they are perhaps aware that it will cost them more. They’re just not aware of how much more. If you add up bad exchange rates, plus some fees that can mount up, you’ll be looking at quite a difference. This is especially true if you’re planning to spend bigger sums of money, or if you’re paying expensive plane or bus tickets for yourself and other family members.
So, no matter if you find it boring on not, take a few moments of your time in order to get some local currencies in your pocket. Chances are it will come in handy sooner rather than later.
Avoid small exchange kiosks
Sure, these things are everywhere and so brightly colored that they’ll capture your attention the minute you step your foot off the airplane. That’s your cue, once you see it, teach yourself to avoid it. It’s mighty convenient to exchange your money right then and there, but ultimately, the rates are oftentimes so poor that you’ll regret that decision 9 times out of 10. Is that worth taking a risk?
Naturally, if you’re in a hurry, and you just want to exchange a couple bucks here and there, I guess it’s completely understandable to go into one those kiosks and get what you need. Just don’t turn it into a habit, which is a really simple thing to do, trust us!
Similarly, those who want to leave the country, but have a lot of local currencies with them might find that exchange kiosks are a godsend. Yes, the rates are significantly lower, but at the very least, they represent an instant fix.
Acquire a credit card that has low foreign transaction or ATM fees
This almost sounds too good to be true, as most credit cards will charge insane fees for people traveling abroad. Some will even go so far as locking your card after you try to make a foreign transaction, which can be incredibly annoying and frustrating at the same time. However, those are some horror stories that have no place in this article. Instead, let’s focus on the solutions.
There are some well-known banks that target digital nomads specifically and tailor the offerings to their needs. With that in mind, they created credit and debit cards intended for people who travel abroad on a frequent basis. The major benefit? Significantly lower foreign transaction or ATM fees in 150+ world countries!
At the very least, try to aim for cards that have a transaction fee that don’t surpass 3% on transactions. On the contrary, plenty of people are more inclined to take upon a card that has fixed fees. Those are usually the type of individuals who are used to picking up larger sums of money from the ATMs at once, so a fixed fee works perfectly for them.