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Importance of Currency Conversion in International Travel

24 Nov 2023

Are you planning an exciting international adventure in the near future? Whether it's a dream vacation to a tropical paradise or a business trip to a bustling metropolis, one aspect of international travel that is of utmost importance is currency conversion. 

In this blog, we will explore the significance of currency conversion and how you can plan ahead to make your travels more enjoyable and stress-free.

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The Role of Currency Conversion:

Imagine arriving at your dream destination only to find out that local vendors, restaurants, or transportation services don't accept your home currency, and there are no ATMs nearby. It can be an awkward situation, and you will definitely regret not holding good old hard cash on you. Currency conversion ensures that you have the right currency at your disposal, allowing you to make seamless transactions.

Currency conversion also translates into cost savings. Different countries have varying exchange rates, and these rates can fluctuate daily. If you convert your currency beforehand, you can enjoy favourable exchange rates. It also helps you avoid extra fees and conversion charges for international credit cards.

Here are a few life-saving tips that will help you to have your currency exchange sorted for your 

next travel: 

Research for your foreign exchange 

Make sure to familiarise yourself with the ongoing exchange rates. Do not exchange your money at locations other than banks. Regardless of your choice of bank, it's essential to confirm the conversion charges and services they provide. If you plan to carry credit cards, remember that they offer favorable currency exchange rates, but be aware of potential international transaction fees if you exceed your daily withdrawal limit.

Most travellers have their bookings and tickets sorted well in advance. Even if you're short on time, try to arrange your currency exchange at least a week before your departure. Particularly for strong currencies, monitor their rates for a few days to confirm any significant fluctuations, as strong currencies tend to fluctuate, and sudden variations can impact your expenses abroad.

Say yes to local currency 

Opt for the local currency, even in countries with dual currencies that may accept US dollars or other popular currencies. Shopkeepers often charge unnecessary high currency exchange fees. Reserve your credit cards for significant expenses like hotels, expensive purchases or rentals, especially if you have a no-fee credit card. This approach will help you save money and avoid additional foreign conversion charges.

Avoid currency exchange at Airports 

Airport outlets charge a commission rate of 10% to 15%, which can be quite costly. This applies not only to airports but also to most foreign currency exchange outlets abroad. Bargaining opportunities are limited, so ensure you exchange enough currency at home to save on commission fees. The same high commission rates often apply at hotels and train stations abroad.

The 30-70 Approach

One of the most effective ways to prevent financial loss while travelling abroad is to adopt the 30/70 approach. This means carrying 30% of your overall currency in cash and the remaining 70% on a forex travel card.

Carry both cash and a Forex Card, using cash for necessary expenses and the card for other transactions. A Forex card is widely accepted worldwide. You can also find zero forex cards to save money while shopping abroad. By loading the card with your desired value in advance, you can maintain a stable rate even if exchange rates fluctuate during your trip.

Plan for emergencies 

Consider having an extra Forex card. Getting stranded in a foreign land without access to your funds is a traveller's nightmare. Misplacing your wallet or falling victim to theft can lead to the hassle of converting money at a higher rate. Many forex card providers offer spare cards for free or at a nominal cost, ensuring you have a backup when needed. Having international travel insurance with emergency cash benefits can help prevent your trip from being ruined in such situations.

Bottomline

Before exchanging your currency, compare exchange rates from different merchants. Compare rates from at least three or four merchants to find the best option. By managing your budget effectively and being prepared for emergencies, you can ensure that your international adventure is memorable for all the right reasons. So, before heading to your next destination, make sure you've taken the time to plan your currency conversion. It's a critical step in ensuring a successful and enjoyable journey.

 

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