Why to Exchange Your Currency Before Your Vacation? – 2020 Guide

by Heather Cummins

While planning a vacation is exciting, every trip comes with a few questions. When you are planning a trip overseas, you may have even more questions than normal. After all, traveling to a completely new country is an entirely new experience for many people! You may be wondering when the best time to exchange your currency is and we are here to answer that question for you- now at least one of your vacation questions will be cleared up!

Before You Travel

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The best time to exchange your currency for your vacation is before you head out the door on your trip. In fact, exchanging your money a few weeks in advance is ideal. While you can choose to head down to your local bank to exchange your cash, you may be surprised that banks often have high exchange rates and also lofty service fees. Instead, choose to exchange your currency online. Many exchange websites will offer very competitive rates and sometimes waive service fees completely! You can decide how much money you want to order, place your exchange order in a few clicks and then have the money delivered right to your door. You can hop on the plane for your trip completely prepared!

Start thinking about exchanging your money a few weeks before your trip so that you can start looking for a reliable website with low rates. See how long the website estimates their delivery time (how many days it will take for you to get your cash at your doorstep). And try to order as close to your departure date as possible. You never know when your trip might have to get canceled or postponed for any reason, so order near your vacation start date. Getting that package of cash will be exciting and remind you how soon you will be traveling! 

Exchange When Rates Are Low

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Another benefit of exchanging your currency before you travel is that you can watch the currency exchange rates for your country and then make the exchange when rates are nice and low. Exchange rates can change daily and, if you see them trending downward, you know that it is a good time to order the cash you need for your trip! Locking in a nice low exchange rate is just another perk of planning ahead, converting your cash before your trip. To find out more information on the lowest exchange rates, visit FX Compare

At the Beginning 

If you are already short on time, leaving for vacation in a few days’ time, or if you are already abroad, the best time to exchange your currency is right away! You will need to have at least a little bit of local cash on hand to help you get around and pay for things you may need or want (for example, local street vendors may not accept your foreign currency). You also do not want to be stuck with a lot of currency at the end of your trip as you would need to convert it back, costing you service fees once again. Find a local bank or ATM on your first day abroad and get the cash you need sooner rather than later.

If you will be staying at one hotel or location for several days or weeks, consider ordering cash online to be delivered to your temporary residence. You can order the money you need online, just as you did before you embarked on your adventure. Have the money delivered to your hotel and pick it up at the hotel desk anytime you’d like. Be sure to ask your hotel concierge for any specific delivery directions so you can be sure to get your package delivered seamlessly. Most currency websites will send your cash in an unmarked, discreet package as well so you do not need to worry about theft. If you are placing an online cash order, be sure to do so as soon as possible so you get your money and can start spending! 

When Not to Convert Cash

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There is one time when you should definitely not exchange your money and that is when you first step off the airplane. Airport exchange counters charge exorbitant service fees and are known to give terrible exchange rates. While it make seem convenient to hop off a plane and get the cash you need, it will cost you quite a bit. Skip this currency exchange option at all costs!

In addition to the high fees and exchange rates at airports, you will also encounter higher than normal charges at almost any tourist location. If you are traveling in areas that are popular with vacationers, you may see lots of currency exchange centers that are conveniently located- don’t fall into their trap! Those centers are there to take advantage of tourists who need cash right away. The rates will be high as well as the fees. 

When You Find Your Bank

If you are already overseas and noticing that you may need more of the local cash to get by, you may want to start looking for your personal bank. Many banks and financial institutions are international, meaning they have branches and locations around the world. If you happen to see your hometown bank while you are on vacation, consider stopping to get cash right away! Your own bank may be able to give you a great deal on currency exchange or waive a service fee since you are a member. So, if you see your own bank while traveling, stop right away and pick up some extra cash- you won’t need to search for the bank later or make a special trip! 

Bottom line, the sooner you can convert your cash for your vacation, the better. Try to get some cash before you travel to save money and time. Ordering money online will make your trip so much more simple! Now you are in on the little travel secret that so many frequent travelers know and love! 

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