Currency Exchange Tips

A Stress Free Vacation Starts With a Currency Exchange

Plan Planning a vacation can be frustrating

We all want to get away from the rat race of nine-to-five job, which usually turns into a nine-to-whenever lifestyle. Some of us travel to warm and tropical countries such as beautiful Costa Rica to experience local attractions and unique cultures. Whatever the choice, it’s important to plan the trip at least two months ahead of your departure in order to book accommodations, and the extras features that make a vacation special. Airline seats, hotel rooms and restaurant reservations, as well as booking other local attractions are essential, but researching the currency exchange market while you’re planning and developing a travel budget will make the trip less stressful and much more fun. If you check the value of your currency pair using a reliable currency exchange broker in the planning stage, you can develop an exchange strategy that saves you money.

As exciting as Costa Rica is, planning the trip can be frustrating if you wait until the last minute to develop a currency exchange strategy that has an impact on your budget.  Let’s say you were traveling to a country that is experiencing radical fluctuations in the value of their currency. Argentina for example could turn into a nightmare if you wait until you reach Buenos Aires and exchange currency for the Argentine Peso and the Peso’s value has surged overnight.

Where should I exchange currency?

The first place that comes to mind when you want to trade currencies is a bank, or you may want to use one of your credit cards. Banks charge a transaction fee for every exchange and may even add a foreign exchange fee of 2 or 3% on each transaction. Banks may only post one or two rates a day, so you may not get a real time rate, which means the bank makes a little more profit. Credit cards use their own exchange rate, plus they add a hefty transaction fee to your exchange and then add a surcharge to every trip purchase, so you don’t know how much the trip actually cost until you get your statement and that’s usually budget breaking news.

Using an airport exchange merchant or hotels and retail shops to exchange money is always expensive. Exchanging money is a for-profit business so airport, hotel and retail exchange merchants add a substantial profit to every currency exchange. The best and most effective way to exchange currency is through a professional currency broker. A reliable broker will give you a real time exchange rate without hidden fees, surcharges and outlandish profits.

A broker will help you develop an averaging or future contract strategy while you’re planning the trip, so your budget is more accurate. When you exchange currency using a broker, your money will be sent to you the next day by a secure delivery service. A currency broker does make a profit when you exchange money, but you know how much it is, and can put it in your budget.

Other travel tips

Some countries limit the amount of cash you can carry through customs. Check with your broker while you’re planning your trip, so you stay within the limit. Always carry cash in a leg pouch, money belt or hidden pocket that’s secure and out of sight. Use hotel safes when you reach your destination and follow local security measures when you’re away from the hotel. Common sense is your best security tool when you remember to use it.

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