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Important Tips for Currency Exchange when Travelling Abroad

Money rules the world, no matter where you are. Especially if going abroad, arranging relevant currency is an unavoidable task. There are plenty of ways to carry your money abroad; cash, cards, forex, and traveller's cheques. However, there are several things to consider about foreign exchange for travel abroad. Learn some crucial things about currency conversion before you head abroad!

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Plans for an individual of 30 years age travelling to USA for 15 days

How to Carry Money Safely on an International Trip?

Foreign transactions and currency-related issues that we may face abroad can overwhelm anyone. Often we don't consider foreign currency seriously until the time to leave is nearby and we have a lot to take care of. Thankfully, there are a number of ways to spend money while you are overseas.

How to carry Monry Safely

Depending on your requirements and budget, you can easily use a debit or credit card to carry a large amount safely. With so many credit cards for travellers available in India, you can easily have a hassle-free time while you’re abroad.

Is Carrying Cash Abroad Recommended?

Absolutely! Cask is king and is accepted everywhere. Carrying it may be difficult for some and you need to prepare accordingly. Cash is equally important, as many places may not accept these cards. From multicurrency travel cards to travellers' cheques, you can easily get your currency exchanged and use the desired medium.

Just make sure to not rely on a single mode of payment so that you don't face any shortage in case of emergencies. Bad networks, zero connectivity, and lack of ATMs are some common situations faced by tourists abroad. Hence, you should prepare for such situations and take necessary precautions as well.

Read on to learn more about foreign exchange for travel abroad and how you can make it as easy as possible!

8 Currency Exchange Tips for Your Trip Abroad

Currency Exchange Tips

Thanks to so many technical advancements, tourists can easily visit any place in the world without worrying about carrying cash or ways to keep it safe. Whatever amount you choose to carry; there are some important things to remember. Here are some of the most useful tips before you head for a currency exchange service:

Do Your Research

To avoid getting ripped off by frauds or local merchants, make sure to know about the ongoing exchange rates. Don't exchange your money outside banks or a local branch of your preferred bank.

No matter which bank you use, be sure to confirm the conversion charges and services they offer. If carrying credit cards, some cards may be more expensive than others may. While credit cards offer the best exchange value, be aware that an international transaction fee is charged after exceeding the daily withdrawal limit.

Plan Well: Get your Currency Exchanged Before Your Travel Date

In most cases, people usually have all their bookings and tickets fixed well before their journey. While some people may not have the time, make sure to prepare your currency at least a few days before your departure.

It is ideal to exchange your currency at least a week before your scheduled departure. At the latest, ensure that you've exchanged the currency at least three days before your travel date. Especially in the case of stronger currencies, make sure to observe their rates for a few days to confirm if they're decreasing. The rates of strong currencies tend to fluctuate and you may find yourself at a loss abroad if they vary exceedingly.

Opt for Local Currency

Countries that have dual currencies may often accept US dollars or other popular currencies. However, opt for the local currency as many shopkeepers charge unnecessarily high currency exchange fees. Even if they claim that it will make tracking your foreign expenses easier later, go for local currency and avoid any dynamic foreign currency exchange abroad.

Reserve Credit Cards for Big Purchases

If you have a no-fee credit card then use it for big expenses like hotels, expensive gift purchases or car rentals. This way you will save some cash as well as any extra foreign conversion charge.

Compare Exchange Rates Before Buying

Compare Exchange Rates

Depending on the merchant, your exchange rates will vary. Make sure to compare different merchants before getting your currency exchanged. Try to compare the rates being offered by different merchants, at least three or four.

There are plenty of vendors to choose from and you can pick the one that suits you the best. Some of them also let you compare different quotes by other authorised money changers so that you can pick the best option.

Avoid Exchanging from Airport Outlets

In most international airports, you may be charged a commission rate anywhere between 10 and 15% which is a very costly option. Not just airports, but most foreign currency exchange outlets abroad are a costly affair.

There is hardly any scope for bargaining and you may not have any other option. Thus, make sure to get sufficient currency exchange back at home so that you can save a considerable amount that would be otherwise spent on the commission. The same goes with hotels or train stations abroad; all of these places charge a very high commission often at a lower rate.

Carry Both Cash and Card

One of the best ways to avoid any loss while travelling abroad is to follow the 30/70 approach. This refers to the practice of carrying 30% of your overall currency as cash and the remaining 70% as your forex travel card.

You can use the cash component to pay wherever necessary and use the remaining during the other times. You can easily get a forex card which is commonly accepted worldwide and offers you a better rate as compared to cash. In fact, there are several zero forex cards in India that can help save you money while shopping abroad. Since you can load the card with the desired value in advance, you can maintain the rate even if it fluctuates during your trip.

Opt for an Extra Forex Card

Getting stranded in an alien place is a nightmare, especially if you don't have access to your money. It is not uncommon to misplace your wallet or be a victim of theft. In such a case, even if you were carrying your money digitally, it is still a hassle to get more currency converted at a higher rate.

Many forex card providers also offer spare forex cards for such cases. These are usually offered for free or at a nominal price. In case you're in a situation requiring the spare one while you're travelling abroad then you can avoid the hassles of acquiring a new one or getting emergency cash. Better yet, make sure to have an international travel insurance plan which offers the benefit of emergency cash so that your trip isn't ruined.

Wrapping it Up,

No matter what medium you choose to carry your currency abroad, don't forget to insure your trip with an overseas travel insurance plan.

Incidents like theft, mugging etc. can leave you penniless and clueless with not much to fall back on. If you're ever in need of financial help during such an emergency, your insurer will assist you immediately and ensure your safety.

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*Price shown is for a 30 day trip to Thailand with 1 lakh dollar coverage for an adult of age 25 years

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