When going to a foreign country, you might deal with a different currency than your own. Using an unknown currency can be both scary and exciting; you have to get used to this new value and figure out what you can buy with it.
XE Currency is a great app for your smartphone where you input the total amount and it checks how much it is in your local currency, or the other way around. Unfortunately there is also big business in exchanging money but with this list of do’s and don’t you have nothing to worry about.
√ Do, use an ATM
Using an ATM will give you the best exchange rate possible. There will be ATM machines at every airport, so don’t worry about leaving with zero cash in your wallet.
X Don’t, exchange cash at the airport
Airport exchange offices will give you the worst exchange rate possible, no matter how official they are. For example, when my dad exchanged €800 at ABN AMRO bank at Amsterdam Airport, he got €600 worth of Czech Crown in return. The same happened to me in Hong Kong where I lost €16 of a total of €55.
√ Do, shop around
Count beforehand how much money you have and ask the clerk how much you will receive in return. Compare that amount with XE currency. When there is a huge difference, go to another office. With a small difference, only then hand over your money and not one moment before. Tip! The more unofficial looking the office, the better the exchange rate.
X Don’t, hand over your money before knowing the final amount
Do not give your money and ask how much you will receive. The transaction now already has started and you will probably not be happy with the result.
√ Do, plan your expenses
With every trip to the ATM, your bank will charge you a fee. You probably want to take out a larger amount to avoid this fee as much as possible. But you also want to leave the country without exchanging to your home currency. Try to make an estimate on how much you are going to spend.