Money is an important part of your travel. It helps in purchasing stuff, and cope with emergencies. Money can be taken in different forms such as Credit/Debit Cards, Forex Cards, Travellers cheques, Mobile wallets, Banking Payment Apps and Physical Cash. Physical Cash is the most commonly used among people. Majority of the cash is in physical form. Hence, travellers need to have valid currency bills of the place they are visiting. Different countries have different currencies. Their exchange rate changes every second. Also, the Foreign Exchange Bureau charges different commissions at different places. It is thus, important to get the best rate at the lowest commission. Many travellers end up paying huge commissions to Foreign Currency dealers. In this Blog, we will tell you the things you should remember before purchasing Foreign Currency. The info in this Blog is based on our experiences, and inputs from other travellers. Let’s get started…….
1. Check Rates: Start checking exchange rates 15 day prior to departure. This will give you a range where the price is fluctuating. Negotiation with the dealer will be easy for you, as you know the price range. It also minimises the risk of getting exploited by the Forex Dealer. Sometimes people handover the travel arrangements and Forex to an agent, without keeping a check. This makes them vulnerable to exploitation.
2. Reliable Dealer: Make sure the Forex Dealer is reliable enough. Consider Banks and Travel Agents for this. These institutions are registered and reliable dealers. Purchasing currency from a reliable vendor ensures that you get valid currency bills from legal sources. Private dealers may be risky, as they may give Fake or illegal Bills. Many smugglers and Fake Note dealers search for soft targets to get the Notes in circulation.
3. Valid Currency Notes: Before purchasing, search the internet for images of currency bills which are valid. Do check the year of printing on them. Compare it with the Bills provided by the dealer. Purchase only when you are assured of validity. Sometimes dealers give you old series notes which may/may not be in circulation. Old series of notes are either not accepted, or accepted only at a few places. Also, check whether the Nation you are visiting has changed its bills recently. Some countries go through process of currency change every 10-15 years. These things will help you in getting valid currency bills for your trip.
4. Purchase from Home Country: Some people take their local currencies and change at their destination. This is an expensive option, as you get the Airport or Hotel to change, which charge a high commission. Purchase the local currency before your departure. This will enable direct dealing with less commission. If the currency you want is not available, purchase US Dollars as they are accepted all over the world. Make sure you purchase US Dollars only when the required currency is unavailable. You have to get it changed anyway at the destination. For example: If you are travelling to New Zealand, purchase NZ Dollars from Home country. Purchasing US Dollar will require change at arrival.
5. Distribute Foreign Currency: If you are visiting two or more countries accepting different currencies, divide your budget and purchase separate currencies accordingly. Don’t purchase a single currency for both places, you will require a currency change. For example: If you are visiting Australia and New Zealand, purchase AUD and NZD separately.
6. Return the Money Left: After your trip, if you have some currency left with you, return it immediately. If you are traveling frequently you can keep it, else return back. Sometimes people use old bills after a long time, and realise that the bills are no more accepted. So make sure to return your leftover cash.
These were some important things you should remember before purchasing Foreign Currency. If you have more to add, comment down below. You can also share your currency exchange experiences in the comments. It will help future travellers…….
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