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Preparation is key to any venture. Especially if this venture implies you finding yourself in a foreign country. In other words, should always consider possible issues you may stumble upon during your travels and maybe even try figuring some of those out before even departing. One of the things worth mentioning, that every tourist struggles with at some point, is the question of money exchange.

Maybe it seems ridiculous to you that we’re even discussing it. You can change money in a foreign country a million ways, right? While that is true, it doesn’t change the fact that not every money exchange option is equally fair. This is why you need to learn where to exchange foreign currency and why.

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source: Pixabay

The Airport

Logically thinking, the airport is the first actual encounter you have with the foreign country. You’ve just arrived so it’s only natural that you exchange your money right away since you’ll need the local currency from that moment on.

But, stop and think for a second.

How much is a cup of coffee at the airport? Or a candy bar? In essence, everything is more expensive at the airport than at the first shop you enter once you leave the airport ground.

This is the same in all countries and it’s something people are used to.

Well, the same goes with the money exchange fees. Airports hold on to:

  • high fees
  • service charges

This is why the exchange costs you more than you’d like it.

Therefore, you should definitely avoid exchanging foreign currency at the airport.

Hotel

Most of today’s better-equipped hotels have their own exchange offices within the premises. This way their guests don’t have to bother going outside and looking for places to change their money.

However, hotel exchange offices work the similar way as the ones at the airport.

They are convenient at your disposal all day long, but they are not doing it for pure courtesy.

On the contrary, their fees are higher than in most other places and they earn a solid provision for every exchange they do.

They are fine for exchanging a smaller amount of money once. But if you plan on exchanging all your travel money in one place, it should not be the hotel exchange office.

Your Bank

There are banks which work internationally and you can find them in different countries.

If you’re in luck, you might be able to find your original bank and make the exchange there. It is beneficial because:

  • you can withdraw cash from your original bank account and exchange it at the same place
  • the fee will be smaller
  • you won’t have to carry cash from home

This implies that you have to do the research and see if your bank has a business unit at your planned destination. In addition, you need to see how far is it from your accommodation and your planned route during your trip.

“You should never exchange money in a foreign country on the spur of the moment. Looking into all options is highly recommended, and finding your original bank is one of the more convenient ways to go” says the CEO of PickWriters.

A Random Bank

Hey, a bank is a bank, right? It should be fairly safe to do the exchange at any given bank in the foreign country, shouldn’t it?

The truth is, you never know.

If you’re thinking about exchanging the money at the local bank, you are entering the unknown and who knows what’s waiting for you in there.

Some banks have high fees for exchanging foreign currencies into local ones. That means you could lose a significant amount of money in the exchange and it may affect your planned budget.

ATMs

Another way to exchange a foreign currency is to do it directly from an ATM.

ATMs offer exchange services but you need to be smart about using them.

The best thing you can do and you should definitely check is:

  • your interbank network

As defined by Wikipedia, an interbank network is

“a computer network that enables ATM cards issued by a financial institution that is a member of the network to be used to perform ATM transactions through ATMs that belong to another member of the network”

That means that you don’t have to be a member of the bank whose ATM you’re using, as long as you belong to the same interbank network.

You should check to see which ATMs you can use and which network you belong to. It does require doing research but it’s more than worth it.

In addition, see if you can find data about the fees such as the conversion rate, international transaction fee etc. Due to the fees its “usually better to make one or two larger withdrawals rather than lots of smaller ones” according to The Guardian.

Online Currency Services

If you’re one of those people who doesn’t like to take risks and hates surprises, you may want to consider exchanging your money even before you sail away.  

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source: Pixabay

Luckily for you, there are online currency services which take care of the money exchange for you. All you have to do is find the right one and place the order.

So, how exactly do they work?

Here’s a couple of easy steps you’ll be asked to complete once you find the online currency service:

  • choose the desired currency or country
  • choose the amount you want to exchange
  • choose how you want to do the transaction
  • select the shipping
  • place your order

This option is great since you’re completely in charge of your money and you can stop and consider the fee they’re offering. In addition, you know exactly how much money you’ll be spending on the exchange.

The exchanged money will be delivered to your home address and you’ll be all set to start your trip without worrying.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, certain ways of exchanging money can be convenient but they also come with hidden costs and high fees. You may feel like these fees aren’t such a big deal when you look at them individually. However, looking at the grand total, you’ll find a significant amount that you could’ve spent on souvenirs, touristic attractions or local cuisine.

Therefore, be wise about foreign currency exchange and try making the right decisions in advance. You’ll save yourself the time and most importantly, your money.

Elisa Abbott is a freelancer whose passion lies in creative writing. She completed a degree in Computer Science and writes about ways to apply machine learning to deal with complex issues. Insights on education, helpful tools and valuable university experiences – she has got you covered;)


Posted: 12/4/2018 9:42:34 AM by Global Administrator | with 0 comments



When visiting London, it is relatively easy to find out what shows are playing in the West End, what art exhibits are shown in which museum and which restaurant is an absolute “must” to eat in.

London is huge, so getting to these various places may not be so easy and without some advanced planning, the cost of the transportation may just make it impossible for you to pay your restaurant bill.

Cabs are exorbitantly expensive and the 5 pound cost of an individual bus or tube ticket is hardly a bargain either.

However, help is on the way. At practically all tube stations you can buy an “Oyster Card” valid for anywhere from one to seven days. This transportation card offers 50% discount on bus and tube fares. No need to stand in line to buy a ticket every time you want to go somewhere, and these ticket lines are invariably long.

Even better is buying a “Travel Card”. A seven day “anytime” card with unlimited travel will only cost about 50 pounds. This particular card must however be bought on-line in advance.


Visit the site of the “British Tourist Board: at visitbritainshop.com and all your questionswill be answered.

Happy Travels

Posted: 4/20/2018 1:45:55 PM by noe.rosales | with 0 comments



 If you're getting married this year your wedding folder must already include this small list:

Wedding List

Budget
Bridgesmaids
Groomsmen
Guest List
Flower Girl
Ring Bearer

Sponsors
Flowers
Catering
Venue
Registry
Cake

 

Website
Invitations
Save the Date
Photographers
The Rings
Wedding Dress

Wedding Planner
DJ/MC
and more...




But what about the honeymoon?

Here's a small checklist for your International Honeymoon:

  • Budget - Yes, this too will require a budget, but probably not as extensive as your wedding budget. 
  • Passports - Make sure your passports are up to date. Some countries require the expiration date on your passport to be no less than six months from your travel date. 
  • Visas - Many countries require a visa, even if you're not staying for more than two months.
  • Make copies of important documentation - In case of any unforeseen incident, having backups of your credit cards, passport, itinerary, or other important information is strongly advised. Make sure to bring along the international toll free number to your bank in the event that your credit cards are rejected.
  • Travel Arrangements - These days couples can make their own travel arrangements by going onto websites like Travelocity, Livewire, Kayak, Tripadvisor, Orbits, or other similar websites. For those who are not as tech savvy as others or don't have time to book their own, there is always a friendly travel agent ready and willing to lend a helping hand, for a slight cost of course.
  • Purchase your plane tickets - Don't leave home without them, no really, you won't be allowed on the plane otherwise.
  • Book your hotel - Find a place that is close to where you plan to visit. While you may be going to Rome, hotels and villas may be extremely expensive within the city, but neighboring cities may have hotels offering discounts or simply lower rates to attract you to stay with them.
  • Pack your bags -  Make a check list of all the things you will need. Find out what the weather will be like for most of your stay. What season of the year is it where you are headed?
  • Money exchange - While this isn't as important for many, it is a necessity. You will be paying for much of your honeymoon with your credit card. Meaning there will be plenty of finance charges being accumulated while you book all or most of the things mentioned above. Tacking on cash advance fees or international convenience fees will take away from your honeymooning budget in a hurry. As a rule of thumb, always have a back-up payment option for small things.

Will the happy couple be in search of adventure in a South African safari or perhaps never-ending romance in Rome, Venice or Paris?

The sole reason for this list is to prepare you for a pleasant trip. Leaving any of these items for the last minute could result in lesser discounts and take away from your travel funds.

Plan ahead and buy your foreign currency at discounted rates of exchange. Follow us on twitter or Facebook for discounted rates of exchange or special promotions.

Congratulations and have a safe flight.

Posted: 4/20/2018 12:10:35 PM by noe.rosales | with 0 comments



Taking the rate by the numbers

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When trying to convert dollars to a foreign currency, most clients ask, "how can I convert my dollars to the foreign currency?'

The answer isn't always simple, not because it is complex, but simply because it's, math, numbers, and foreign currency all mixed into one equation.

If you have $100 dollars and you're looking for Australian dollars with a rate of 1.2039 per dollar, how do you do the math?

Because the rate is expressed in "per-dollar" format, the equation will read, USD x Rate = Foreign.
So, let's take 100 (USD) x 1.2039 (Rate) = 120.39 (Foreign).

Take the same $100 US dollars, but now you've been given the rate of .8306 per Aussi dollar. Now what? If you were to multiply this, you would get 83.06 Australian for your $100. What you need to do is divide, not multiply.

 Now, we'll take $100 (USD) divided by (/) .8306 (rate) = 120.39 (Foreign).
Did you see that coming or did was your mind blown?

Like stated before, it's not complicated, it's just math, numbers and foreign currency.

Every time you hear "per-dollar", you will multiply and every time you hear "per (foreign currency)", you will divide. 

Note Worthy:
When you have a currency that is valued higher than the US dollar for example Euro and British pounds, you will need to do the inverse of what you just learned. Have fun with that one.

Now you're well prepaired for any foreign trip. 
Posted: 4/19/2018 11:14:01 AM by noe.rosales | with 0 comments



12 Places To Travel While the U.S. Dollar Is Strong

By Ordinary Traveler 

The value of the U.S. dollar has been steadily rising in recent years, and now is the time to take advantage of it. Cash in those vacation days you’ve been saving, and head to one of these top destinations where you can get the most bang for your buck!

Turkey

Istanbul: the only place where two continents connect in one city. Get to experience both Europe and Asia by ferrying across the Bosphorus and wandering around the best of Turkey’s colorful markets.  With an exchange rate of 1 US dollar to 2.93 Turkish Lira, Turkey is one of the cheapest destination on our list!   Moderate daily budget: $56  

Sweden

Visiting the picturesque Scandinavian countries is always a good decision, and this time normally pricey Sweden is within reach. Jet off to Stockholm, Gothenburg or the islands of West Sweden, where there are too many beautiful sights – and people – to take in all at once. Sweden uses the Krona, which exchanges at 8.23 krona per dollarModerate daily budget: $167

Austria

Get a taste of Austria’s renowned live entertainment at Vienna’s famous State Opera House, or wander its cobbled streets and settle into a cozy bookstore or cafĂ©. You won’t want to miss the culture this place has to offer! Austria is one of the many countries here that use the Euro for currency, which currently has an amazing exchange rate of approximately 1 USD to 0.89 Euro. It’s time to hit up Europe!  Moderate daily budget: $110

Italy

If you’ve been dreaming of stuffing your face with authentic Italian pizza and pasta, there’s no time like the present! Italy also uses the euro, and much like Greece it’s economy (and prices) are slowly but surely on the rise – don’t wait. Moderate daily budget: $137

Japan

The value of the Japanese Yen is down in comparison to the dollar (1 USD to 105.89 JPY), so this normally pricey destination can now be a reasonably affordable vacation. Whether you’re looking forward to the gorgeous gardens or cherry blossoms during springtime, or want to explore the Harajuku district of Tokyo known for its outlandish style and ultra-trendy fashion, there’s something for everyone!

Although Japan is known to be pricey for tourists, the low currency exchange rates have started to rise so take advantage of them now. Moderate daily budget: $125

Canada

You’ve got your fair share of winter activities to choose from (ever try dogsledding?), but Canada offers just as many year-round attractions as well. With the quaint French villages of Quebec, puffin viewing in Newfoundland, and kayaking with whales on Vancouver Island, you’re bound to fall in love.

If you plan to wait for a winter getaway, don’t miss the Northern Lights of Canada’s northern territories like the Yukon. Conversion rates equate to approximately 1 USD for every 1.29 Canadian dollars. Moderate daily budget: $115 

Australia

The Sydney Opera House, stunning beaches, kangaroos, Great Barrier Reef – Australia has it all.  Head out to the land down under for some awesome waterfall and wildlife experiences, because this is most definitely a place you’ll want to visit now. US dollar exchange rates will be similar to Canada’s, at about 1.35 Australian dollars for every US dollar. Moderate daily budget: $96

Greece

Whether it’s the historic ruins, museums, beaches, or food that draws you to Greece, you won’t be disappointed – plan your trip now while the economy is down and catering to tourists! Mainland cities (like Athens) will likely be quite a bit cheaper than the islands (Kos, Santorini), so keep that in mind when planning your trip. The euro-to-dollar conversion rate still stands at about 1 USD to 0.89 Euro.  Moderate daily budget: $81-$139

Enjoy the strong dollar and happy travels.

Posted: 4/17/2017 7:35:52 AM by johnmin | with 0 comments