When we travel to foreign shores, exchanging money is a given. However, if it’s left to be an afterthought and currency is exchanged at the airport on route or at the hotel we’re staying at then it can end up being pretty costly.
In an effort to help you save ‘a little here, a little there’, we’ve jotted down a few tips a below:
It’s not often that we’d walk the streets of the UK with hundreds (or thousands) of pounds in our wallets or purses, nor do we usually leave that sort of cash at home under the bed. So why would we do it in a foreign country? And why would we leave it in a hotel room which is accessed every day by housekeeping and/or other staff members we know little or nothing about?
Considering the cities business travellers are most likely to go to, you’ll be hard pressed to find one without an ATM/cash machine.
So, rather than carrying hundreds of pounds on your person, it makes sense to withdraw money from cash machines whilst away when needed just like we would at home.
Despite the common misconception that you’ll be charged to the high heavens for withdrawing from an ATM abroad, they often give far better exchange rates then bureau de change’s do and many don’t charge exchange fees.
However, to err on the side of caution it is advisable to travel with some cash as you won’t want to be caught short somewhere that you don’t speak the language. Particularly if you know you are going to have to catch a taxi from the airport to your meeting or hotel.
There’s an App for that
A problem with using foreign ATMs is that it’s tricky to decipher exactly how much 10,000 Yen or Emirati Dirham equates to in Pounds Sterling when on the go with no calculator in tow.
However, as with most things nowadays, ‘there is an app for that’. Take to your handset’s app store and type in ‘currency converter’, both the apple and the Google play store will return relevant results.
There are hundreds (literally) of free currency converter apps available to download. It’s probably a good idea to download your app of choice before you travel to avoid the risk of data roaming charges.
Then, when you arrive at the cash point, all you have to do is open the app, enter the amount you want in pounds, select the currency of the country you’re in, and you know how much to withdraw.
Of course, it’s not exclusively for use at cash machines, you can also use it whenever you want to make or calculate a purchase whilst away; no more getting caught out buying £50 cocktails!