Getting to Know A Foreign Currency:Your Currency Versus Other Country’s Currency
One of my worries when traveling abroad is money. Aside from the budget, I also need to know the currency and the conversion in the country where I am going to. Money is your number one gear in traveling. Without it, you are in grave danger. As a traveler, I do not want to be coined as a tourist in a country for safety reasons, even it is too obvious. However, this is not always the situation. You are tempted to convert your currency versus their own currency especially when you are in the middle of haggling (I am good at it!). Well, I love to haggle, admittedly. It is like a big accomplishment for me when going back home to brag about the items I got at a bargain price.
Besides, you do not want to waste your time doing the calculations in front of the seller before you purchase the item. This will make you look one hundred percent tourist and your fear of buying the item at a higher price (just because you are not a local) might just happen. Admit it, they always think tourists have a lot of money in their pocket. Why not since they were able to afford to go on a travel, right? Contrary to popular belief, we have less than what they think, If not, why are hostels sprung around each cities of each countries for travelers like me?
Now, thanks to our technology, calculator is moving its way down on my list of knowing how to go around another country’s currency. How is that? Here are some of the ways:
- Research. Nothing beats the old way of doing a research before you decide to go to another country. Ditch the checking of updates from your Facebook for now. You can do it later on and there will be plenty of time for it, I am sure. Before you plan for your itinerary, look for currency information first. Know every details of when to use the paper money over the money coins. It counts a lot. Go to a website that has up–to-date information on exchange rates like x-rates.com, xe.com and www.oanda.com.
- Put your smartphone into good use. When you go out of your country, you will love how your smartphone’s capabilities can do to you. It’s not just for Facebook, Instagram or surfing the net anymore. In fact, it is the best gadget for me when traveling. It is my mini laptop and information guide rolled into one. You can install apps on your phone to have a quick check of each country’s currency. Some of these are www.currencyapp.com or www.xe.com.
- Go to the exchange rate booth. When you reach your destination, go to the nearest exchange rate booth. You can see list of its currency conversion to your own currency posted on the booth. Look at the exchange rate for the day. Exchange rate varies in different countries. Your money might be of big value in this country but not on another country. It might be higher or lower compared to what you have researched.
- List of currencies around the world. If you are planning to go to different countries in just one vacation, you may want to check the currency list here. You may also print it out as a reference.
- Use the guide book. This also comes in handy for me whenever I travel. They maybe a bit costly and can only use it once but it has the currency information in it. All the extra details you need to know about the currency is here. Use it to your advantage.
- Go to the banks. If you intend to do more transactions than just exchanging your money to their currencies, like buying and selling, you can go straight to the banks. Every bank, as you noticed, have different rates for each transaction. You may visit each bank’s sites to know their current rates.
- Make a mental note of it. When you research, research well and more. Do not just think of the currencies. Also, take note of their denominations. For some, using paper money weighs less and is convenient to the pocket. But knowing when to use the metal coins will help you save a lot more money. I have experienced not getting my change because I used the paper money when I could have used the coins instead. The seller said that it’s just a matter of 50 cents. Well, it still matters to me. And the trick here is to give less. They will always complain if you give less than the price written but they will not do so if you give more.
Gone are the days where I have to take my calculator out of my pocket and do manual conversions of their currency compared to my currency. I do the math now in my mind. Now, this makes me looks like a local in a foreign country. Well, almost…
Money is the mark of your hard work. So, you do not want to end up being fooled around with it especially when a big amount of money is at stake. Additionally, it is a matter you have to take seriously when going to a different country. It means a different territory unknown to you. That is why, it pays to know. And it ensures a happy flight back home.