It's something that so many of us do every year. We exchange foreign currency when going abroad like it's going out of fashion to spoil our loved ones and achieve an amazing holiday experience. However, let's be 100% honest here. Most of us, including myself, don't know the first thing about foreign currency exchange rates.
Wouldn't it be better to draw out the myths and get a better deal before our next big trip? As I'm about to exchange some currency myself, I thought I'd do some research into finding the best deal and make the whole process a little less painful for you all.
Myth 1 – If I change your money at the airport I will lose out
Airports are renowned for having pretty low exchange rates and higher commission fees but that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to lose out. The trick here is to always order your currency online in advance to pick up at the airport, which means you still get the best rates and can conveniently pick them up when you arrive for your flight.
Myth 2 – It's always better to exchange my money abroad
For some reason, people often believe it is better to change your money in the country you are visiting rather than do it at home in advance. While I agree it's best to check all of your options and do some research on exchange rates at home vs abroad, it is definitely worth exchanging some currency in advance.
Some countries only let you exchange your currency in major cities, which is great if you're planning a city style break, but if you just want to chill by the pool in the middle of nowhere then you might find yourself running low in cash.
Myth 3 – I should only exchange my money with whoever I bank with
This is a common misconception that I feel has derived from previous generations and the whole 'stick with what you know' and feeling comfortable scenario. While you may be loyal to your bank, they might not be offering you favourable exchange rates.
In general, banks are no longer considered the best place to exchange. There are now more and more companies that specialise in international currency exchange and who are more likely to offer better rates with lower commission. HiFX and Money Corp are great examples and you can order online to save time, perfect!
Myth 4 – It doesn't matter when I exchange, it always works out the same amount
Many people believe that foreign currency exchange rates rarely change, and some people believe that if they get their currency earlier they will get a better deal than waiting last minute. I'm sorry to break the bad news but this is WRONG!
It doesn't take much effort to take a quick look at the exchange rates before you travel to know that they are fluctuating daily. Grab a newspaper on your morning commute, listen to the news in the car or google the exchange rates on your lunch break, and you will see your destination's currency rates for the day. If you hear that the market is at its peak, exchange that day to get the best deal.
Myth 5 – I change my currency with a company closer because it's convenient and cheaper
Yes, the whole changing currency routine is generally inconvenient and when we dread thinking about queuing on our lunch breaks and stressing over currency rates. However, if I told you that you can now exchange online securely and apply for Travel Cards which reduces the risk of carrying cash would you?
It’s tempting to visit our local post office because it’s within walking distance but it could be costing you more in the long run if you're not getting the best rates. Google & exchange foreign currency online and there is an array of companies competing for you and dying to give you the best rates. So why not take advantage?
I hope these tips have helped you and you don't make these mistakes when exchanging your next foreign currency. Enjoy your holiday!