The Ultimate Guide to Stretching Your Dollars Abroad: Clever Tips on Travel Currency!

The Ultimate Guide to Stretching Your Dollars Abroad: Clever Tips on Travel Currency!
Vanesa Lucero
Vanesa Lucero
July 17th 2023

Hello, fellow adventurers!

Managing money when travelling internationally can be tricky. Exchange rates, service charges, ATM fees… Oh, the pain! But, with a little planning and a few smart strategies, you can maximize your travel dollars and enjoy your trip without the financial stress.

Ready to become a savvy travel finance guru? Let’s go!

Before You Leave: Do Your Homework

Start with some research. Investigate the currency exchange rates in your destination and track trends so you can exchange money when rates are most favorable. Apps like XE Currency or websites such as OANDA can be helpful.

Plastic Fantastic? The Pros and Cons of Credit Cards

Credit cards offer convenience, fraud protection, and the best exchange rates. However, most charge foreign transaction fees, typically 1-3% of your purchase.

Some cards, though, are particularly travel-friendly and do not charge these fees. If you travel frequently, it may be worth applying for one of these cards.

ATM or Money Changer? The Great Cash Debate

In most places, you’ll get a better rate withdrawing cash from ATMs than exchanging money at hotels or airports. But beware of fees! Both your bank and the foreign bank may charge you. Aim to make fewer, larger withdrawals to minimize fees.

Another option is to use a local money changer. They often offer competitive rates, but it’s crucial to ensure they’re licensed and reputable to avoid scams or counterfeit currency.

Travelers Cheques: A Thing of the Past?

Travelers cheques were once the safest way to carry money abroad. Today, they’re less practical due to limited acceptance and the hassle of finding a place to cash them.

Going Cashless with Prepaid Travel Cards

Prepaid travel cards allow you to load multiple currencies onto one card. They’re secure and convenient, locking in exchange rates before you travel. However, they often involve several fees for services like reloading money or withdrawing from ATMs.

Apps and Digital Wallets: The Future of Travel Currency

Apps like Revolut, TransferWise, and digital wallets like Google Pay, Apple Pay are increasingly popular for international travel. They offer competitive exchange rates and low fees. However, their usefulness will depend on whether businesses in your destination accept cashless payments.

A Word on Tipping

Tipping practices vary worldwide. Research beforehand to understand the norms in your destination, and keep some small change handy for tips.

Be Prepared: Always Have a Backup

Carry multiple forms of payment, and always have a small amount of cash for emergencies or places where cards are not accepted.


Traveling is an investment, and like any investment, it needs smart handling. By understanding your options and preparing ahead, you can minimize fees, maximize value, and have a more relaxed, enjoyable journey.

So, here’s to your next adventure—may it be filled with amazing memories and smart, stress-free financial decisions!

Happy travels!

Vanesa Lucero
Vanesa Lucero
Hey there, fellow adventurers! I'm Vanesa, your enthusiastic explorer and storyteller extraordinaire. Join me as we uncover hidden treasures, immerse ourselves in vibrant cultures, and embark on wild adventures across the globe. Let's conquer bucket lists, embrace the unknown, and make unforgettable memories together. Welcome to my travel wonderland!