It may seem easy to swipe your credit card or debit card when traveling abroad. It also may seem quite convenient when you see the “foreign currency accepted” sign at a store. However, don’t fall into these expensive vacation traps!
It is always best to use local cash when you are traveling and there are many reasons why. Take a look at these major reasons why you should definitely have local currency in your pocket, even before you travel.
1Storefront Price Increase
When you see a sign in a store that says your hometown currency is accepted, you may get excited. Finally, you can pay in a currency that you are used to using! However, you may not realize that using your own currency is costing you a small fortune.
Many stores will mark up the price of their goods by more than 20% just because you are using a different currency than their own. You will end up paying a whole lot for the convenience of using your countries currency. If you had opted to use the local currency, you would have saved significantly, even when you take exchange rates into consideration.
2Credit Card Charges
Using a credit card or debit card sounds like an easy way to pay for everything while you are on vacation. However, many credit cards and debit cards change international usage fees. Each time you swipe, you have to pay just because you are not in your hometown country. In addition, your card will be charged the price of the item with the exchange rate built-in.
You may not realize how much you are spending until you log on to your account and see the higher than anticipated prices. In just a few days, you could spend hundreds of dollars more than you budgeted for! Using local cash would completely avoid this problem.
3Easy to Manage
If you exchange your cash before you travel, getting the local currency into your wallet in advance, you will arrive abroad well prepared and ready to travel! Everyone from local vendors to transportation options to your hotel will be sure to accept the local currency, making your trip stress free as you are extremely prepared.
When you have the local currency before your trip, you will not have to worry about where to convert your money or who will accept your cash- everyone will take it and there is no need to search for an exchange booth. You can simply check or convert your currency online! Arrive prepared and arrive happy. For more information, visit FX Compare.
4Easier to Budget
Before you go on vacation, you likely plan a budget for your trip. Plan how much cash you want to spend and then order that amount on a currency exchange website.
When you are traveling, you will be able to easily see how much of your budget you have used and pace your spending accordingly. Even if calculating prices in a foreign currency seems challenging, actually seeing the money in your wallet and how much you have left will make sticking to your budget a breeze.
When in a new country, the price tags on items are going to all be in the local currency. The numbers you see on menus, for transportation rates, and on souvenirs is all going to reflect how much something costs in the native currency, not your hometown cash.
It is so much easier to look at this price, look at the local currency in your wallet and know exactly how much you need to pay for the item. You do not need to calculate exchange rates in your head or pull out your phone to convert the numbers into ones that make sense to you. It is faster and easier just to have the local currency on hand, no calculations needed.
If you plan on doing some shopping while abroad, you may be able to barter with street vendors to get a good price on items that you’d like to purchase. Vendors are more likely to barter with you if you are paying in their local currency.
They might shy away or just say no if you are trying to get a low price and then also pay with a credit card or foreign cash. So, if you want the lowest prices, you should definitely have local currency on hand.
If you are trying to look like a local, then you definitely need to have the local currency in your pocket. Lots of people enjoy traveling in a country as if they live there or are a native of the area. Doing this can allow you to see more of the country, avoiding tourist traps and even being treated differently by the real locals!
However, if you are trying to blend in and then you pull out a wallet full of foreign currency, your true identity as a foreigner will definitely be revealed! If you want to act like a local, you need to be sure to stock your wallet full of local currency!
8Don’t Get Stuck!
The biggest reason to use local cash when traveling is that your native currency just may not be accepted. A hotel, a taxi, a restaurant or a vendor may look at your foreign cash and just say no.
In addition, they may not accept credit cards either. You do not want to get in a tricky predicament where you cannot pay for a service or item. Don’t put yourself in this situation! You should always have at least a little bit of the local currency in your pocket so that you don’t get stuck with no way to pay.
There are many reasons why using the local currency while on your trip is essential. It is easier, cheaper and will help you stay on track for your vacation budget.
It will also ensure that you have payment flexibility and do not get trapped in a situation where you cannot pay for something. Consider getting the cash you need before you even step foot on an airplane to be even more prepared. The more you plan and prep, the better your trip will be!