Money Exchange Advice

Should I exchange money before or after going abroad?

Last updated: 20 December 2013

Are you not sure whether if it is better to buy currency before or after you get to your country of destination? This article explains how these exchange rates compare with each other.

Many travellers face this decision before leaving their home country – should I exchange my money now or take it with me abroad?

Although this depends on many factors, including which currencies you want to convert and which country you are travelling to, generally speaking exchanging your money AFTER you travel will provide you with a more favourable exchange rate.

The rule is simple: the more common the currency is, the cheaper it will be. So, for example, if you are travelling from the USA to France and want to buy some Euro there, you will pay less for it in France, as this is the currency that you will find everywhere. At the same time your American Dollars will become rare and valuable, which means that you will get more money for them.

Always be careful though, as NOT ALL exchange bureaus abroad will provide better rates than the rates you will find in your own, home country. Avoid exchanging money at the airports and in banks. Try to shop around before converting your money. This way you will get the best exchange rates.

Also, if you come from an exotic country, your currency may not be wanted in some foreign countries. This means that you might end up not being able to buy the foreign currency and it might be safer to exchange your money before you arrive at your destination.

So, to summarise, if you want to save money on the exchange process, wait till you get to where you want to go and buy foreign currency there. There is a bigger chance you will save more money this way.

Good luck and enjoy your trip!