Exchanging Currency before or during your holiday for exotic destinations?

Many people will ask, should I buy my holiday currency at home or abroad, when traveling to an exotic destination?

Some examples of exotic destinations for travel:

  • Thailand
  • Indonesia
  • Malaysia
  • Singapore
  • Philippines
  • Albania
  • Africa

Buying Exotic Currency

Examples of some exotic currency can be, the Thai Baht, the South African Rand, Singapore Dollar, and many more.

Travel CurrencySo, the question is, do you want to exchange your money at home before your trip or would you be better off waiting until you get to your chosen destination?

Here’s the simple answer: When you are dealing with an exotic currency then you will almost always have the higher valued currency. This can lead to a higher exchange rate at home due to a wider spread between the currency pairs. Simply, this means you stand to lose more money buying your foreign currency at your home destination; especially if your home currency is a major world currency such as USD, GBP, JPY, CAD, AUD, NZD, or EUR.

Before you go anywhere though, it’s always best to do a little research of your own. Find out about whether there are any currency restrictions for taking the money in or out of the country (an example of this is Egypt). Find out if you can use a credit or debit card and whether you can easily find ATM machines.

We advise that in exotic destinations where your home currency is often valued higher, the majority of your money should be exchanged when you arrive at the destination.

You’ll often need money right away

As soon as you land in a foreign country, the chances of needing the local currency is high – you may need to get a taxi to your hotel, a drink or two or you might want to sort out a meal. That is why many people like to take at least a small amount of money in the local currency with them to their destination. Luckily though, the growing propagation of ATMs around the world means that the local currency is usually as close as the nearest cash machine, especially if you’re flying into a major international airport.

Example of buying Exotic currency

If a holiday-goer from the UK plans to go to Thailand for their holiday, then they will need to exchange their Great British Pound (GBP)  into Thai Baht.

The Thai Baht is widely stocked by many suppliers outside of Thailand and therefore it wouldn’t be difficult for the holiday-goer to exchange all of their money whilst at home.

But we advise that you should exchange most of your holiday money in Thailand!

This is because, rates obtained when on holiday in Thailand will always be higher and the likes of Bangkok, Pattaya and Phuket being large airports, will have many ATM machines on arrival. Be aware though, your bank may charge you an extra fee when withdrawing foreign currency and you will receive your banks exchange rate at the exact time of your withdrawal. Cash exchanges in Thailand charge no commission or fees at all and they are very common and clearly marked with visible signs, with daily rates on their electronic currency exchange boards.

Saima Omar

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