Get the foreign exchange rate from a reliable source
Doing a little homework on your destination before you depart can save you time and prevent you from losing money unnecessarily, especially during your first couple of days in a new country. Checking the real exchange rate online before you leave helps you budget for your trip more effectively.
This will also provide you with a valuable lesson in how different the real exchange rate is compared to what the airport currency exchange desk offers. It’s also a good idea to check your bank’s policies on foreign exchange fees if you are planning to use your card abroad.
Our approach to helping you with foreign exchange is to give you an overview of the real rates through our Travel Assistant feature. This can be viewed before departure or enabled as a push notification on arrival at your destination.
Not all ATMs are created equal
In most destinations, it’s a good idea to have some local currency with you. Card payment and contactless coverage in countries outside of the Eurozone are getting better, but having cash can help improve your travel experience on the ground too.
For example, say you want to visit some local markets. These places tend to have very limited card payment facilities, so cash is required. For safety, we recommend that you make sure that the ATM you are using in your destination is covered by your card’s ATM network and either inside or attached to a regular bank.
One thing to watch out for are ATM fees, these can be doubly painful as you could be charged by your bank as well as the ATM itself. Some ATM’s, such as those in the Euronet network, may encourage you to withdraw large amounts of foreign currency while charging very high commission fees, so be careful when choosing an ATM.
Also, if the ATM offers to convert the transaction for you, you should never accept their conversion as you won’t get the best rate.
Our users enjoy some of the best global ATM coverage along with up to 10 free global withdrawals per month. You’ll also never get charged on your foreign exchange with ZeroFX!
Consider getting a travel card
Using a travel card in conjunction with getting cash out can help you to ensure you’ve got all your needs covered. You can compare different travel cards online (obviously we’re biased but we think our bunq Mastercard is the best 😊).
These cards can be handy not only in controlling your spend by loading a specific budget, it helps to spread your money across multiple cards in case one goes missing or is stolen. Should your card be stolen or lost, it’s always a good idea to freeze or cancel your card, which is possible on the app for bunq users.
Typically, once you get your Mastercard, you’ll need to link it to a bank account in order to top-up money in whichever currency you require.
Travel cards can also be convenient in that they can be used in the same way as a normal debit or credit card with the added buffer of not going into the red to avoid yet more fees for you.
We believe that a travel card should go a lot further. That’s why our users can also benefit from travel tips and other local money information about different destinations through our Travel Assistant feature.
Organize a system for splitting bills
When traveling in a group, not setting a budget and agreeing on how to split bills can be a one-way ticket to an unwanted argument. Before you leave, agree with your group how much money you can spend to match expectations so people don’t feel pressured to spend more than they are comfortable with.
There are certain costs that need to be split, such as transport and accommodation. This can be frustrating and time-consuming to keep track of. We have simplified this process through Slice Groups, which automatically splits group costs evenly over the course of a holiday to make it absolutely clear what people in your group owe.
Are you ready to take the next step in becoming a travel money expert? Sign up for a bunq account today and keep an eye out for more useful Travel articles on our blog.