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You may not be a travel pro, but even travel pros make mistakes. Take a few minutes to learn from mine and save yourself the hassle (and a few bucks)!
Well, I’m off on another trip this week and as I prepare, I thought I ‘d share a few little nuggets of wisdom with my Distinguished Travelers because it’s my job to help you travel like a pro and have a seamless vacation experience. One of the most frequent questions I get from clients is, “How should I go about exchanging my dollars for the local currency?” Stay tuned for a funny story from last fall, and learn from my mistake!
Before You Go
Before you even leave the country, go through this simple check list to ensure you will have access to funds while away.
Now, GET YOUR CASH!
You have options when it comes to obtaining local currency, and I will outline them below so that you can determine which strategy best suits your needs.
I promised you a funny story that will help you learn from my mistakes. Last fall while traveling to Budapest, I charged my husband with taking care of the ATM withdrawal as soon as we landed in Budapest. We had a driver waiting for us at baggage claim to drop us at the hotel and we didn’t want to keep him waiting. So, off he went to procure the local Hungarian Forint (because even though they’re technically in the EU they still prefer Forint to Euros). Not being familiar with the exchange rate, he took out what he guesstimated was a sufficient amount. Well, he actually withdrew the equivalent of about $650! And, we were to be in Hungary for one night (less than 24 hours) before boarding out Christmas Markets river cruise that would take us through Austria and Germany where the Euro is the currency. Our hotel and gourmet dinner were both prepaid, and even I was hard pressed to spend that much cash in one evening and a morning (jet lag caused some sleeping in so I wasn’t at the top of my shopping game). We faced a dilemma – exchange our “HUFs” for Euros, and lose quite a bit on the exchange rate and fees, or discover some lovely Hungarian wines to take along on the ship. Anyone who knows us can guess which option we chose. It turns out Hungary has some delightful wine, which is produced in small enough quantities that you’ll rarely find them in the states. Silver lining! Still, you get the moral of the story – know the exchange rates before you go. Pick a baseline amount, say $100, and know the local equivalent you should expect along your journey.
So, where are you off to next? Can I help you get there? Call or email me and let’s get planning your next great escape. Because life is short.
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