Ringgets, Dongs, Rupiah, Riel, US Dollars, Australian Dollars, Baht
Moving from country to country and currency to currency can be rather challenging. We became millionaires in dongs and spent dollars in Cambodia only to receive riel as change back. The confusion of what you owe and what change you should get back can add up in lost money. Add in groups of 20+ having dinner together and they only take one card if that. There are some ways to make it a bit easier.
Spend Before You Leave
There is no point in exchanging a small amount of money. Don’t get much out for your last few days and purchase necessities with your last amount of money so you know it’s not a waste.
Download Currency Apps
There are many different currency apps. XE currency is the one I use. That way you know the current exchange rates.
If you are doing a small trip or sidetrip with friends you can use splitwise to add in a lot of different amounts and who to split it with and it will total everyone’s costs.
You have to do this before you leave the U.S. and you will thank me for it. If someone puts everything on their card you can immediately email them.
Credit Card and Debit Cards
Make sure you have credit cards with no foreign transaction fees and a bank card that does as well. Many bank cards have premiere accounts with minimum balances that don’t charge so check with them first otherwise the Charles Schwab card is another option.
When you take out money go to a bank branch if possible. The airport and any tourist trap is going to have very high fees. Not to mention they are not the best ATM machines and many times eat your cards. It takes a lot of paperwork and several days to get that back.
Vacations and especially long term travel can get expensive. Make sure you do your research and that you have the right money, cards, etc before leaving the country.