Understanding the Currency Exchange Rate When Traveling

Posted by Sheena Allen in BudgetingNovember 30, 2021(Last Updated July 25, 2022)3 min read
Key Takeaways
  • With the COVID-19 restrictions being loosened and international travel slowly rising again, more people are traveling again.
  • When traveling internationally, it is vital to know the foreign currency exchange rate of the country you are visiting to understand how much your money is worth abroad.
  • It is essential to use a foreign currency calculator to help you determine how much money you need to make the necessary purchases when on vacation.
Are you ready to make some real money moves?

With the holiday season around the corner and some COVID-19 traveling restrictions being lifted, more people have begun traveling domestically and internationally. Travel can be expensive if not appropriately planned, including the amount of money you intend to spend on your trip. In addition, many countries have different forms of currency. For example, the United States has the United States Dollar (USD), and many countries in Europe use the Euro (EURO). 


Depending on what country you are traveling to, exchanging your money into the country’s currency is an essential part of travel. Therefore, before you travel to a different country, it is helpful to understand the country's currency and the foreign exchange rate. 


You should know if the currency of your respective country will be worth more or less if you switch over. However, understanding currency conversion can be tricky if you are new to traveling internationally, so here's a simple breakdown of how currency exchange works.


What is currency exchange?


Currency exchange is when you exchange one type of currency for another. Generally, if you are traveling by air, there will be a currency exchange store at the airport you are flying into, and someone may be able to assist you in exchanging your country’s money for theirs. 


Image credit: Kenishirotie / Shutterstock.com


For example, if a United States tourist wished to visit France, before going or once arriving in France, they would visit a currency exchange store, hand the cashier their U.S. dollars, and receive the equivalent amount in Euros, France’s official currency. 


When you are in a different country, having the correct currency is crucial because, without it, it could be challenging to purchase anything, ranging from food to souvenirs. Before trading in your money, use a currency calculator to help give you an idea of how much you are trading your money in for and how much it will be worth.


Why is it important to know a country's currency exchange rate before traveling?


By being aware of the currency exchange rate, you can determine how much of the domestic currency needs to be converted to the abroad currency to ensure you have sufficient money when traveling. If the country’s currency abroad is worth more than your domestic home currency, your purchasing power may be lower.



This is why it is important to plan ahead and understand the currency exchange rate when traveling.


Booking a hotel when traveling abroad.


Arguably the most important part of planning a trip abroad is booking the hotel. In order to make sure that you are not spending too much when booking a hotel, use third-party websites such as Trivago and HotelsCombined to get the best rate possible on your desired hotel room. 


When booking your hotel room in advance, some companies require you to pay the fee of your hotel room when you are checking in. Therefore, make sure you know the country's exchange rate you are visiting so your vacation shopping expenses do not get negatively affected. 


Traveling after being stuck at home for more than a year due to the pandemic can be exciting. However, not exchanging a sufficient amount of money could lower your level of happiness when traveling if you realize that you did not budget accordingly and realize the amount of money exchanged is not enough for you to enjoy your vacation. However, by taking the proper precautions and knowing beforehand how much money you approximately need, the entirety of your holiday will be filled with happy experiences and memories. 



What are some other factors that should be considered when converting currencies? Let us know in the comments below. 

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