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Getting Euros and traveling abroad
I am traveling to Spain in about a month. I have never left the country before and I just want a little assistance on how to get money before I land. Do I go to a bank here in the US and exchange for Euros here or should I just wait until I land. If I wait until I land do I give them a travelers check to cash or can they accept debit? I am pretty clueless on how this all works so any positive advise will be great!
Personally when I travel, I get proper currency before I leave, just to have that done & out of the way. It would be a bummer to get there & not be able to get currency for some reason.
I believe it also costs less (Or possibly nothing) to get foreign currency at your bank, while a currency exchange place will charge you a percentage.
Just use your card whilst you are there man (I assume you have Visa or Mastercard), carrying around loads of cash is lame.
Some cards will have exchange rates and international fees. Before traveling abroad I went to my bank and sat down with a representative. We went over where I was going, what kind of currencies I would encounter, and what kind of expenses I might see. Turns out I was able to use my debit card and bank credit card with no added expense throughout the trip, including at ATMs. That was nice, but I would really recommend taking the 15 minutes to sit down with a professional who can just give you the easy answers.
DON'T EVER go to one of the money exchange places. Their fees suck. You'll almost always be better off eating whatever the extra expense is to use your debit card in a foreign ATM. Each time you do, get lots of cash so you can minimize the fee/$ withdrawn ratio.
check with your bank, the larger banks have alliances in other countries and you can use their atms without fees. or get a credit card with no international fees. you will always lose some in the transaction if you go to a money changing service (in the us or abroad)
I'm pretty sure when I studied abroad I brought something like 1200 dkk (about 200 usd) to get me started (getting a cab, etc) then just used my debit card in atms. They charged me like a $5 fee but I would take out larger amounts so I didn't do it that often
Go to your bank before you leave and pull out a good chunk. Best rate you are going to get period. And you don't want to land without any money. As said above, don't use those touristy exchange places. The rates will ravage you. Always pull out a tad more than you think you'll need. And seperate it into different places. Friends I traveled with acted like they were in the states and pulled out like $20 or $40 worth at a time and those fees add up.
Just make sure your debit card has no foreign transaction fees and use that and take out money when you land. Cash is better in foreign countries because you know how much you are spending and us cards don't work every where. I have shown up in foreign countries with no usd or local currency just a passport and a card, not even knowing the language at all and have been fine. Just go in with an open mind a open stomach and full bank account and a since of adventure and you will be fine.
You can exchange your cash at the airport when you get there, do it before you leave.
Or check the rates on your debit cards. I didn't have transaction fee on mine other than what the atm charged. I would just take out money from an atm until I got a bank account there.
I don't like to have a lot of cash on me either so it's worth it even if it's a $3 fee imo to not have to much loot. That said you can generally use your cards to buy stuff as well and really keep the amount of cash you have to a minimum.
my small ass bank in denver has euros they can exchange for you before you even get to the airport
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