Your money's no good here--now how do you trade it in?
Buying foreign currency is a lot like redeeming frequent-flier miles: Knowing when to do it can be something of a mystery. Before you leave? After you arrive? "I always recommend purchasing some foreign currency prior to your departure," advises Alex Beuzelin, a senior market analyst at foreign exchange company Ruesch International in Washington, DC. "Once you arrive, you have to buy currency from a change bureau or kiosk at the airport, and the exchange rates may not be favorable." A good rule of thumb: Buy enough currency before your trip to cover cab fare, a meal and hotel incidentals such as tips. Once you pass through customs, chances are you'll find a bank or an ATM with a more competitive exchange rate.
Don't want to go to the bank for currency? At Travelex, order with your credit card and have foreign currency delivered to your address for a $15 charge.
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