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Carrying Cash

Your money's no good here--now how do you trade it in?

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This story appears in the August 2001 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Buying foreign currency is a lot like redeeming frequent-fliermiles: Knowing when to do it can be something of a mystery. Beforeyou leave? After you arrive? "I always recommend purchasingsome foreign currency prior to your departure," advises AlexBeuzelin, a senior market analyst at foreign exchange companyRuesch International in Washington, DC. "Once you arrive, youhave to buy currency from a change bureau or kiosk at the airport,and the exchange rates may not be favorable." A good rule ofthumb: Buy enough currency before your trip to cover cab fare, ameal and hotel incidentals such as tips. Once you pass throughcustoms, chances are you'll find a bank or an ATM with a morecompetitive exchange rate.

Don't want to go to the bank for currency? At Travelex, order withyour credit card and have foreign currency delivered to youraddress for a $15 charge.

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