If you plan to use credit, you should know that most credit card companies tack an additional percentage on purchases made across the border or overseas. MasterCard and Visa start at 1%, Discover at 2% and American Express at just under 3%. These hidden fees can ruin your travel budget.
There are credit cards that don’t charge a foreign exchange fee. Check with your credit card company. It might even be worth it to apply for a new card.
If you plan to use cash, watch the exchange rates. Airports usually have the worst rates. You’ll probably get the best rate if you can buy foreign currency at home – that way, you’ll already have foreign currency with you when you arrive. Do your research.
Using an ATM in a foreign country could cheaper than an exchange – even free – if…. your bank is international or has foreign partners. Check with your bank before you go. Remember to ask how many ATM machines they have and where they’re located.
For an inexpensive and hassle free trip – plan ahead.