by - November 26, 2019

Coins spilling out of a jar

Have you ever needed to go to the bank to buy money or sell it?

Isn't money not meant to be transferred from hand to hand and not with some bogus interest charges added to it? The bank must be the biggest thief to be ever invented or is it the snack machine?
Wait no, it has to be the exchange booths in the airport that don't necessarily speak your language and charge you and arm and a leg to change your money into local currency.

Man at currency exchange booth making transaction

Hey, I get it if you arrive at 3 am and after a long journey you are too exhausted or too panicked to resist stopping there for some cash. After all, they will offer you a lovely bargain. That is if that deal consisted of losing a few dollars here and there… you get it back right?

For certain! No doubt about it!

It comes in the form of a headache when you are working out all your expenses after the trip.

Lit sign showing best rates

It's part of the adventure nonetheless especially when you arrive in the city and realise… "oh my gosh, I should have waited... it's way cheaper here!"

Yep, tourist traps! You'll get the hang of it after a few trips here and there. 

Well enough about the exchange booths, let's dance with the devil himself...

Map showing different currencies

Currency must be one of the most important things to be considered when travelling but we don't really think about it too much so more often that not, we fall into the currency web especially when it appears to be presumably 'cheaper'. 

It really is a trap and you over-spend two times to five times more than you set out to. When you finally check your bank account, you feel the panic step in as you have little to no money for the month(s) ahead of you.

Feel that pain in your neck, muscle spasm? That is the aftermath of coming into contact with Currency and being whipped of your feet not realising that it was no good for you or your pocket.

U.S dollar bills on fire

We often get short-sighted by currency differences. Let's say for instance that the dollar is two times less than it is in your city.  You start to feel good, hey I can buy a few things for the kids and for some friends and family and still have enough to eat at a restaurant every night (you know... because we like to taste authentic food from the region...spoiler alert, you may want to consider meeting a local, befriending them and then have them cook dinner for you because restaurants my dear friend, believe it or not, they're commercial but that's besides the point).

Currency is the real side chick, who makes you feel rich for the trip and completely ruins your bank account for the return home.

Now let's add that currency to the tip jar cause it looks like it isn't worth much. Let's use the peso for example, they have a 10 peso coin and you think hey, it's like 10 cents, doesn't seem to be worth much but consider a 10 peso tip in every restaurant, bar, bathroom, guy on the street for two weeks, each day, 2 restaurants on average, 2 shopping malls, 1 bar, 4 bathroom breaks and maybe 1 guy on the weekends. That gives you a grand total of… 1300 pesos and that is on average, chances are you will tip more in restaurants if you appreciated the service and more or less elsewhere.

I am not saying don't tip but be wise about doing so and consider the value of the currency as a combined element and not just as single coin or bill. Currency is a cost.

money in tip jar

On the other hand, you are probably saying, that doesn't apply to me. I always use my card when travelling. I get rewards when I shop. Although this may be true for some, it's not the case for all or us so…  shall we discuss the charges for using your card when you travel?

Some of you may have a great program where you pay the bank for your travel card and don't incur additional charges for the foreign exchange or withdrawals, I am happy for you but for those who can't afford those cards or they aren't available to you for whatever reason, consider making a huge withdrawal in your home country or on arrival and limit swiping your card at each shop. It will save you in the long run.

hand holding visa card in and card machine

For whatever reason or whenever you use money that isn't the same as in your home country, try to remember... "Eyes on the prize, don't let the side chick Currency steal all your money. She isn't worth it. Trust me!"

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