Vacations require planning. Planning the destination. Planning dates, times and transportation.
Reservations need to be made. Tickets purchased. Lists made for packing so nothing is forgotten. And when your trip takes you out of the country, additional steps need to be taken to insure passports and other documents are in order.
I thought we’d done a good job with preparations for a trip to Vancouver, but we forgot to plan for currency exchange.
I’m going to blame this oversight on the fact that when we visited Calgary years ago, everyone in Canada was more than happy to accept our U.S. dollars so I really didn’t even think about foreign currency until we were crossing the border.
To be honest, Canadians are still more than happy to accept U.S. money, however, by being “stupid” Anericans, we spent more money than necessary on some purchases since merchants gladly took our $20 and gave our change in Canadian dollars which resulted in the loss of about 15% per purchase. Fortunately, we only spent about $40 in cash so the difference wasn’t significant, but there’s really no excuse for not learning about the currency of the country you’re visiting
It was embarrassing to hand the clerk $3.75 in Canadian currency for a $2.68 drink because I didn’t recognize the difference between a one dollar coin and a two dollar coin. In fact, I didn’t even know there was a two dollar coin.
So if you’ve taken the time to plan a trip to a foreign destination, take the time to learn about what currency you’ll be using as well. It’s not difficult. Everything you need can easily be found with a quick google search.
I’m sure that most of your purchases will be on a credit card (make sure you use one that doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees), but you’ll need cash to buy from street vendors and local
Traveling out of the country? Know your foreign currency.