When you travel, it is nice that you can pay anywhere without any problems. The hotel, the restaurant, but also souvenirs and other small purchases can often not be paid for with the same payment method. Changing money for holiday purposes is a wise thing to do so that you always have some cash with you. Nowadays you can exchange money relatively cheaply at various money offices or banks.
Where is the best place to exchange money?
You can choose from two options when it comes to exchanging money: at home or on site. Depending on the amount of money you want to exchange, it can be worthwhile to compare the exchange rates between the different exchange offices/banks in advance. If you are going to exchange money, make sure you are getting the correct amount of foreign currency. Count it before you put it away.
Exchange money at home
If you want to exchange money for foreign currency in the Netherlands, it depends on the country of destination whether you can exchange money directly or whether you have to order the currency. More common currencies, which are in high demand, are usually in stock at various banks, post offices or GWKs. You must order less common currencies. Please allow several days for delivery.
Exchange money on the spot
In some countries you are allowed to import and export the local currency to a limited extent, or even not at all. The only thing you can do is exchange money on the spot. When entering these types of countries you must indicate how much money you are importing. In many countries you can take US dollars with you, which you can exchange for local currency on the spot.
Cash, debit card, credit card and travellers’ cheques
When you travel or go on holiday, you can take money with you in different ways. Depending on the country you are traveling to, it is better to take cash, a bank card or traveler’s checks with you.
Due to the risk of theft, it is better not to carry large amounts of money with you. Moreover, you should always keep the money in a safe place so that a pickpocket cannot easily grab it. In Europe you can pay with the euro in most countries. All countries that are members of the European Union and fall within the Eurozone accept this currency. Always take a small amount of cash with you on the road. This is useful if you want to buy something small like a cup of coffee, but also if you have arrived at an airport and need a taxi. And sometimes you have to pay a deposit for a hotel stay, so cash is also useful to have with you. If you plan to bring cash, make sure you have small denominations with you. This prevents embarrassing situations where a seller abroad does not have enough change.
With most bank cards you can pay and withdraw money abroad. Your bank card must have at least one of the following logos: Cirrus, Maestro or Visaplus. In most countries the magnetic stripe on the bank card does not work. You can then pay with the chip in the card. However, for chip payments you pay a small percentage in transaction costs and you must have your chip PIN code ready. Paying with cash is often cheaper.
Abroad, a credit card is very useful to have with you if you suddenly encounter unexpected expenses. In general, credit cards are accepted everywhere, but there are always exceptions. Always keep the credit card as a last means of payment as the costs of using a credit card are high.
You can buy traveler’s checks or travelers checks at a bank. These checks are fully insured against loss and theft. It is best to have them with you if you go to a country where there are hardly any banks or ATMs. The checks can be exchanged on site at a local bank for the currency of the country you are in.