Even after booking your flight, there is still a lot to organize to ensure that your business trip goes smoothly. Between scheduling meetings and preparing documents, there one small detail you can’t forget: exchanging your money before departure.

There are many travelers who leave this for the last minute, opting to exchange money at the airport upon arrival. But the truth is this is one of the worst places where you can exchange currency and, with a little bit of planning, you can find much better solutions.

Why you shouldn’t exchange money at the airport

You have certainly noticed that there is no shortage of currency exchange offices at any international airport. These exchange houses are extremely convenient to travelers in a rush or who forgot to exchange money before boarding – after all, you will always need some change to get a taxi to your hotel.

However, currency exchange offices at airports are one of the worst places where you can exchange money. The exchange rate and management fees are always higher which means you will lose more of your money when you make an exchange.

That is why we recommend that you use airport currency exchange offices only as a last resort. If necessary, only exchange the amount of money you will need to reach your hotel. Afterwards, consider one of our options below to exchange the rest of your money.

The best currency exchange options for your next trip

Exchange currency abroad

Exchange currency at your bank

If you have time before you travel, visit your bank to request a currency exchange. Even though you will also be subject to exchange rates and management fees here, these are usually better than the ones at airport currency exchange offices. Keep in mind though that if you are traveling to a destination with a currency that isn’t commonly used by your bank, the exchange may not be available immediately.

Withdraw money with your card

If you don’t feel comfortable traveling with money in your wallet, you can also choose to withdraw money from an ATM machine at your destination. With this option, you will have to take into account the commissions you will be charged for making a withdrawal abroad – and these can be expensive. However, you can get all this information from your bank to make the decision that’s right for you.

Pay directly with your card

One last option for travelers who don’t want to walk around with a full wallet is to simply make every payment with your card. By paying with a credit card, you will be subject to your card’s currency exchange rate (Visa or Mastercard) as well as a commission for the exchange. To decide if this is the best option for you, consult with your bank about these fees.

Use a fee-free card
If your bank’s commission fees are too high, you still have one option: fee-free cards. Cards like Revolut, Monese or Mono offer more flexibility to frequent travelers allowing you to withdraw money and make payments without having to pay any extra fees.

Are you looking for ways to optimize costs on corporate travel? RoomsCo is a specialized agency that helps companies manage their travel in an efficient and cost-effective way. Contact us to get a free quote.

— Written by Inês Pinto