Travel Tips: Exchange Money or Use an ATM Abroad

Pamela Peñarubia Mar 16, 2020 0 51

Every time you go on a vacation to a country, pocket money will always be something to consider. Some people believe that you should exchange money while you’re in the Philippines, while some other people would rather withdraw money from an ATM abroad.

Both have their advantages, but most of the time there will be a better option between the two. Bear in mind that different people have different preferences, and it should be one of the many factors to think of when choosing either option.

For now, here’s what we think about what you should do for money abroad!

Consider the Length of Your Stay

In most cases, the length of your vacation will dictate whether you should have all of your money with you or rely on an ATM. This is mostly because the longer you stay somewhere, the more money you will need.

If you’re just going on a three to five-day vacation, getting your money exchanged in the Philippines is good enough. Most of the time, the exchange rates are rather better here instead of in other countries. This is particularly better when the currency you’re going to exchange to is a popular one.

For longer trips, those that could last for a month or more, it’s better for you to just withdraw cash from an ATM abroad. Keeping a large pile of cash with you for long is not advisable when you’re taking a vacation abroad.

That can be dangerous, especially if you are in an area with questionable safety.

Aside from the length of your vacation, you should still consider some other things that come with either going to a money exchanger or using an ATM!

Choosing an ATM vs. a Money Exchanger

When choosing to withdraw cash at an ATM, you should always remember that banks will be charging you for an ATM withdrawal at a foreign country.

In most cases, there will be a conversion fee of around 2% or more. It might be a flat fee of USD3.50 or more.

The values may differ depending on your ATM card and the foreign ATM that you use it on. Bear in mind that overseas banks may also have their own fees on top of your own bank’s foreign transaction fees.

Once you understand how big or how small the charges of ATMs, you should weigh how big the bill will be. If you’re alright with the amount you’ll pay extra, then by all means feel free to withdraw there.

When choosing to buy or sell money from a money exchanger, however, there’s a few things that you should consider. You need to find a reputable shop that offers good rates.

When searching for a money exchanger, consider their rates. In most cases, there will be a big sign in front of the store detailing three or more currencies and their current value.

One very interesting thing is that most of these stores display the selling value. Bear in mind that you need the buying rate because they will be buying your currency.

Preparing an Emergency Fund

No matter how long your trip will be, you need to have a little bit more pocket money than you usually do. Even when you fully detail your budget for the vacation, you can’t always be sure that you have all the money you need.

Having a little bit of extra money will benefit you a lot especially in the off chance that you find yourself in a situation where you can’t find a money exchange or an ATM. It can be very helpful if you lost or misplace your card, your withdrawal limit is reached, or when your card can’t be read by the ATM.

You need to have some so that you can survive while you try to fix your cardless, far from money exchangers problems.

Of course, for you to have an emergency fund ready, you need to initially find a money exchanger, either in your home country, or where you’re going. The best option is to find one in the airport.

We highly suggest that you have your money exchanged while you’re in your home country just in case you can’t find any money exchangers immediately after you land.

Key Takeaway

Money is a huge deal, especially when you’re going on an adventure. That is unless you’re an experienced traveler that knows all the tips and tricks of superior budgeting.

Take into consideration these three points when you choose between looking for a money exchanger and withdrawing at an ATM. Having enough money for your trip should be a priority, so you should decide on which one you will do in the long run.

On the other hand, you can also do both depending on your circumstances. Be mindful of which you will use and you’ll be fine in your vacation!

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