How to change currency abroad

When exchanging currency abroad, follow the general rules, which, with rare exceptions, are valid in all countries.

  • The most profitable is to change money at the bank, the lowest rate is at the hotel.
  • Regardless of the exchange rate at the airport, it makes sense to exchange a certain amount immediately upon arrival – the money may be needed urgently, and dollars cannot be paid in every country.
  • When choosing an exchange office with a favorable rate, pay attention to what commissions are charged for the exchange. Sometimes the rate announced by the bank seems to be the best, but after the commission is deducted from the amount due to you, it may turn out that you are badly wrong. Therefore, it would be nice not only to take into account all the nuances, but also to use a calculator.
  • In some countries, a commission is charged for the exchange and does not depend on the amount. In this case, it is more profitable to change a large amount at once. Try to avoid the temptation to change money on the black market, where the rate is usually higher than the official one. In some countries, there is a fairly strict currency regulation and severe sanctions for its violation.
  • In Asian countries, the dollar exchange rate often depends on the denomination of the note. The highest value is the $ 100 bills. The lower the denomination, the worse the exchange rate.
  • Always count money, as they say, on the spot.
  • Be careful with unfamiliar bills, especially in the early days. It can get confused easily.
  • Do not throw away the exchange receipt. In some countries, in order to exchange the remaining local currency for dollars, you need to prove that it was purchased legally.
  • If you have unspent local money on the last day before departure, you can exchange it back for dollars at the airport. In addition, many duty-free shops allow you to pay in local currency.

But, speaking of currency exchange and everything that concerns money, one cannot but mention the scammers who lie in wait for tourists, who least of all think about possible troubles.

Where are they found and how to recognize them. You can run into crooks as soon as you go to change money. We carry dollars with us the old fashioned way, hoping to exchange them for euros or another currency on the spot. And street money changers appear exactly when you find yourself in front of the closed door of the bank. In Italy and Spain it can be during a siesta, in Poland and France – on Sunday, in Israel – on Saturday.

Every season the underworld "pampers" law-abiding vacationers and police officers from different countries with new types of fraud.

So how do currency scammers work?

  • They may refuse to report the bill to the bundle, hand you the money and, looking at you with honest eyes, ask you to count it. You notice a shortage, the criminal exaggerates loudly apologizes, takes the money, counts it again, reports a bill in front of you, then folds the bundle in half and gives it back. As a rule, after a person has been so killed in front of your eyes because of his own inattention, and then counted the money, you will not double-check him. But, having unfolded the pack, you will see that there is either paper or small bills inside – at the time of folding in half, the fraudsters changed the banknotes. The most experienced "stackers" (according to Interpol) work in Poland and other Eastern European countries, as well as in Italy.
  • Another way to illegally take money from a respectable tourist is to divert his attention at the time of transfer of money. You start counting money with an intelligent-looking money changer, when suddenly a noisy crowd of gypsies or beggars appears nearby, pulling you by the sleeve and asking you to help financially. After some time, you will understand that you will need such help, because there will be no money or documents in your pockets.
  • Another trouble waiting for a tourist is pickpocketing. In Italy, Spain, Thailand and the Philippines, take care of your pockets like the apple of your eye. According to police experts, every year during the tourist season London thieves lighten the pockets of tourists by about £ 6,000,000 – 7,000,000, and Parisians get about € 30,000,000. The most accessible places for an experienced pickpocket are back pockets of trousers, shoulder or belt bags and exterior pockets.
  • In France and Latin America, the most popular type of robbery is ripping off a bag or video camera.
  • In Thailand, do not meet on the streets – a new acquaintance can lull your vigilance in the literal sense of the word, simply by adding sleeping pills to you, and then robbing you without a twinge of conscience.
  • In the Czech Republic and Germany, there are frequent cases when emigrants, allegedly eager to show their former compatriot the city, intoxicate it with clonidine and rob it.
  • Credit card fraud is very common in some countries. For example, you put your card into an ATM, but it does not give out either it or money. The next day or after a while, of course, you will receive your card at the bank, but often without money in your account. Even blocking the account does not stop the robbers.

How to protect yourself?

  • Wear lightweight blazers and jackets with inside pockets, "handbags" around your neck.
  • Seasoned travelers carry money in special flat wallets, which are fastened to the ankle under trousers. Or in wallets hanging from a drawstring under a shirt. And the sight of a tourist undressing in stores no longer surprises anyone.
  • And one more simple safety rule: try to either stick to a group, or tightly squeeze your bags towards you.

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