The Currency exchange market is a for-profit business and the profits can be substantial if a merchant takes advantage of the captive traveling market. International travelers didn't have a lot choices twenty-five years ago; banks, airport exchange merchants and hotels were the only choices and those merchants charged whatever the market would pay, because most travelers didn't understand the currency exchange market.
Today, any traveler who has access to the Internet can find a professional currency broker who will not only exchange currency
for a trip, but will offer advice and explain the strategies you need
to know to reduce exchange costs. A professional watches the currency market by the hour and uses sophisticated charts and graphs to monitor the movement of different currency pairs. A broker will give you a real time exchange rate and there are no extra fees or surcharges. A currency broker will help you average exchanges, so you avoid sudden surges in the value of a currency pair, which can destroy a budget. Averaging is done in the planning stage of the trip. Small amounts of money are exchanged at different times while you're planning, so you know exactly what each exchange cost and how much money you have to spend in your host country's currency.
The market is always changing, so the value of every currency fluctuates all the time. Exchange merchants like banks, airport merchants and hotels do follow the market and will post an exchange rate
that may have been valid at the beginning of the day, but it may no
longer be the real time rate. For example, let's say you're traveling to
exciting Denmark and want to exchange 1,000 Dollars for Kroners. The bank may post a rate of 1 USD equals 4.9720 DKK, but when the bank actually exchanges your money they get 5.5967 DKK
for every Dollar they exchange, plus they add a transaction fee and
that combination is the bank's gross profit. Airport exchange merchants
in Copenhagen pay high rent and want to make a decent profit from their
captive audience, so they may post their own rate and then charge a fee.
Hotels know you like the convenience of exchanging money with them, so they post a rate that's filled with profit.
A professional broker may offer you a rate of 1 EUR equals 5.1983 DKK with no transaction fee, which means you get at least 398 more Danish Kroners for every 1,000 Dollars you exchange. That's a deal by anyone's standards
Some countries have a limit on the amount of cash you can carry through
customs, so check with your broker and stay within that limit. Carry
cash in a leg pouch, money belt or hidden pocket that's secure and out
of sight and use the hotel safe when you arrive at your destination.
Remember common sense if your best security weapon when you use it.
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