Changing Money at Home

Sometime, you'll want to change some money before you leave. I don't love doing this since you frequently won't get very good rates. Some large banks in the U.S. can do this for you if you're a customer. Sometimes they have to order the foreign currency, so check in a few weeks before you travel to give them time to help you.

You can also try some on-line sources where they'll let you pay for foreign currency with your credit card and then ship the swag to you by overnight express mail. Take a look at:

For a quick check of exchange rates, visit Oanda.com. They also have a free e-mail newsletter you can sign up for. The same site allows you to create and print out a handy “cheat sheet” showing say what US$1, $5, $10, etc. are in Yen, Lira, Pounds, Pesos or one of dozens of other currencies today.

Other good on-line exchange rate calculators are available at XE and, from the nice folks at CNN, here.

We have more to say about money here if you'd like to read ahead.

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