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Currency

 The worst thing that could happen during a vacation is to run out of cash. Fortunately, in most tourist destinations, there are banks and ATM machines. But do you really want to spend half the day looking for a way to withdraw money from your account. This is why, besides budgeting, another money-matter that should be planned for your vacation is knowing the destination's local currency. You should know the currency exchange rates and the places where you can exchange your pounds.

There is no need to learn the history of currency, but you should at least have enough bills and coins of the local currency before leaving the airport. The worst thing that could happen is to exchange your pounds for below the standard exchange rates inside a questionable moneychanger establishment. So how do you become currency savvy during your next travels?

First, your wallet should have sufficient money, in the local currency, to pay the taxi driver who will take you from the airport to the hotel. Sometimes, it is tempting to just use pounds but not every taxi driver will accept that. It is also possible that you will end up paying five times more than the actual fare. So if you have none of the local currency, stop by at the airport's currency exchange kiosk.

Second, make sure that you know the exact location of the nearest bank or nearest ATM machine. Most shopping malls and hotels will accept credit cards, but many vendors at flea markets and small stores will not accept anything else other than cash. You can use the ATM machine to withdraw cash and the money will be in local currency.

Third, before even leaving the country, make a call to your credit card companies and inform them that you are traveling abroad. This will prevent them from blocking credit card transactions made in your name, simply because the transaction happened in Asia or Africa. It is best to call while still in the country so you can save on long distance calls. If you would not warn your credit card company, you might end up with no access to any money.

And fourth, do your best to be familiar with the bills and coins of the local currency. Most bills and coins contain numbers that would make it easier for tourists to utilize them. But if you wanted to keep track of how much you are spending already, find a way to do a quick mental calculation, instead of pulling out a calculator out of your pocket. For example, to estimate how much is 6 HKD, all you need to remember is that one pound is equal to about a dozen HKD. To estimate how much is 60 Japanese Yen, all you need to recall is that one pound is equal to about 150 yen.

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