How to Beat a Bad Exchange Rate

(original article is from Megan’s Travel Column on Life2PointOh, entitled Weekly Wanders)

Let’s be honest. The American dollar hasn’t exactly been doing that great the last few years. Back in 2008 when I was studying in London, I almost cried one morning after calculating how much my tall vanilla latte was actually costing me in American dollars. Just a few weeks ago, I was surprised to discover that bar tabs in Santiago, Chile are pretty much equivalent to those one might have in New York City.

So how do you enjoy your trip without constantly worrying about your dwindling bank account? After years of experience, I’ve mastered the art of budget travel, or at least I’ve worked toward finding a temporary solution. Here are three tips to help save you money on your next foreign jaunt.

Speak the language (or travel with someone who does): As much as I wish I could speak multiple languages, I can’t. The trick is to at least attempt to speak the local language. Even though you may feel stupid, and you probably will, people really appreciate when you give it a shot and it might just score you a discount here or there. In my case, I’ve often traveled with people who are fluent in multiple languages. While this does make me feel slightly inept at times, it’s worked out in my favor. In Egypt, South America and various countries throughout Europe, this has saved me countless dollars.

My very helpful tour guide / friend of the day Paul (at Machu Picchu)

Market Shop: As a bohemian at heart, I naturally gravitate toward outdoor food or vintage shopping markets. London, for example has a ton of markets where you can buy dresses for only five pounds. Even with a bad exchange rate, that’s a hard deal to beat. If you are in a country where you speak the language, give haggling a try. I personally love a good haggle, but some people shy away from it. Depending on what country you visit, haggling may actually be expected. Traveling is all about going out of your comfort zone, so there’s really nothing to lose.

large market in Cochabamba, Bolivia

Get to the Clubs Early: If you’re traveling with friends, it’s almost expected that you will want to party. While clubs and bars can get expensive, it’s never a bad idea to pre-game at your apartment before you step foot inside the venue. Most clubs and lounges don’t charge a cover before midnight, so getting there just before the cut-off is your best bet. If you happen to meet a promoter during your trip, you’ve hit the jackpot!

Greenhouse, NYC

Hi! I’m Megan,

a Scorpio sun and Libra moon who left her job in the music industry to travel and write full-time. Since then, i´ve explored more than 60 countries in the hopes that you will, too.

The world is made of magic and so are you!

RECENT POSTS

top reasons to visit Kerala in 2020

Here’s Why I Want to Visit Kerala (and you should, too)!

Every so often, I write about a destination I haven’t been to. As much as I love recounting trips and sharing my experiences here on Bohemian Trails, I also love to dream; dream about people and places I’ve never crossed paths with. That’s the traveler in me, the explorer that believes in the magic of

Read More »

My Favorite Caribbean Islands to Escape to This Winter

Winter is in full swing, which means that there’s still time to plan that weekend getaway. An east-coaster from birth and having lived in New York for seven years, the Caribbean remains my go-to winter destination. In many cases, you’ll find direct flights (or nearly direct) and within a few hours, you are on a

Read More »

Reflections on the Lake: Join us in Guatemala this New Years!

Pack your bags, notepads and Yoga mats. We’re going to Guatemala! I am thrilled to announce that I’ll be co-leading another writing + wellness + wanderlust retreat over New Years! Mark your calendars for December 29-January 3. My co-leader, Heather Suzanne, is not only one of my favorite Yoga teachers I’ve had the pleasure of

Read More »

Want to Work Remote? These 5 Degrees Will Help

Back when I was starting college, I had very different ideas of what my life would become. For years, I planned on being a child psychologist and was pretty content with that. Then something happened; I studied abroad, landed a job in the fashion industry and everything changed. I started to realize that I wanted

Read More »

5 Must-Know Travel Tips for your First Solo Trip Abroad

Traveling solo as a woman is honestly one of the best travel experiences you will ever have. No pressure, right?! I’m an introvert, so taking a solo trip to a familiar destination, or even a new one, is something that suits my travel style. That said, you want to ensure your safety just like you do

Read More »

Instagram

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. More information

Use of cookies

This website is using cookies for improving your experience as a user. If you keep on navigating you are giving your consent to the use of these cookies and our cookies policy. Click on the COOKIES POLICY, the link for more information. You can also check our PRIVACY POLICY.

Close