When returning from a trip abroad, most travelers still have some foreign money left with them. This extra cash often just becomes a souvenir. Foreign cash is always more fun to look at than our own. It is a treat to show the folks back home what a Yuan, Peso, or Euro looks like. Many of us have raced into an airport gift shop at the end of a trip in the hopes of unloading the rest of our foreign money at the last minute. The good people who sell neck pillows rely on this phenomenon. By this time in our trip, we are experts on the denomination and value of local money.
It is the beginning of the trip that is often confounding. It is exciting to arrive in a new country, but it can also cause some anxiety. The unfamiliarity of the local currency is almost always a head-scratcher. How many RMB should I pay for a coffee? Are 21 Pesos for a soft drink a good deal or a rip-off.
The best thing to do is to practice before you travel. Quiz yourself. You can use this rate query TOOL. Find out what 1 USD is compared to the value of the currency of the country you plan to travel and then practice. The next time you buy a cup of coffee, estimate its cost in a different currency. A short amount of time practicing before your trip will take away so much stress when you are faced with your first foreign transaction. It is embarrassing to freeze up in front of the first cashier you face. We know because we have done it. Carry an ECARD when you travel and avoid overpaying when you exchange cash.