Change money for the trip

Why private individuals should not be trusted.

After landing at the airport, many holidaymakers go to the exchange office to exchange the money they have brought with them for the local currency. After all, the exchange office at the airport can also be trusted. Yes, but the traveller must be aware that the exchange rate is much worse than in the city centre. Those who are already in the city centre and are looking for an exchange office will have been approached by a few locals. Again and again, tourists in the big cities are offered “private money exchange services” – these are often fraudsters who reinforce the bundle of banknotes with cardboard (or paper) or sometimes spend counterfeit money. Private individuals who promise “good rates” should not be trusted, no matter how tempting the rate is.

The exchange rate

Those who want to exchange their money for the respective national currency will have to deal with the exchange rate – which is always based on the exchange rates of the world market. The current exchange rates can be found in daily newspapers, business magazines or on the Internet (or directly in the exchange office). It should be noted that these can of course also fluctuate, so that the exchange rate on Monday can be better than on Wednesday. It should be noted that each exchange office adds a trading amount, which is, however, quite small. Many exchange offices also offer their services directly via the World Wide Web – the money is subsequently delivered by post and the equivalent amount is debited from the credit card or directly from the account. Apropos credit cards – a highly recommended alternative to cash, which should be used especially in those countries where the euro is not the official means of payment. Finally, Visa, American Express and Mastercard are accepted in almost every country in the world; as a result, travellers do not have to go to an exchange office and are not afraid of high trade surcharges.

What travellers need to watch out for

If you want to exchange your money for the local currency, you should not go to the first exchange office at the airport and sometimes also avoid the exchange service of the hotel – in both cases the exchange rates are worse than at the exchange offices in the city centre, sometimes the hotel also charges high fees if you want to change money. Private individuals who want to change money on the street should not be trusted; they are usually fraudsters.

Money exchange – Have the right travel money with you
In this article I would like to explain whether it is better to take Swiss francs or foreign currencies with you on holiday. In addition, you will find some alternatives.

Do I already change money in Switzerland?

The best exchange rate is usually when you change foreign currencies in the country where you spend your holidays. But you have to be careful, because certain money changers (including banks) sometimes charge high fees for the change. Therefore it is better to change only once, but a higher amount than every second day a small amount.

But it certainly doesn’t hurt if you already have a small amount of the corresponding foreign currency with you when you arrive. For example for the trip with the taxi or for the first aperitif while one colleague stands in the queue for the rented cars.

Basically, cash is no longer needed as much as it used to be. If it “only” concerns the change of a few hundred euro, then the exchange rate plays a very subordinate role. Because whether I exchange in Switzerland or only in Nice, brings me at most two to three euros more in my wallet. But I have the effort, that I have to look for an exchange office there first and if necessary still high expenses result.

Where do I exchange money?

If you decide to withdraw the money in Switzerland, it is best to do so at your bank. If the customer needs more exotic currencies, these should be ordered by telephone approx. 5 working days before the trip. For more details, visit for more tips.

If you don’t think about changing money until the day you leave, you can do so at major train stations or at the airport (often free of charge – usually even written to).

Abroad I can change at a bank, at the airport, at the train station, in an exchange office or at a dealer on the beach. Where the exchange rate is best depends on the destination. The easiest way is to change at the airport. Some large airports have several exchange offices with different exchange rates. If you have enough time, a comparison can be worthwhile. But beware, you can also be taken for a ride at the airport exchange office. That is why you should always have the approximate exchange rate under control. Once you have left the airport, the safest option is to change at a bank. But there you don’t always get the most for your francs. Depending on the country, you also have to deal with the exchange rate until you get the one you consider fair – whether at the airport or in an exchange office.

I don’t recommend changing at a dealer on the beach. Only people with a lot of experience should do this. In addition, it is partly forbidden and it also happens that the merchants no longer have valid notes.

I would only change at the hotel reception in an emergency. These courses are usually bad for the guest.

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