If you find yourself in a situation where you forgot to order your money ahead of time, don’t worry because there are other ways to get foreign money, but the best option is to order it ahead of time! I usually go to my bank 2-3 months before my trip and order the money that I need, but some banks are limited on the money they offer and almost everyone charges a fee. I have found that banks charge the least amount of fees and you can order it in the mail, or order it for pick up. Most banks will allow you to exchange your U.S. dollars for foreign currency if you bank with them.
You can always order your money at the airport during your departure from the US, or after your arrival to the country your going to. One problem I have found is that the money exchange office at the airport isn’t always open, especially if you are flying very early or very late in the day. You can also find money exchange places throughout the city you are flying into, but if you are unfamiliar with the city, it may become a difficult task.
Another option would be to use your credit cards, which most places will accept, but you should notify your credit card company of your travel plans ahead of time, so they don’t put a freeze on your credit card. You may also be charged foreign transaction fees on all of your purchases. You might even be able to find an ATM machine to withdraw money from during your trip, but my suggestion is, order your money ahead of time before you leave the US!
“Don’t tell me where your priorities are. Show me where you spend your money and I’ll tell you what they are.” -James W. Frick