Your sunglasses, camera and dictionary are ready and waiting. You seem to be completely prepared to leave on a trip. Until you realise you don't have anything to pay with.
As you may know, our euros aren't accepted everywhere. You don't even have to go to the other side of the world for that. What do England, Switzerland and Poland, for example, all have in common? That's right, foreign currencies.
A debit or credit card can be a saving grace, but it never hurts to have some cash in your pocket. But how do you get hold of foreign currencies?
1. At a KBC Brussels branch
Maybe your euro cent fell just in time, so it's not too late to order your Serbian dinars, for example, at KBC Brussels. You can easily arrange this for free online. Please note that you will have to wait an average of three working days to pick up your money. It is therefore not possible to walk into a branch and immediately order and take away other currencies.
2. At the airport
You might want to buy a snack once you get to the airport. But there you are without any Danish krones. Soon you spot a branch where you can exchange your euros. But is that actually a clever idea? Not really, because the lack of competition means you certainly don't get the best rates at the airport.
3. At a foreign exchange office
Fortunately, your holiday destination consists of more than just the airport and so you will find more exchange offices once you get into a city. The competition between the branches means you may be able to get better rates here than at the airport. Are you staying in a smaller village? Then again, there is the risk that you won't be able to exchange your money for the best price.
4. At a foreign cash machine
Using a debit or credit card, you can always easily withdraw money from other currencies, inside and outside the euro area. Depending on the type of card and the destination, you may have to pay a fee when you withdraw money. In any case, it is a better idea to use your credit card to withdraw 125 euros once, instead of 25 euros five times. The costs for doing this once are less than the total costs of five withdrawals.
Extra facts and tips
- Exchanging money costs money - you can't get away from that, unfortunately.
- Always check the current exchange rate online. This way you know whether you are getting value for money.
- Planning a trip outside Europe? Then open up your debit and/or credit card for worldwide use in KBC Brussels Mobile or KBC Brussels Touch. Only then will you be able to use it to pay or withdraw money.
- Only exchange money at known companies. So watch out for dubious merchants on the street. This way, you avoid receiving fake banknotes.
- Try not to collect too many coins during your journey. You won't be able to exchange it when you get home.
Where can you use the euro?
It is possible to pay using euros in many places in Europe. In addition to Belgium, this is also possible in Andorra, Austria, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Portugal, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and the Vatican City.
Is your destination not listed above? Then you will have to use foreign currency.