Foreign exchange is a unique global market in its liquidity, volume of international trades and the efficiency of the system of moving money globally. It has changed the whole concept of money exchange, making it more accessible and more efficient. The principle is that buyers pay for currency using a different currency and try to make profit based on the fluctuating values of the relevant treaties. This could be dependent on local conditions, government interventions, natural disasters or seasonal events in each country that serve to alter the value of its currency.
However, that is the foreign exchange market. What you as a consumer probably understand as foreign exchange is when you want to travel abroad and have money to spend buying meals out, skiing equipment, coconut cocktails or inflatable boats. This type of foreign exchange is wracked with pitfalls for the humble holidaymaker as there are many ways of getting your currency changed and they certainly come with different price tags. The first thing to do is check the international exchange rates of the country to which you are traveling.
The rates will fluctuate on a daily basis and it makes sense to wait for a spike to get your currency changed. This leads me onto the next important aspect. Time. Give yourself enough time to shop around and find a decent rate before getting your cash exchanged. This involves being patient, frugal and intent on finding yourself the best deal. And when you think about it, if there were three identical items of clothing that you loved, all with varying prices, you would most certainly go for the cheapest one. The airport is probably the worst place and the exchange desks know that they have a captive and often desperate awareness and will hike the prices of currency accordingly.
So leave a decent amount of time between looking for currency and travel. Also look at the many deals available at your local bank for exchange. You can often find deals associated with travel insurance, flights or transfers. The best place to see all of the information together in an easily digestible table is on the internet. Look up financial price comparison sites which will give you real time information about the best places to get your currency changed in advance of your trip. You will certainly see discounts, deals and sometimes if you need a lot of money changing, you can get a more favorable rate from whoever it is you choose to go with.