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Ultimate Guide to Spending Your Money in 42 Countries This Summer

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By Andrew DePietro, Contributor

More Americans are traveling abroad in part because of the strength of the dollar overseas. But knowing that your money will go further isn't the only information you should consider for your budget before traveling. To help you plan your travel budget, GOBankingRates surveyed 42 of the most popular travel destinations and created a guide for how to spend money abroad.

GOBankingRates examined tipping etiquette, the best places to exchange currency, exchange rates and the strength of the U.S. dollar in 42 countries around the globe. The study also surveyed the prevalence of ATMs and credit card acceptance. Additionally, the study assessed the approximate cost of dinner for two in each country, finding that the cost in the majority of the countries surveyed is less than the average $50 cost of dinner for two at a mid-range restaurant in the U.S. Click through to find out how to use your money in countries around the world.



  • Argentine currency: Argentine peso (ARS)
  • Exchange rate: 1 Argentine peso = 0.071 USD
  • Strength of the U.S. dollar: Strong
  • Cost of dinner for two: $39.88

With beautiful places like Buenos Aires and Patagonia -- and cheaper hotel rooms in 2016 than in 2015, according to Travel and Leisure -- Argentina is one of the most affordable countries to visit.

When traveling to Argentina, you should exchange dollars to Argentine pesos as soon as you arrive because buses don't accept foreign currency, and taxis and shops might be reluctant to give you a good exchange rate, according to TripAdvisor. The best place to exchange currency is at the airport in Buenos Aires. The Banco de La Nacion there will exchange your currency at market rate and you'll have pesos from the get-go.

Major credit cards are widely accepted, but it's good to have cash for small businesses and tipping. Tipping etiquette in Argentina varies from place to place. It isn't mandatory, but 10 to 15 percent is desirable at restaurants, and you should tip a minimum of 2 pesos per bag while at hotels and on buses.



  • Australian currency: Australian dollar (AUD)
  • Exchange rate: 1 Australian dollar = 0.73 USD
  • Strength of the U.S. dollar: Strong
  • Cost of dinner for two: $60.94

The Australian dollar is fluctuating, yet the U.S. dollar is still strong, reaching its highest exchange rate in more than six years in January 2016. To cash in on U.S. dollar strength, the best place to exchange currency is an ATM because of unfavorable exchange rates from currency counters, especially at the Sydney Airport, according to TripAdvisor.

Tipping is increasingly common in Australia, usually in the form of cash tipping jars. Although the U.S. dollar is generally not accepted, it's easy to access money due to widespread ATMs, and acceptance of American Express, MasterCard, Visa and other major credit cards. Australia also has banking partnerships with Bank of America and Citibank, which means you won't get charged fees at their ATMs.



  • Bahamian currency: Bahamian dollar (BSD)
  • Exchange rate: 1 Bahamian dollar = 1 USD
  • Strength of the U.S. dollar: Bahamian currency is fixed to the U.S. dollar
  • Cost of dinner for two: $80

Only 50 miles from Florida's east coast, the Bahamas are a staple Caribbean getaway, featuring a convenient currency exchange rate of one U.S. dollar to 1 Bahamian dollar. Because exchange rates are fixed, the best place to exchange currency is through ATMs, which are common on New Providence Island and Paradise Island but limited on Grand Bahama Island, according to Frommer's.

The Bahamas are relatively credit card-friendly with most shops, restaurants and tours accepting them. It's easy to get and spend cash as well considering U.S. dollars are readily accepted throughout the Bahamas and are used exclusively in casinos. Be prepared to pay an automatic 15 percent gratuity at restaurants.



  • Belgian currency: Euro (EUR)
  • Exchange rate: 1 euro = 1.13 USD
  • Strength of the U.S. dollar: Strong
  • Cost of dinner for two: $68.45

Despite signs of eurozone economic gains, the U.S. dollar is the strongest it's been against the euro in about a decade. To get euros, the best place to exchange currency is Belgian banks, according to Avoid exchange bureaus in airports and train stations because the exchange rates are poor and come with higher fees.

Belgium might not be inexpensive, but the country makes it easy to spend money, offering plenty of ATMs. Travelers can use major credit cards like Visa, MasterCard and American Express in Belgium, but many businesses don't take them or add a charge for card payment. Also, unless you're very pleased with your service, it's not common etiquette to to tip because many industries include a service charge.



  • Belizean currency: Belize dollar (BZD)
  • Exchange rate: 1 Belize dollar = 0.50 USD
  • Strength of the U.S. dollar: Belizean currency is fixed to the U.S. dollar
  • Cost of dinner for two: $25

The U.S. dollar goes far in Belize -- dinner for two is half the price, on average, than it is in the U.S. -- and the foreign currency exchange rate is fixed at 1 Belize dollar to 50 U.S. cents. But be sure to double-check price listings: Most restaurants and shops list their prices in Belize dollars, whereas most accommodations and tours list them in American dollars. Tipping etiquette is less confusing and similar to the U.S.: 15 percent being typical.

The fixed currency exchange rate means ATMs are the best place to exchange currency. Otherwise, exchanging U.S. dollars for Belize dollars doesn't make much sense. Belize dollars have next to no value outside the country, and you'll also receive little even if you find a foreign exchange that does change them. So make sure to exchange or spend your excess Belize dollars before you leave.



  • Brazilian currency: Real (BRL)
  • Exchange rate: 1 Brazilian real = 0.29 USD
  • Strength of the U.S. dollar: Strong
  • Cost of dinner for two: $28.42

With the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro and U.S. dollar strength at a 10-year high, now could be a good time to travel to Brazil. You can save even more money by taking advantage of deals on local airlines. "Listen to 'upgrade' offers to an 'exit row' seat at the check in," said Andy Shuman of The Lazy Traveler's Handbook. "GOL, for example, sells it for as cheap as 30 reals, about $8.50."

The best place to get fair currency exchange rates is from ATMs in Brazil, which are plentiful, according to Frommer's. But if you want to travel to Brazil with reals, try exchanging through a travel agency because they often give better rates than banks. If you do wait until your arrival, Bank Itau is the best place to exchange currency in Rio de Janeiro-Galeão International Airport, according to TripAdvisor.

Tipping etiquette is similar to many other countries on the list: It is not usually expected or given unless the service is above and beyond.



  • Chilean currency: Chilean peso (CLP)
  • Exchange rate: 1 Chilean peso = 0.0015 USD
  • Strength of the U.S. dollar: Strong
  • Cost of dinner for two: $29.71

It is best to wait until arriving in Chile to exchange currency because Chilean exchange houses tend to beat banks and hotels on exchange rates. Most major credit cards are accepted in Chile, but bring cash if you venture outside major cities to regions like Northern Patagonia.

You can find ATMs all over major cities in banks, shopping centers, gas stations, subway stations and many other stores. Chilean ATMs commonly take foreign bank cards, although you'll usually get charged a withdrawal fee between 2000 and 2500 pesos per transaction.

Tipping etiquette in Chile depends on circumstances. You won't need to tip for taxis, but tipping is expected at hotels and by grocery baggers at supermarkets. Tip is almost always included as a 10 percent service bill at restaurants.



  • Chinese currency: Yuan (CNY)
  • Exchange rate: 1 Chinese yuan = 0.15 USD
  • Strength of the U.S. dollar: Strong
  • Cost of dinner for two: $18.57

Tipping in China is primarily limited to group tour guides because employees depend heavily on tips for income. Otherwise, tipping in China is nonexistent as native Chinese don't tip anyone within the country.

The best place to exchange currency is at ATMs in the airports, mainly because of convenience. The Bank of China in the Beijing Capital International Airport charges no fees for travelers' checks or for currency exchange, according to

Chinese banks, however, tend to be busy and slow, but there's no service fee for using an ATM in China, according to TripAdvisor. Exchanging currency in China is important because, outside of hotels, restaurants, and shops that cater to tourists, major credit cards aren't accepted unless they're stamped with a Union Pay symbol, a major bankcard association in China.


Costa Rica

  • Costa Rican currency: Colon (CRC)
  • Exchange rate: 1 Costa Rican colon = 0.0019 USD
  • Strength of the U.S. dollar: Strong
  • Cost of dinner for two: $33.63

When dining in Costa Rica, there's no need to tip unless the service was especially good because restaurants and coffee shops automatically charge a 10 percent service fee. But you should tip the bellhop, room service and housekeeping personnel at your hotel.

Costa Rica is another country where it is easy to access and spend money, in part because of wide acceptance of the U.S. dollar. ATMs are located in nearly every town and are generally the best place to exchange currency by withdrawing colones in cash.



  • Cuban currency: Cuban peso (CUP) | Cuban convertible peso (CUC)
  • Exchange rate: 1 Cuban peso = 0.038 USD | 1 Cuban convertible peso (CUC) = 1.00 USD
  • Strength of the U.S. dollar: Cuban convertible peso is fixed to the U.S. dollar
  • Cost of dinner for two: $15

Currency in Cuba is divided into the Cuban peso, which is used by locals, and the Cuban convertible peso, used primarily by tourists. To avoid scams based on confusing the two currencies, the best place to exchange currency is at an official exchange bureau, called a CADECA, or at a bank.

Cuba doesn't have a universal tipping etiquette because tipping is uncommon except at all-inclusive resorts. If you're staying in an all-inclusive resort, set aside 20 to 30 pesos per week to tip the hotel staff, recommends At restaurants, you'll likely pay a 10 percent service charge because more businesses are adding this fee.


Czech Republic

  • Czech currency: Czech koruna (CZK)
  • Exchange rate: 1 koruna = 0.042 USD
  • Strength of the U.S. dollar: Strong
  • Cost of dinner for two: $21.08

Many Czech exchange offices charge tourists high exchange commissions and unfavorable exchange rates, according to The best place to exchange currency is at a bank or by withdrawing cash from Czech Republic's many ATMs.

Cash is the best way to go in Czech Republic, according to, so take advantage of the better exchange rates at ATMs. Prague ATMs take Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Maestro debit cards and credit cards. Although most hotels, higher-end restaurants, and international stores accept credit cards, you should carry cash for exploring local or cheaper establishments.



  • Danish currency: Danish krone (DKK)
  • Exchange rate: 1 Danish krone = 0.15 USD
  • Strength of the U.S. dollar: Strong
  • Cost of dinner for two: $91.87

When you travel to Denmark, don't get lured in by the many small money changers in Copenhagen -- they are expensive and unnecessary. The best place to exchange currency is in one of the many banks in Denmark. If you have Visa or another major credit card, ATMs will probably be the easiest way for you to get money. Denmark is credit card-friendly, with the majority of restaurants and stores accepting Visa, MasterCard and American Express.

Tipping etiquette in Denmark varies. Danish law mandates that any service charge must be included in the price at restaurants, which includes tips for waiters. But views on tipping remain divided: Some people say it's normal to tip a waiter 10 percent, but others say tipping in Denmark isn't customary at all.



  • Estonian currency: Euro (EUR)
  • Exchange rate: 1 euro = 1.13 USD
  • Strength of the U.S. dollar: Strong
  • Cost of dinner for two: $34.19

Travelers to Estonia can exchange U.S. dollars for euros at currency exchanges and banks, but banks charge lower currency conversion fees than exchanges, according to ATMs provide the easiest way to access Estonian currency. Most hotels, shops, and restaurants accept Visa, MasterCard as well as Eurocard and American Express.

Tipping etiquette in Estonia is casual and voluntary, according to TripAdvisor. Unlike many European countries, tip is never included in the bill, but tipping 10 percent is common for good service.



  • Finnish currency: Euro (EUR)
  • Exchange rate: 1 euro = 1.13 USD
  • Strength of the U.S. dollar: Strong
  • Cost of dinner for two: $68.38

Like its neighbor Estonia, Finland uses the euro. The smartest way to exchange currency is to buy euros once you've reached Finland so that you get the best exchange rate. Buying euros before you leave the U.S. might be more proactive, but you will get hit with a worse exchange rate.

Finland makes accessing your money easy with its large network of ATMs and acceptance of Visa, MasterCard, Diners Club, and American Express credit cards. Finland, however, isn't big on tipping, even in restaurants. You are free to tip if you have great service, but if your tip gets declined, just forgo the gesture.



  • French currency: Euro (EUR)
  • Exchange rate: 1 euro = 1.13 USD
  • Strength of the U.S. dollar: Strong
  • Cost of dinner for two: $56.98

Tipping in France is not necessary because a service charge is always included on your bill. If you'd like to tip, a good guideline is to tip 1 euro for every 20 euros on the bill, according to TripAdvisor.

When it comes to currency conversion, France is similar to other nations using the euro: You'll get the best foreign currency exchange rate if you buy euros in France rather than in the U.S., reported Travel and Leisure.

The best place to exchange currency is through ATMs, especially if your bank has associate banks in France. French restaurants, stores, and bars generally accept credit cards, but it's best to carry around cash as well because smaller, local establishments tend to be cash-only, according to TripAdvisor.



  • German currency: Euro (EUR)
  • Exchange rate: 1 euro = 1.13 USD
  • Strength of the U.S. dollar: Strong
  • Cost of dinner for two: $45.58

Tipping etiquette in Germany is a mix of mandatory and voluntary. For example, menu prices include service charges and value-added tax, but it's common to tip by rounding up the bill. A good way to calculate tips in Germany is to add approximately 5 to 10 percent so the total is a whole euro.

You can find foreign currency exchange desks in airports, train stations and banks. The most convenient way to change currency, however, is to withdraw cash from ATMs, according to Frommer's. Be prepared to pay fees for using a card at another bank's ATM. You might also incur international transaction fees when using a credit card.



  • Greek currency: Euro (EUR)
  • Exchange rate: 1 euro = 1.13 USD
  • Strength of the U.S. dollar: Strong
  • Cost of dinner for two: $34.19

The best place to exchange currency in Greece is at an ATM. Greek banks tend to be slow, whereas other places that change money, like hotels, travel agencies, and bank agents, often pile on fees and commissions.

Greek restaurants, bars, and other establishments include a 16 percent service fee, so you're not obliged to tip, but rounding up the total is a common form of gratuity for good service. Credit cards are accepted in Greece, but you'll save money avoiding credit card transaction fees if you use cash or a debit card.



  • Indian currency: Indian rupee (INR)
  • Exchange rate: 1 Indian rupee = 0.015 USD
  • Strength of the U.S. dollar: Strong
  • Cost of dinner for two: $9.05

Currency exchange in India is complicated because you can't import rupees into India, and you can't export them either, according to Frommer's. ATMs are the best place to exchange currency in India. Indian banks tend to be slow and inefficient, and using ATMs can help you avoid getting scammed by unauthorized exchangers.

Tipping etiquette in India varies from service to service, according to TripAdvisor. You should tip baggage handlers at hotels, airports and train stations roughly 50 rupees per bag. It's also common to tip drivers around 350 rupees per day and tour guides 200 rupees, but only if there's no service charge included.



  • Irish currency: Euro (EUR)
  • Exchange rate: 1 euro = 1.13 USD
  • Strength of the U.S. dollar: Strong
  • Cost of dinner for two: $62.68

Despite lacking a strong tipping culture, Ireland does have some tipping etiquette when it comes to certain service industries. Tip 10 to 12.5 percent of the bill at restaurants, but be on the lookout for automatic service charges. You should tip hotel housekeeping roughly 1 to 2 euros per night and hotel porters 1 to 2 euros per bag.

As with traveling to other euro-based countries, it is best to wait until you arrive in Ireland to exchange currency in order to get the best rates. Plentiful ATMs allow you to access euros quickly and easily. Plus, nearly all Irish ATMs dispense credit card withdrawals for MasterCard and Visa, though fewer support American Express.



  • Israeli currency: New Israeli shekel (ILS)
  • Exchange rate: 1 new Israeli shekel = 0.26 USD
  • Strength of the U.S. dollar: Strong
  • Cost of dinner for two: $53.10

The best place to exchange currency in Israel is at an ATM, which can offer better exchange rates than banks, according to TripAdvisor, and and can beat the rates at exchange counters at the airport, according to Frommer's. Just be aware that your bank could hit you with both a conversion fee and commission for the exchange.

Tipping etiquette in Israel resembles that of the U.S. Tipping 10 to 15 percent is implied at Israeli restaurants and cafes, with 12 percent being the average. Taxi drivers, on the other hand, do not expect a tip.



  • Italian currency: Euro (EUR)
  • Exchange rate: 1 euro = 1.13 USD
  • Strength of the U.S. dollar: Strong
  • Cost of dinner for two: $56.98

You might fall into some difficulty when you try to exchange foreign currency in Italy. Italian banks will only convert currency for their own customers, and exchange bureaus often charge excessive fees. Worse, cash and change storefronts in Italy offer currency conversion but often don't post the exchange rate, which could be poor.

When in doubt about how to tip in Italy, just round up your bill with a couple of euros. Rounding up along with the usual service charge of 1 to 3 euros is a sufficient gratuity at restaurants. Hotel porters and taxi drivers generally don't expect tips, but tips are appreciated.



  • Jamaican currency: Jamaican dollar (JMD)
  • Exchange rate: 1 Jamaican dollar = 0.0081 USD
  • Strength of the U.S. dollar: Strong
  • Cost of dinner for two: $37.10

Change stores in Jamaica, called cambios, can be better places to exchange currency than banks and hotels. If you change currency at an ATM, you will usually be charged a 2 percent commission on top of an ATM service fee. Fees on credit cards are close to 3 percent.

Tipping etiquette in Jamaica depends on the situation. Some hotels and restaurants include service charges on their bills whereas others do not, but most Jamaicans expect a tip for their service. It's common to tip taxi drivers and airport drivers 10 to 15 percent. Bellhops and housekeeping personnel expect tips too, though you should be aware that all-inclusive hotels in Jamaica often prohibit tipping.



  • Japanese currency: Yen (JPY)
  • Exchange rate: 1 Japanese yen = 0.0092 USD
  • Strength of the U.S. dollar: Strong
  • Cost of dinner for two: $38.70

Japan does not have a big tipping culture. In fact, Japanese workers will often politely turn down a tip.

Don't buy Japanese yen before getting to Japan because you'll likely get poorer exchange rates and higher commission fees. There are three currency exchange options where you can get yen at the cheapest rates: One is bank and airport foreign exchange counters when exchanging traveler's checks. Post office ATMs are another option, and lastly, JUSCO stores, which are a combination grocery and department store chain.



  • Kenyan currency: Kenyan shilling (KES)
  • Exchange rate: 1 Kenyan shilling = 0.0099 USD
  • Strength of the U.S. dollar: Strong
  • Cost of dinner for two: $24.73

In Kenya, you should tip based on what you think is appropriate, but bear in mind that Kenyan travel industry workers rely heavily on tips. Tips for airport drivers, bartenders, waiters and pool attendants generally range from 50 to 200 Kenyan shillings. You should tip safari guides 1000 Kenyan shillings per day and housekeeping staff about 1000 per week.

The best place to exchange currency in Kenya depends on a few factors. If you're looking for security, changing money at the bank is the best route, though banks tend to be busy and slow. If you want convenience and historically better exchange rates, go to FOREX booths, which don't charge commission fees.



  • Malaysian currency: Ringgit (MYR)
  • Exchange rate: 1 ringgit = 0.25 USD
  • Strength of the U.S. dollar: Strong
  • Cost of dinner for two: $12.97

ATMs in Malaysia will usually give good exchange rates, but some banks charge conversion fees. The best place to exchange currency is at Forex booths in Malaysia. Forex booths are everywhere, clearly display daily exchange rates and don't charge a fee for currency conversion.

There's no formal tipping etiquette in Malaysia, but restaurants and other service providers include a 10 percent service charge in your bill. Still, it is pretty common to tip servers at restaurants and clubs. A good place to tip is at poolside restaurants so that servers will remember you during the course of your stay.



  • Mexican currency: Mexican peso (MXN)
  • Exchange rate: 1 Mexican peso = 0.055 USD
  • Strength of the U.S. dollar: Strong
  • Cost of dinner for two: $20.21

Many businesses in Mexico accept U.S. dollars, but it's generally less expensive to pay with pesos. ATMs offer the best currency exchange rates.

Tipping etiquette in Mexico is comparable to the U.S., being very common. For restaurants, you should tip 10 to 15 percent of the bill, not including value-added tax. For hotel housekeeping, tip 40 to 50 pesos per bedroom, and for tour guides, tip 50 to 60 pesos.



  • Dutch currency: Euro (EUR)
  • Exchange rate: 1 euro = 1.13 USD
  • Strength of the U.S. dollar: Strong
  • Cost of dinner for two: $68.38

If you want to change U.S. dollars for euros, the best place to exchange is at an ATM. According, many travelers get good to excellent exchange rates at Dutch ATMs. Dutch banks and exchange offices often charge fees and commissions for currency conversion, so it can be better to avoid them.

Dutch law requires restaurants and other businesses to include a service charge in the listed price, but tipping 10 percent is a good guideline for exceptional service, according to TripAdvisor. Rounding up the bill at bars or cafes is common, too.


New Zealand

  • New Zealand currency: New Zealand dollar (NZD)
  • Exchange rate: 1 New Zealand dollar = 0.68 USD
  • Strength of the U.S. dollar: Strong
  • Cost of dinner for two: $62.30

Tipping in New Zeland isn't that common unless service is especially good at a restaurant or hotel. In such cases, 10 percent is roughly the right amount to tip. Take note that if you go to restaurants or cafes during public holidays, you might get charged an additional service fee of 10 to 15 percent.

ATMs are generally the best place to exchange currency. Most of New Zealand's exchange offices give poor exchange rates and add on a commission for the transaction.



  • Peruvian currency: Nuevo sol (PEN)
  • Exchange rate: 1 nuevo sol = 0.30 USD
  • Strength of the U.S. dollar: Strong
  • Cost of dinner for two: $21.41

Peru provides a number of places to change money, but the best place to exchange currency is at banks and reputable money-changing offices. These currency exchange locations are preferable because they offer a better exchange rate on soles than you can get in the U.S. Be careful exchanging currencies elsewhere becuase fraudulent currency notes are common outside of these institutions.

Tipping etiquette varies from place to place in Peru. Although most restaurants and bars include a 10 percent gratuity, it's common to tip an extra 10 percent for good service, which is greatly appreciated. You should tip hotel bellhops about $1 per bag, but tipping is unnecessary for taxi drivers.



  • Portuguese currency: Euro (EUR)
  • Exchange rate: 1 euro = 1.13 USD
  • Strength of the U.S. dollar: Strong
  • Cost of dinner for two: $34.19

Portugal has a strong tipping culture due in part to the low wages service workers earn. You should tip hotel and restaurant servers around 10 percent, especially because these businesses usually don't include service charges in the bill. It is fairly common to tip taxi drivers by rounding up to the nearest 5 or 10 euros, but 1 to 2 euros is sufficient for bellhops.

Portugal offers many places to change money, although ATMs are generally the best. Many banks no longer provide currency conversion, and change shops -- cambios -- won't give you very favorable exchange rates.



  • Singaporean currency: Singapore dollar (SGD)
  • Exchange rate: 1 Singapore dollar = 0.73 USD
  • Strength of the U.S. dollar: Strong
  • Cost of dinner for two: $44.67

If you want to find the best place to exchange currency in Singapore, you should seek out Singapore's well-known money-changing centers, according to Parkway Parade in Marine Parade, People's Park Complex in Chinatown, Mustafa Centre in Little India, Lucky Plaza on Orchard Road or The Arcade in Raffles Place. The best part is that you can reach all of these places by public transportation.

A 10 percent tip is standard tipping etiquette in Singapore for restaurants, according to TripAdvisor, but make sure to give cash to your waiter directly. Service charges and tips left on the table will go to the restaurant, not the server. Outside of restaurants, it's generally not common to tip people except for bellhops.


South Africa

  • South African currency: Rand (ZAR)
  • Exchange rate: 1 rand = 0.064 USD
  • Strength of the U.S. dollar: Strong
  • Cost of dinner for two: $27.20

The best places to exchange foreign currency in South Africa are ATMs, which are not only everywhere but also accept foreign debit cards and all major credit cards. You can also exchange currency at any number of South Africa's major banks.

Tipping is very common in South Africa for all types of service workers. For tour guides and tour drivers, you should tip between 10 and 15 rand, but for restaurants and bars, 10 percent of the bill is a normal tip. It's common to tip hotel housekeeping 50 rand per day and hotel bellhops 15 rand.


South Korea

  • South Korean currency: Won (KRW)
  • Exchange rate: 1 won = 0.00085 USD
  • Strength of the U.S. dollar: Strong
  • Cost of dinner for two: $30.61

There are plenty of foreign currency exchange locations in South Korea -- airports, hotels, banks and exchangers on the street -- but ATMs usually offer the best exchange rates for travelers.

South Korea doesn't have a large tipping culture because most people and businesses don't expect to be tipped. Hotels add a 10 percent service charge in addition to the 10 percent value-added tax included in published prices. For cab fare, taxi drivers will appreciate rounding up their fare as a gratuity.



  • Spanish currency: Euro (EUR)
  • Exchange rate: 1 euro = 1.13 USD
  • Strength of the U.S. dollar: Strong
  • Cost of dinner for two: $43.30

Tipping is common in Spain, where it's considered polite and appreciated, in part because most restaurants and bars do not include a service charge. Rounding up to the closest whole euro is standard tipping etiquette, though you should tip around 10 percent at higher-end restaurants.

Spanish banks and money-changing machines can exchange foreign currency, but ATMs are most likely the best place to get cash in terms of convenience and availability. As when traveling to other eurozone countries, it's better to get euros in Spain because you'll get less favorable exchange rates buying them in the U.S.



  • Swedish currency: Swedish krona (SEK)
  • Exchange rate: 1 Swedish krona = 0.12 USD
  • Strength of the U.S. dollar: Strong
  • Cost of dinner for two: $74.30

Sweden's currency is the krona, and the best place to exchange currency is at exchange offices like Forex and Xchange. ATMs are common in major cities, and credit cards are widely accepted. American Express, however, is not as common as Visa or MasterCard.

Tipping etiquette in Sweden depends on the situation. It's not mandatory, but if you wish to tip, simply rounding the bill up by 5 to 10 percent is best for restaurants and taxi fares.



  • Swiss currency: Swiss franc (CHF)
  • Exchange rate: 1 Swiss franc = 1.02 USD
  • Strength of the U.S. dollar: Strong
  • Cost of dinner for two: $104.72

Despite sitting in the middle of the eurozone, Switzerland uses the Swiss franc, though many restaurants and stores accept euros. To get Swiss francs, the best place to exchange currency is at ATMs, which are plentiful and usually offer the best exchange rate.

As for tipping etiquette in Switzerland, Swiss law mandates that all service charges be included in listed prices, so there's no obligation to tip anywhere. However, if you wish to tip, just round up your bill to the nearest 5 or 10 francs.



  • Thai currency: Thai baht (THB)
  • Exchange rate: 1 Thai baht = 0.028 USD
  • Strength of the U.S. dollar: Strong
  • Cost of dinner for two: $17.15

To find the best place to exchange currency in Thailand, you have to do some research. Two of Thailand's biggest banks -- Kasikorn Bank and Siam Commercial Bank -- dominate Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok, offering exchange rates that are much lower than other bank exchange rates in Thailand. Exchange rates for Thai baht from Kasikorn and Siam Commercial are better, however, than those you'd get from within the U.S. Fortunately, Thailand makes exchanging cash convenient through abundant Forex booths, which accept all major currencies and charge no fees.

Workers in Thailand always appreciate a nice tip, but tipping in Thailand is neither customary nor mandatory. Tipping etiquette in Thailand usually consists of rounding up taxi fares and tipping in loose change at restaurants.



  • Turkish currency: Turkish lira (TRY)
  • Exchange rate: 1 Turkish lira = 0.34 USD
  • Strength of the U.S. dollar: Strong
  • Cost of dinner for two: $21.17

Straddling Europe and Asia, Turkey has become a tourist hotspot, recording 1.65 million foreign visitors in March 2016, according to Tipping etiquette in Turkey is comparable to its European neighbors, with 10 percent being standard for tipping restaurant and hotel staff. Rounding up taxi fare is the common way to tip cab drivers, according to TripAdvisor.

Turkish banks, post offices, and exchange bureaus all readily exchange currencies such as U.S. dollars, euros, and British pounds. Some of the best places to exchange currency at good rates are jewelry shops and similar stores. It's important that you shop around for the best exchange rate and look for exchange bureaus that charge a 3 percent commission or less.


United Arab Emirates

  • UAE currency: Emirati dirham (AED)
  • Exchange rate: 1 dirham = 0.27 USD
  • Strength of the U.S. dollar: Stable
  • Cost of dinner for two: $40.84

Tipping in United Arab Emirates is very widespread, not because of local tipping etiquette, but because 85 percent of the country's population consists of expatriates, most of whom tip for services. For hotel bellhops and valets, tipping AED 5 to AED 10 is common, and for taxis, rounding up is acceptable, according to

The best places to exchange currency is at exchanges found in malls and souks, a type of marketplace. These currency-exchange locations tend to offer better hours than UAE banks, which are open 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday through Thursday but are closed Friday, according to travel site


United Kingdom

  • British currency: British pound (GBP)
  • Exchange rate: 1 British pound = 1.44 USD
  • Strength of the U.S. dollar: Strong
  • Cost of dinner for two: $70.65

London is one of the most expensive cities in the world, so getting the best currency exchange rate is a good idea to make your travel budget go further. You can find currency exchange bureaus inside banks, post offices, travel agencies, airports, train stations and other places. With all of these options, you should explore and compare deals in order to find the best exchange rate. You should ask how many pounds you'll receive after all charges are deducted, according to

Government policy shapes tipping etiquette in the U.K.: National law guarantees the national minimum wage and prohibits employers from using tips to bump up their employees' pay to minimum income, according to TripAdvisor. Thus, tips are less common, though it is conventional to round up to the nearest pound for taxi fares.



  • Vietnamese currency: Vietnamese dong (VND)
  • Exchange rate: 1 dong = 0.000045 USD
  • Strength of the U.S. dollar: Strong
  • Cost of dinner for two: $13.46

Some major restaurants and stores accept U.S. dollars, but exchanging dollars for Vietnamese dong can save you some frustration in terms of bargaining on the exchange rate with shop vendors and taxi drivers. One of the best places to exchange currency is at the Saigon airport, where you can change money without fees at exchange booths after going through customs and immigration.

You will likely get hit with fees, however, when you use your debit card. ATMs are common in major cities, and most places accept major credit cards like Visa, MasterCard and Cirrus. The downside is that Vietnamese banks have increased charges for using a foreign debit card, sometimes without even revealing the amount.



  • Zimbabwean currency: South African rand (ZAR)
  • Exchange rate: 1 South African rand = 0.064 USD
  • Strength of the U.S. dollar: Strong
  • Cost of dinner for two: $30

You don't have to worry about exchanging currency when traveling to Zimbabwe. In 2008, Zimbabwe did away with the Zimbabwean dollar, replacing it with the U.S. dollar and South African rand as its main currencies. But research regions you plan to visit because in places such as Bulawayo and Matabeleland, rands are preferred to dollars.

You can find ATMs in most of the bigger cities. Barclays and Standard Chartered offer a wide network of ATMs, many of which accept Visa and MasterCard.

Zimbabwe might not have a local tipping tradition, but there is general tipping etiquette for visitors. Restaurant workers appreciate a 10 percent tip, especially considering salaries are low, and tipping hotel staff $1 to $5 is common. You might encounter a unique tipping situation when you travel to Zimbabwe: Tipping parking lot guards who keep your car safe while you're gone.

U.S. Dollar Exchange Rates and Strength to Foreign Currency

Here are the U.S. dollar exchange rates, USD strength and cost of dinner for two in the 42 countries surveyed by GOBankingRates. With a few exceptions, the dollar is trading strongly against most foreign currencies, based on historical data of exchange rates. Belize, the Bahamas and Cuba peg their currencies to a fixed rate per U.S. dollar, wheras Zimbabwe uses either the South African Rand or U.S. dollar.

Methodology: GOBankingRates surveyed travel and money-related information in 42 countries, including the following factors: (1) currency exchange rates, sourced from Google Finance -- except for Cuban currencies, which were sourced from XE Currency Converter -- on May 16, 2016; (2) tipping etiquette, banking information, ATM availability, and credit card acceptance, sourced from TripAdvisor except where otherwise noted; (3) cost of dinner for two, according to cost estimates from, sourced April 12, 2016; and (4) strength of the U.S. dollar based on a five-year comparison of May 2011 to May 2016 data, sourced from Google Finance on May 8, 2016.

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