Whether you're planning your vacation to Scandinavia or Thailand or just wondering what the current exchange rates are between the United States and foreign currencies, there are a number of online currency converters that will help facilitate the calculation.
Calling itself "the World's Favorite Currency Tool," XE offers conversion calculations for all your needs, with any monetary currency you might think of—including the Scandinavian crown currencies: the Danish Kroner, the Swedish Krona, the Norwegian Krone, and Iceland's Krona ( Note: Finland has adopted the Euro).
Knowing the exchange rate will also come in handy when you estimate your trip expenses, plan for the cost of activities at your destination, and budget out hotel prices for your vacation in Norway, Denmark, Sweden, or Iceland, or for that matter anywhere in the world.
Things to Keep in Mind When Converting Currencies
International currencies and their values compared to other currencies fluctuate constantly, and as a result, currency conversions can change from one minute to the next and will most likely not exactly match the exchange rate you're getting from a bank when you arrive at your destination.
The amount you gain or lose can also be drastically affected by where you choose to exchange currencies—postal banks are the best option for conversion. Most people don't realize that currency exchange booths like Travelex at international airports actually charge more for the conversion, meaning a difference of between 10 and 15 percent between the U.S. dollar and a foreign currency.
Trying to exchange currencies stateside is also a costly method, despite granting the ease of mind that you have foreign money on hand when stepping off the plane. Stateside exchange services typically charge a higher fee than local postal banks abroad.
Finally, always try to use the local, domestic currency instead of American dollars when you're traveling abroad; although many businesses will still accept your foreign dollar, they oftentimes charge a 20 percent fee for conversion—the highest exchange rate hike of all the methods.
Know the Rough Rate of Exchange to Calculate on the Go
Although you can easily download an app to your phone for currency conversions, oftentimes you won't need to go through that tedious process if you know the current rate of exchange between your currency and that of your vacation destination.
If you know, for instance, that the exchange rate between the United States Dollar (USD) and the China yuan renminbi (CNY) is .15 USD to 1 CNY, you can quickly calculate prices of objects as they scale up. Say that you purchase a cookie for 30 CNY; you could pretty easily round the conversion to 15 cents per CNY and determine that the cookie would cost you about 5 dollars.
It's also important to be able to recognize the smaller change for international money. Like the United States has pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters, currencies like the Swedish Krona (SEK) are divided into 100 öre and available in one, two, five, and 10 kronor coins. You should familiarize yourself with the look and feel of these coins before you take off from the currency exchange location.