When traveling internationally, there are a number of monetary and financial considerations you need to think about. Aiming to understand foreign currency echange can be both confusing and frustrating for the first-time traveler, yet there are a few easy approaches to control the local money before you start spending.
1st, you must find out what kind of currency is used in the country which you're headed to and what it's termed. The simplest way to do this is by a Google search for "[insert country name|] currency", that ought to yield lots of informative results about the currency.
You'll also desire to discover what denominations are used, including amounts for bills and coins. Be aware that every currency system is somewhat different, so while you might be used to having a particular type of coin or bill available in your own currency, other currencies may possibly not have these types of denominations, or may have added denominations that you are not used to. For instance, the Euro and many other world currencies have 1 coins, that are very convenient and may be unclear at first for Americans.
Next, you'll most likely be itching to determine just how much things cost in said country and just how much to pay (or not pay) for particular things, so that you do not get scammed. Learning what things cost on average can be a little more difficult.
Start off by asking a currency exchange calculator, such as the XE Universal Currency Converter, which will provide you the going rate for your home currency against the foreign currency you're learning about. Learn how much $1 (or your home currency) equals in the other currency to get an idea of how much you will receive when you trade cash. Remember that exchange rates adjust daily, if not hourly, so what currencies are worth is different pretty much every day.
Once you know how much $1 is worth in X country, you'll have a better idea about how much things might cost, though costs of living in different places do vary widely. To get a better grip about this, consult a guidebook for basic information on entry fees, hotel prices, transportation costs, and this will give you a good idea about how much you should expect to pay. Be sure to look at the publication date on the guidebook, and if it is a few years old, compare the prices with today's exchange rates to get a better idea of current costs.
After that, there is a short period of trial and error, where you might create some mistakes in how much you pay, or you could overpay for some things. That's okay! For first-time travelers, the point is not to get the very best deal possible - that's the work of experienced travelers and expats with good language skills and lots of time under their belts.
Newbie travelers must focus on having fun and studying the new culture and customs that they are experiencing!