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Credit cards best for travel and money-saving exchange tips

You're rarin' and ready to go on your big international trip. You've got the best deal on your plane tickets and avoided the common mistakes when booking a hotel room. Your luggage is tamper-proof and you know how to beat roaming fees on your smartphone. Start the adventure!

Then you step off the plane and realize you forgot about the currency; you're only carrying U.S. dollars. Fortunately, the airport has a currency exchange.

Unfortunately, in many places the U.S. dollar isn't as strong as the local currency, which means the money you brought with you isn't going to go as far as you thought. Even worse, not every place gives you the same exchange rate, and some will tack on extra fees.

If you aren't careful, you'll watch your vacation money dwindle before your eyes. That's why planning ahead is crucial.

Here are some tricks that will help you get the best exchange rate so you can use every cent of your hard-earned money enjoying your vacation.

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