The Namibian Dollar has been on a roller coaster ride this year, especially when it’s compared to the US Dollar. Waiting to exchange money when you arrive at the Windhoek International Airport can be extremely expensive. Airport exchange merchants pay high rent for the exposure and they expect you to pay part of that rent. They charge high transaction fees and inflated exchange rates. Trading a currency in hotels in Namibia is very expensive. Hotels know you like the convenience of exchanging money with them and they make you pay for that luxury. The value of your currency is undervalued in Namibian Dollars because of the high transaction fees and bogus exchange rates. Even banks and credit cards are expensive. You lose spendable cash when you use them.
If you want to save money when you travel to Namibia, find a professional currency broker before you leave home. A reliable broker will help you plan an exchange strategy that fits your budget. A professional will help you average your budget, which means exchanging small amounts of currency at different times in the planning stage, so you avoid sudden value surges in the Namibian Dollar which can destroy a budget.
Banks and credit cards are expensive currency exchange merchants
Exchanging currency is a for-profit business and no one makes more money exchanging currency than banks and credit card companies. Banks charge a transaction fee on every exchange and may charge more than one fee depending on the circumstances of the exchange. They may only post one or two exchange rates a day, which means you may not get a real time rate. Credit card companies usually charged more than one transaction fee and add a surcharge to every trip purchase, so you never know how much you’re spending until you get your statement. Credit cards also use an inflated exchange rate, so if you must use a card on your trip, use an ATM card when you can. The fees are lower, there are no surcharges and the exchange rate is usually better,
When you use a currency broker before you leave home there are no hidden fees or surcharges and you get the real time rate every time you make an exchange and that means you have more money to spend on the trip. When you exchange money with a broker your money is securely sent to you through an overnight service.
Other travel tips
Always carry cash in a leg pouch, hidden pocket or money belt that’s secure and out of sight. Use hotel safes when you reach your destination. Follow local security tips, petty crime in Namibia can be an issue, so remember to use common sense and avoid traveling alone at night. Common sense is your best security tool when you use it.
When preparing to travel, lay out all your clothes and all your money. Then take half the clothes and twice the money. Susan Heller