You'll want to swap United States dollars for pounds before you travel to Britain. Merchants there price their goods and services in pounds and that's how they want to be paid. Figuring out how many pounds your dollars will buy is simple. You can do the math on any calculator. Knowing how to convert dollars to pounds and back again will help you keep track of expenses and stay on budget.
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The Math of Currency Conversion
Look up the current exchange rate of pounds for dollars. Exchange rates change all the time as currency is bought and sold on world markets. You can find today's rates on Bloomberg.com and many other financial websites. The exchange rate for dollars and pounds is listed like this: USD/GBP 0.6500. This means one U.S. dollar will buy 0.65 British pounds. To convert dollars to pounds, just multiply the dollar amount by the exchange rate. If you have $150, multiply by 0.65 and you get 97.5 pounds. To reverse the calculation and convert pounds to dollars, divide pounds by the exchange rate.
Currency Exchange Fees
Businesses charge for exchanging currency, so allow fir this cost when making your travel budget. NBC News says your best bet is usually to exchange currency using a credit card or ATM card. You can also go to your bank, purchase traveler's checks or buy local currency from vendors at airports and hotels. However, these may be more expensive options.