As the summer travel season approaches, many will jet off overseas. You got a great deal on your flight and hotel; do the same with your currency exchange.

Do your research."Use online sources like Yahoo Finance that offer currency converter tools," says Richard Barrington, a senior financial analyst with MoneyRates.com. Track a currency's daily and yearly trading range. Is it stable or does it vary greatly?

Convert before you go. Large multinational banks like Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and HSBC offer currency exchange, says Barrington.

Avoid the airport. The exchange rate gets better closer to your destination. "The airport is bad, downtown is better. Look for local merchants or storefronts that exchange cash without a fee. They often have excellent rates because then you're standing in their store with a fistful of cash," says Greg McBride, senior financial analyst with Bankrate.com.

Think convenience. Credit and debit cards can be better than exchanging for cash, even after the currency conversion charge (up to 3 percent) is factored in, says McBride. Time is money. "Nothing irritates your significant other like spending an afternoon chasing an exchange rate that only saves pennies."

Be smart. Compare the exchange rate against current market rates and other alternatives. Exchange cash in small doses; you may find a better option.

Don't convert too much. There are transaction costs for turning that money back into dollars, points out Robert Seltzer, a CPA in Los Angeles.

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