We try to be as thrifty as possible when travelling whether it relates to transportation, accommodation or dining. Yet dealing a country's currency can be both a challenging and costly venture. On our recent trip to St. Lucia we contacted a local travel agency to determine the type of currency used. While it was recommended for us to use US currency rather than purchasing the local currency the cost of our trip soon began to rise.
With a substantial gap between the Canadian and US dollar we first lost money on the exchange rate. As we continued to purchase meals, groceries and items for the next ten days not only did the rate keep changing (for the worse) but we also found we were being charged more for items because we were paying in US dollars. By the end of the trip we became painfully aware that our trip, while still less expensive than a resort stay, had not been as inexpensive as we had predicted. Our advice is to speak with a local resident, whether it be the reservations desk at your resort / hotel, the host at your B&B or rental property or a tour guide and determine which currency will stretch your dollar the furthest.