But one thing has remained constant: all that border crossing is a money-losing proposition, converting your dollars to pounds, pounds to yen and back to dollars again.
What you need: a way to keep The Man out of it.
Enter CurrencyFair, a peer-to-peer online service that’s like setting up your own virtual currency exchange kiosk in whatever country you happen to land in, now available.
Let’s say you’re heading to Oslo for an open-ended research project (otherwise known as tracking down that exchange student who stayed with you in high school). You’ll open an account with these folks and deposit your hard-earned American dollars. Then, you’ll put those dollars up for sale at your own rate.
Once you get a taker, you’re free to transfer your converted bankroll to any account abroad where you’ll be hanging your hat, even a friend’s account. (Of course, if you already have a cover identity set up there, even better.)
If time is of the essence, you can always log on and immediately agree to another user’s rate. Those 11th-hour trips to London do seem to crop up.
You never should have rented your flat to the Gallagher brothers.