Can you feel it, that little tug in your mood? Perhaps a fog of uncertainty has clouded your judgment, or your Zen just seems entirely out of whack.
Before you blame it on being tired, stressed, overworked and stuck in the grind, I would recommend checking on Mercury. Chances are the tug of uncertainty might be because old mate Mercury is in retrograde.
"He's what?" I hear you ask. Mercury, the first planet from the sun and a scenic 77 million km's from the earth, is apparently spinning backwards. Mercury isn't actually spinning backwards though; instead, it's a trick of the eye. You see, three or four times a year, Mercury passes us on planet Earth during its orbit. As we go round, Mercury appears to slow down, stop and start spinning backwards, a.k.a. Enter retrograde. Wild, hey?
This retrograde is a trick of the eye, kind of like when your train passes another, and it feels as though yours has stopped while the other moves.
A trick of the eye or not, Mercury rules travel, technology and communication, and it's retrograde can do some pretty gnarly things. In 2020, retrograde will occur during the following dates:
February 17 to March 10
June 18 to July 12
October 14 to November 3
Now, we aren't telling you to live your life by the stars, but hear us out. At Travel Money NZ, we're big believers that travel and going on holiday is always a good idea. Surely there is no greater sign to head on holiday than a planet spinning backwards, right?
With this in mind, we've done some soul-searching, star-staring and planet aligning to figure out where you should travel this year based on your star sign. Whether you choose to travel during Mercury's retrograde or not is up to you, but a trip could be the perfect way to dampen Mercury's ability to meddle with your mindset and mood.
Holiday destination: Patagonia, South America
Currency: Argentinian side, ARS. Chilean side, CLP.
Aries are brave, active and filled with youthful strength and energy. This year, channel your energy into a new adventure in Patagonia, South America. If you're travelling during a retrograde, consider going with an old friend as well.
Travel money tip: Don't believe everything you hear. Unlike most of Central America, haggling at markets isn't common practice in Argentina and Chile, often being considered rude. Further to this, if a tour price or deal seems too good to be true, this might just be the case; dig a little deeper to ensure you get the best bang for your buck.
Holiday destination: Paris, France.
Taurus' thrive when surrounded by love and beauty, especially when these values correspond to the senses of touch and taste. Where else in the world allows you to indulge in incredible food while perusing beautiful architecture, artwork and clothing. Oui Oui!
Travel money tip: If you're travelling during retrograde, pay particular attention to your technology and money cards. Consider taking a Cash Passport with easy card block and unblock features so you can protect your money should the worst happen.
Holiday destination: Turkey
Currency: Turkish lira
Geminis have two personalities in one. The first is a social butterfly, fluttering around and making everyone smile. The other is more serious and thoughtful, craving serenity and silence. Satisfy both of your personalities by visiting Turkey. The country has the perfect mix of quiet mountain serenity and bustling cityscapes that will quench your restless curiosity.
Travel money tip: Geminis are ruled by Mercury, so you may very well feel the effects of retrograde more than others. Step away from things that are frustrating or confusing you. Take something off your plate by signing up for currency rate alerts. We will monitor how the Kiwi Dollar is performing against the Turkish Lira and let you know when it hits a high.
Holiday destination: Fiji
Currency: Fijian Dollar
Cancers are incredibly sentimental and feel most comfortable when caring for their family. Treat yourself to a holiday in Fiji with your nearest and dearest. Not only are you still pretty close to home, but also the resorts cater to all ages so everyone will be happy.
Travel money tip: If travelling during a retrograde, avoid overly complicated or risky travel plans. Make sure you invest in your own peace of mind by purchasing travel insurance as soon as you start booking your trip. That way, if anything happens, you know you are covered.
Holiday destination: Berlin
Leos are born leaders. Their self-confident and creative nature allows them to handle tricky situations, think quickly and unite different groups with ease. This year, visit Berlin, a party capital that draws people from all over the world.
Travel money tip: If travelling during retrograde, take special care with essential belongings. Consider only taking cash with you on a night out; not only will it stop you from getting tap-happy and spending more than your budget, but it reduces the risk of you losing your Cash Passport.
Holiday destination: Indonesia.
Currency: Indonesian Rupiah
Virgos are curated characters, preferring things to be organised to avoid missing important details. This year, give your busy mind a break by visiting a retreat in Indonesia. They'll take care of the details while you sit back, relax and realign your goals.
Travel money tip: Don't leave anything to chance. When purchasing foreign currency at your local Travel Money NZ store, make sure you add Rate Move Guarantee. Not only is it free, but if the rate improves within 14 days of purchase, you can rest easy knowing we will refund you the difference*. Also, stay off Dr Google – it will only make you stress more.
Holiday destination: Oregon, USA.
Currency: United States Dollar
The Librans amongst us love being outdoors, especially when they are with friends. There's something about the fresh air and friends that lifts their spirits and allows them to thrive. Oregon is blessed with some incredible natural scenery, not to mention some very friendly locals that will happily show you around if asked.
Travel money tip: Making purchases in the US can be tricky as the listed price doesn't often include the sales tax, not to mention the tip. Luckily Oregon has no sales tax, so if you stick to adding a 15-20% tip calculating your final bill should be a breeze.
Holiday destination: Italy
Mercury's retrograde can often exaggerate the passionate and creative Scorpio, leading them to be a bit 'extra' at times. If this is the case, consider heading to Italy where 'extra' is embraced with open arms. You are free to experience a new culture, eat incredible food and express your emotions with a kiss on the cheek and shake of the hand. Mamma Mia!
Travel money tip: Save yourself some cash by standing at café bars to drink your espressos - it's cheaper than sitting down.
Holiday destination: South Africa
Currency: South African Rand
Sagittarius’ are often the biggest travellers, as it allows them to feed their search for meaning and freedom. Their open-minded and philosophical nature pairs perfectly with a visit to South Africa, where you can witness vibrant new cultures, majestic animals in their natural habitat and even delve deeper into the broader African continent.
Travel money tip: Quench that thirst for knowledge by checking out our travel guides. Perhaps you'll be inspired to take more than one holiday this year?
Holiday destination: Dubai
Currency: United Arab Emirates Dirham
Capricorns are masters of self-control, quickly learning from their mistakes and thriving in the material world. Consider a trip to Dubai, where you can witness the juxtaposition of immense wealth and growth against the stark desert backdrop.
Travel money tip: Your focus on material treasures may lead to uncalculated spending sprees. Check out our Dubai travel budget guide, so you know exactly how much you need to save (and spend).
Holiday destination: New Zealand road trip
Currency: New Zealand dollar
The deep-thinking Aquarius often needs a break from the outside world, a chance to delve inside, reflect and enjoy the solitude. What better place to do this then while driving through New Zealand's stunning scenery? Forget about the fuss of going overseas and focus on yourself!
Travel money tip: Chances are you already know about money in NZ! If you have any questions though, feel free to visit the team at your local Travel Money NZ.
Holiday destination: Vietnam
Currency: Vietnamese Dong
Pisces’ vibrant, fun-loving nature means they thrive in big groups of people. They are never judgmental and are always willing to help. This attitude is mirrored in the Vietnamese culture. Better yet, hostels throughout Vietnam are bustling with young travellers, curating the perfect travel destination for the Pisces among us.
Travel money tip: Street vendors in Vietnam will happily accept US Dollars; however, you will often be charged a worse rate as a result. Visit the team at your local Travel Money NZ to stock up on enough dong and dollars to keep you covered while away.
This blog is provided for information only and does not take into consideration your objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider whether the information and suggestions contained in any blog entry are appropriate for you, having regard to your own objectives, financial situation and needs. While we take reasonable care in providing the blog, we give no warranties or representations that it is complete or accurate, or is appropriate for you. We are not liable for any loss caused, whether due to negligence or otherwise, arising from use of, or reliance on, the information and/or suggestions contained in this blog.