We're all cashed up with our 25USD dollars each for entry visas, and significantly wiser in the ways....
I spent the best part of 20 minutes today, standing behind a fairly unpleasant gentleman who had a bit of a tanty that he couldn't get USD in denominations of $17.34, by the sounds of it. The options of $5, $20, $50 or $100 didn't meet whatever requirement he'd dreamed up...
WARNING: BELOW SECTION IS POTENTIALLY QUITE BORING. ALLOW IT TO DISTRACT YOU AT YOUR OWN RISK.
ANYWAY, a few things to note. I've always changed money in my destination country as required, but as one needs an entry visa for Indonesia, I thought it prudent to get the appropriate currency BEFORE turning up at the immigration desk.
Immigration Official: "Are you having 25USD?"
Ignorant Aussie: "G'day fellah!"
Irate Immigration Official: "Arrest this man."
Well, here's tip one: Everyone wants USD. When you walk into a money changer, every other person in the queue wants their entire life savings in USD. SO, go as early as you can to the money changer. Alternatively, follow a large American fellow around for hours at a time, in the hopes that he wants to change his pocket full of ex-Presidents into something rather more rubbish (like AUD, for example). They run out of US dollars VERY QUICKLY in the money changer.
Tip 2: Shop around. At an RBA exchange rate of 83.99 US cents to the Australian dollar, the rates in the money changers for buying US currency ranged from 82c with no commission (very good!) to 77c + a percentage + $8 AUD per currency for conversion (quite crap.)
EDIT: A huge thanks to Rich! They only had $49 USD available in the money changer, but Riccardo kindly offered his only American dollar to square the total away. Cheers man!! I owe you one....dollar.