Everyone needs money to travel. The cost of goods is one thing but the exchange rate is another. There are several things that make European travel more expensive. The good news is it is getting better and there are some things you can do to lower the costs.
- Exchange rates are dropping. This means Americans can buy more with their dollars in Europe than before. Exchange rates have been high. The higher they go, everything starts to look too expensive.
- On top of exchange rates you have credit card fees and bank exchange rates to buy Euros. Today the World Bank rate to buy 1 Euro is $1.352. You will never find a bank that will charge you that rate! They can be as high as $1.45. So you are paying a 5-10% premium to buy Euros.
- Some credit cards also charge an additional foreign transaction fee over and above the inflated exchange rate. This can be another 3-8% fee. So a $100 item can be costing you as much as $118 with fees. There are credit cards that are for foreign travel and do not charge this transaction fee. They still inflate the exchange rate.
Travel wisely and check rates and fees before you travel. Shop carefully in Europe. Costs can differ greatly by store. Some store will bargain with you. Once you are there, stop thinking about fees and rates! Just enjoy your trip and all of its experiences.
George & Jo Anne