Money is a very personal thing. How much you need is related to how you spend, what you buy and how often. If you are going buy Gucci products in Italy, you will need some money. We like to arrive with some Euros in our pocket. Maybe 200- 400 so we can buy tickets, take a taxi, etc. Most restaurants and stores take credit cards. There used to be a problem at some places because the European credit card machines require a computer chip on their credit cards. The US has finally caught up to the rest of the world and most banks are now issuing credit cards with both the old stripe and the new chip. Choose a credit card that does NOT charge an extra foreign transaction fee. There are many today to choose from.
You can get money from a European ATM easily. His is the easiest way to replenish your cash. Banks offer great exchange rates but can take a while to fill out paperwork and get your cash. When you are returning home, don’t exchange your Euros back to dollars if you plan another trip in the next few years. The double exchange is very costly. Hold on to your Euros with your passports and use them on the next trip.
Traveling is fun and money shouldn’t be the main concern. You are on vacation and you should relax and enjoy the trip.
George & Jo Anne
Categories: Cash, Dollars, Euro, Europe, Exchange Rates, Italy, Taxi
Tags: cash, Dollar, Euro, Exchange Rates, Italian, Italian people, Italy, Money, No Tour Touring, Taxi, Tourism, Travel, Travel and Tourism
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
What are the top three reasons people don’t go to Europe? Money, Money, Money! Never borrow or use credit card debt to go. That only ruins your trip when you get back and have to pay for it. Most Americans don’t have four to six thousand to drop on a trip. There is the kids college fund, the mortgage, we need a new car, etc. The list goes on and on. There is a way. Save an amount you can afford each week, or month. Put it in a separate savings account just for vacations. Let it grow until you have enough to go. Then shop for deals on airfare and hotels. If having an account with several thousand in it is too tempting for you, start a Christmas fund and buy yourself a vacation gift at Christmas time.
Airfares are expensive but you can shop for deals. Last minute bookings can save a lot of money. Traveling Tuesday through Thursday instead of Friday through Sunday can save a bundle. Check both the airline sites and discount sites like Orbitz. Hotels can be inexpensive on discount sites. They don’t always get a lot off airfare but if you book it with them they can save you a lot on a hotel. Don’t pick the big American hotels. Go for small European hotels but be sure you have a private bath. The experience will be more memorable and fun. Many include a wonderful European breakfast with the room. Don’t look for American breakfasts, you are not in America. Eggs are usually only given as hard-boiled. The breakfast usually includes breads, pastries, meats and cheeses. Some have a variety of cereals as well. Juice and coffee is also available.
Enjoy your trip and be a European while you are traveling. Be romantic and be happy. Don’t forget the gelato and chocolate. These are less sugary than in the states and so delicious.
George & Jo Anne
Categories: Chocolate, Europe, Flights, General Travel, Money
Tags: Chocolate, Christmas Club, Food, Gelato, Money, No Tour Touring, Tourism, Travel and Tourism