Traveling to Europe can be a trip of a lifetime, but you want to make sure you have all your ducks in a row especially when it comes down to your money. Here’s 7 things to know about money when traveling to Europe.
Skip cash exchange.
The financial industry is one that is shrouded in mystery and when it comes to currency exchange you’re losing money each time. Skip the cash exchange as you lose on average 8 percent when you change dollars to euros at the bank. That number nearly doubles (15 percent) when you use currency exchange booths such as Forex or Travelex at the airport.
Don’t buy foreign currency in advance.
Thanks to technology, your credit or debit card can access ATMs all around the world. This means you can skip the currency exchanges in the states and use the ATMs once you land in Europe.
Don’t rely on the dollar.
Just because a business accepts the US dollar doesn’t mean you should rely on it. You are spending approximately 20 percent more on your purchase when using the dollar.
Master currency conversions.
While you don’t have to be a grand wizard and figure out the cost of a 30 year mortgage in Euros, it is best that you can know rough exchange rates. Local currencies are set up very similar to ours with big bills (euro, pound, złoty, lev) and coins or little ones (cents, pence, groszy, stotinki).
Don’t accept being shortchanged.
It is not uncommon for people to take advantage of tourist by shortchanging them. Make sure you do the math on all of your transactions so you aren’t cheated out of your money.
Not all coins are made equal.
Since not all coins are used throughout Europe, it is better to spend them on food, postcards, drinks or other souvenirs to take with you on your travel.
Go back to dollars before you leave.
When in Rome, do as the Romans do…once you leave, do as Americans do. Unless you want souvenirs for your trip back, spend all of your money while in Europe or exchange them for dollars at the European airport.