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Everyone thinking about going on a vacation to Europe immediately starts planning to buy travelers checks. What a waste. I have been to Europe many times and never never used a travelers check even once. Madison Avenue has spent untold millions convincing travelers that a check which you can replace if it is lost or stolen is the only way to carry spending money. I guess that is true if you are unconscious or klutzie.

Well that all may well have been true at one time, although I even doubt that. But now with ATM cards, the travelers check is not my suggestion.

First, take cash. Good American greenbacks. $50 bills or $100 bills are the best. Then as you need the currency for the country you happen to be in, you can make the exchange. Twelve countries now use the EURO. If you will be visiting these countries exclusively, then you can change your money for them before you leave. That would get you the better rate. Plus you could do that from the convenience of your own bank, usually. If your bank does not order foreign currency, find one that does.

 

The Euro is the currency of twelve European Union countries: Belgium, Germany, Greece, Spain, France, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Austria, Portugal and Finland.

There is a daily exchange rate which fluctuates somewhat. Here is a currency converter which you might want to play with to get the feel for currencies of various countries and the American dollar equivalent. Click HERE for the converter.

Here are more tips about money in Europe.

Be sure to hold change in various currencies where you plan to visit for the luggage lockers at train stations. Sometimes finding change is time consuming.

Study the picture of coins and bills so you will know the value. Size is not always a clue to the value. You may want to take along a chart with the equivalent values to the dollar.

ATM machines will give you currency of the local country. There are even more sophisticated ATM's that will dispense currency other than the country you are in. Be sure to ask for what you want when you punch in the buttons.

A way to budget your cash is to exchange each day the budget you can spend for that day in that country. That way when you run out of money, you know when to quit. This also means you will use the last few coins to find something to buy rather than return with more souvenir coins than you want. Those foreign coins will have no value here. Infact I have been to coin shows where a 1 SFR Swiss Franc (about 75 cents American) is sold for 25 cents and a 5 SFR (about $4 American) is also sold for 25 cents. Go to a coin show in the USA. You may be surprised what you will find there in the foreign coins box.

Here are links to pages about foreign coins and paper money:

Switzerland has the most beautiful coins and paper money.

Euro

Britain

Sweden

Click HERE to continue.

 


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