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ParrotMom Sep 18th, 2005 05:37 PM

Changing $$ for Euros
Where is the best place to change Euros when entering a country, the airport exchange/

Patrick Sep 18th, 2005 05:43 PM

If you MUST exchange currency, it makes little difference. Just pick an exchange booth and do it. Obviously if you're exchanging money there's either a reason you HAVE to, or you don't really care about what's it costing you.

Most people who DO care about not spending more money for currency than necessary take an ATM card linked to their checking account and draw out local currency -- probably the best and least expensive way to get local currency.

ParrotMom Sep 18th, 2005 06:01 PM

Thanks.. of course we DO care and we have an ATM card for just this's just that we've never had to deal in Euros before, since we've only been in the UK

janis Sep 18th, 2005 07:37 PM

ParrotMom: The procedures for getting € would be exactly the same as for getting £. Just use your ATM card and forget about exchanging $.

If you've traveled to the UK I am a bit confused why you'd think the euro zone would be any different . . . . .

Gretchen Sep 19th, 2005 02:40 AM

Maybe to be more explicit, we get maybe 100€ at our departure airport in the US so we will have some euros when we arrive. From then on, we use the ATM. An exchange booth is never the best rate.

ParrotMom Sep 19th, 2005 03:27 AM

A very simple reason...Until now we have NEVER used or wanted an ATM/DEBIT card. This is our first experience in all our years of traveling.

palette Sep 19th, 2005 04:20 AM

What countries are you visiting that you need to "change Euros?" The Euro is good from one country to another that uses that currency. There is no French Euro as compared to an Italian Euro, for example. Of course, there are Eastern European countries that are not on the currency yet.

cls2paris Sep 19th, 2005 05:08 AM

I exchange about $100 at the airport before I depart. I just don't want the hassle of trying to do that when I arrive. If you want to wait until you get to the arrival airport, you may as well use the ATM and save the fees.

janis Sep 19th, 2005 05:25 AM

sorry ParrotMom. Since you said you have and ATM card and have been to the UK before - I just assumed you used the ATM card to get £.

Gretchen Sep 19th, 2005 05:48 AM

Agree with Janis--you surely did send a mixed message. Hope you have the information you need now.
One caution since apparently you haven't used an ATM before or often-- there have been some reports of the ATM card being copied or "caught" at some places in France and losses associated with that. The consensus was to use only ATMs associated with banks or post offices. You might also want to investigate whether your bank has a reciprocal agreement with a European bank where you will not be charged an ATM fee (by your home bank--there are no ATM fees at the foreign bank). Bank of AMerica is one that does have such.

suze Sep 19th, 2005 06:27 AM

If you need to exchange cash for cash, then use an exchange bureau or possibly a normal bank. Your hotel front desk may even offer the service. None of these have the best rates and other fees may be involved.

Using an ATM, whether at the airport or after you get into town, is pretty much always the best option.

If you have truly *never* used one, you might want to practice making a couple transactions before your trip so you are comfortable with using one.

seeksocean Sep 19th, 2005 06:35 AM

Funny this talk of Euro exchange, as I have been wondering about my future trip to Europe in May. I have been making reservations based on the current exchange rate, but of course I don't pay for my room until I check in.

Soooooo, I was wondering what the the current thought is about the dollar becoming weaker or stronger in the next 7 or 8 months. If the trend is the dollar getting weaker, I was almost considering buying Euros now to take over there, thereby at least knowing what the price of a room is for me at present.

I know this may sound ridiculous to some, but I am on a bit of a budget, and every cent counts for me. What do you all think the Euro/Dollar will do? Thanks!

tomboy Sep 19th, 2005 06:38 AM

My experience has been that, since our local bank ATMs have Cirrus and Plus network logos on them, I need only look for UK or European ATMs (associated with banks) with similar logos. It's worked 100% without fail.

Now, if I had leftover UK pounds (or Czech korunas), I guess an airport exchange would be convenient after having used up as many pounds as I could on airport shop items.

ParrotMom Sep 19th, 2005 08:30 AM

We will be on a cruise from Barcelona, going to Nice, Malaga, Corsica, Rome and the Azores. I like the idea of changing $$ into Euros at our airport here. Plus the charge card we have (forgotten--too much on my mind) has a very, very low rate. Of course ifwe can charge on this card all the better

Keith Sep 19th, 2005 09:15 AM

seeksocean, That is like getting a stock tip:-) I wouldn't base a decission on which way currency will move over the next 8 months based on what any of us guess.


Gretchen Sep 19th, 2005 12:26 PM

Changing Euros at your airport is expensive. You don't need to do it. Just hit the pier and look for an ATM.

seeksocean Sep 19th, 2005 01:05 PM

Thanks, but I am not basing my decision on what others think the Euro will do, but I am just curious what you all think. In the end it's my call and I know that.

winesipper Sep 19th, 2005 02:46 PM

You might want to see my post on on "What is the Euro going to do." I have not done internationl research on this topic but I have formed an opinion on this topic from personal experience. Use a DEBIT is the cheapest way to get Euro abroad. Forget airport conversions...those newspaper rates are for for one million dollar transactions. The little folks like us get ripped at currency counters at airports. I think Patrick has been around the track a few times so listen to his advice too re:9:43am post.

clevelandbrown Sep 19th, 2005 03:33 PM

Seeksocean, professional traders don't even know what currencies will do, they just make informed guesses.

The euro/dollar exchange rate has been fairly stable for some time, but that is not to say that it will remain that way.

However, if you buy euros now in anticipation of a distant trip, you will pay a rather healthy premium for the privilege, and lose any income the money may make for you in the interim.

I think the best strategy is to save harder, and be prepared to cut back on some variable expenses if the rate turns against you. You can always find a less expensive place to eat, or even skip some meals, and you may not really need a souveneer for great aunt Polly. Many lodging reservations can be cancelled beforehand without penalty, and you could stay in hostels or the like. Just decide what you really want to do, and cut back on the rest. Some people advocate putting your increased costs on a credit card and paying it off later, but I suspect they are all bankruptcy lawyers.

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