When you are traveling overseas, you may be looking for various tips and tricks as to what to do about money. As you likely know, exchange rates between currencies are changing all of the time and you could end up getting into some serious financial woes if you don't understand how the entire process works.
As the latest news on the Greece bailout deal sends further shockwaves throughout the Eurozone, exchange rates and currency values continue to unpredictably fluctuate. The value of your US dollar changes all the time in relation to it's European counterparts, but what exactly does this mean for American travelers? Here is a look at three of the major questions that come up when US visitors to Europe are trying to work their way through dealing with exchange rates.
When given the option, should I use USD or Euros?
This is an important question, because you may be tempted to let an overseas vendor charge your account, whether you're using a credit or debit card, in USD. The issue is, when it comes to businesses based overseas, you could end up getting charged a lot more than you would have if you just paid in the local currency. If you pay in USD, you could be charged what is known as a conversion rate, which could make it so that you end up paying anywhere up from 1 to 6 percent extra than you would have if you just paid in Euros. Keep Euros on hand, if you have the ability to do so, and pay in cash to avoid confusion.
The same caution should be taken when booking your travel plans and accommodations overseas. Whether it be a hotel or a guided tour package, most overseas businesses will use banks that are based outside of the US. Whether they charge you in USD or EUR, you may face conversion charges (either from them or from your own banking institution) so be wary of this to factor it into total cost. When it comes to car rentals in Europe, we've got you covered; Auto Europe is a US-based company and we offer rates in USD free of any conversion fees, charged domestically here in the United States.
How can I keep up with the exchange rate at the time that I'm visiting?
Exchange rates are always changing, which is why it's important that you consider getting some Euros as soon as you arrive in the country that you are visiting. Even though you can always get an idea as to what is going on, you'll still be in a better position if you have some Euros in your pocket. One of the best things for you to do is keep up with the news while you're visiting any European country, either via local news publications or online with a portable MiFi device. That way, you know what the rate is on a daily basis and you can prevent yourself from getting ripped off.
What tools can help me with the conversion problems I may come across?
Thankfully, it's easier than it ever has been before to keep an eye on conversion rates. There are a large number of apps that you can download for your mobile device that you can use in order to ensure that you know the exchange rate when you're traveling abroad. Most of them are incredibly easy to use - just plug in a few numbers and you will get an idea as to what the rate is and/or should be when you're paying for a service. Check out reviews to find the most reliable ones that are out there and prepare your phone for international travel; you'll be glad that you did!
By following these tips, you're going to be in a much better spot when it comes to traveling to Europe and keeping track of the exchange rates. It will help to reduce the amount of stress that you feel, and you will have an easier time when it comes to keeping track of exactly how much you're spending while on holiday.