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Another question Non dive related for my Europe friends~~

Discussion in 'Non-Diving Related Stuff' started by Natasha, Sep 13, 2007.

  1. Natasha

    Natasha Dive Travel Professional

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Chicagoan living in Texas
    11,609
    17
    Hi:
    I know some of you know I'm going back to Europe this year. I also have clients still going this year before I leave.
    I always buy Euro at home from my Bank of America before I go.. I haven't heard this..

    One just wrote to me with this.. Can you help?


    From my client:
    "Llloyd talked to someone he knows who said that American dollars are
    accepted everywhere & that we didn't need to worry about exchanging for
    Euros. Can you please advise?"

    Well I know we won't take Euro in our cabs or stores here~~ so will they take our American dollar there? I have not heard this..
     
  2. mislav

    mislav Dive Travel Professional

    # of Dives:
    Location: Koh Phi Phi, Thailand
    959
    2
    Across European Union, apart from Duty Free stores the only legal currency is Euro. Somewhere someone may accept dollars off the counter and especially cab drivers might do this if you tell them in advance that dollars are all you've got, but this also depends not only on what particular country you travel to but also on a mood and character of persons involved.

    Not much, but I hope it helped.
     
  3. ScubaTexan

    ScubaTexan ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    9,260
    3
    Our dollar is practically worthless over in Europe right now. The current exchange rate is the worst I've ever seen, and I've been travelling in Europe since 1989. There is no way I could afford to go over now. :(

    Universal Currency Converter
     
  4. RonDawg

    RonDawg Contributor

    974
    3
    Some tourist areas may take the American dollar at significant loss, however it's a good idea to have some local currency at all times.

    At one time it was best to charge as much as you can to take advantage of a better exchange rate and not have to worry about changing any excess local currency back to US$ and thus incurring another loss. While the former is no longer the case as many if not most credit card issuers now charge "currency exchange fees", I still prefer this method to minimize trips to the currency exchange office.

    I also buy American Express Travelers Checks, in American dollars, for my foreign travel. Before I leave, I make a list of American Express Travel Offices in the cities where I will be visiting. These offices will exchange American Express checks for local currency, and only charge you the prevailing exchange rate, with no added fees. So far I've found the exchange rate to be pretty competitive, and definitely a lot better than currency exchange centers located in tourist areas.

    Whatever you do, do NOT use the American Express Travel Card (as opposed to the paper Travelers Checks). While it seems like a convenience, they charge you everytime you take out cash, and as I found out to my horror in Munich late one evening, not all ATM's accept it even if it has the AMEX symbol. In fact, only one or two German banks would accept it at all.

    Not all EU countries are on the Euro. In fact, only 13 of the EU's 27 members have made the switch.

    For example, the United Kingdom is still officially on the Pound Sterling, though many tourist areas and some big department stores like Marks and Spencer will accept the Euro.

    And of course not all European countries are EU members, most notably Switzerland, and these still use their own currency with the exception of handful.
     
  5. Natasha

    Natasha Dive Travel Professional

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Chicagoan living in Texas
    11,609
    17
    Thanks for all the help so far. Please keep the posts coming. I should have said these clients are going to Italy, Greece and Turkey. Just as I will also be doing in November, along with Egypt.
     
  6. mislav

    mislav Dive Travel Professional

    # of Dives:
    Location: Koh Phi Phi, Thailand
    959
    2
    True that, I was generalizing. Natasha did mention Euros in her post, so I picked up on that...
     
  7. ScubaTexan

    ScubaTexan ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    9,260
    3
    mislav,
    Do they accept the euro in Croatia? Do you actually have to be a member of the EU in order to use and exchange the euro? Just curious...
     
  8. GrumpyOldGuy

    GrumpyOldGuy Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: West Texas/NH/CA
    4,579
    2,444
    Remember you ATM card (or any credit/debit card with a PIN number) is often your best friend. I often use these to get local currency in Asia/Europe with minimum hassle in hotel lobbys or bank ATB (even after hours). Debit cards have the best rates (no cash advance fee). I found that in some countries local cash is the only acceptable method of payment (cabs, local restaurants, etc..).
     
  9. mislav

    mislav Dive Travel Professional

    # of Dives:
    Location: Koh Phi Phi, Thailand
    959
    2
    In euros, you can legally pay for highways, on international trains or flights... otherwise Croatian "kuna" is the way to go. You can exchange any convertible currency into kunas, euros, dollars etc in any bank or exchange office no questions asked. There are plenty of those around and all offer very similar rates.

    However, I'm pretty sure one can negotiate payment with Dive centers in foreign currencies. :D
     
  10. RonDawg

    RonDawg Contributor

    974
    3
    It can also be your worst enemy, if there is a mechanical malfunction and the ATM decides to eat your card. Don't laugh, it happened a couple of months ago to my friend here in LA when he inserted his card from a Hawaii bank into a local ATM, and it decided to keep it. And it was late on a Friday night too, and that branch isn't open on Saturdays.

    Fortunately he was able to get it back on Monday, but had to borrow money from me until then. And what if this happened overseas?

    My horror story with the American Express Travel Funds card in Munich made me more sympathetic to those who are away from home and suddenly find themselves without any funds. I was lucky in that if I was unable to find an ATM that took my card, my friend who was with me could cover me for the short term, but what if I was alone on that trip? That's why I prefer to carry travelers checks when outside the US and Canada, the inconvenience of finding a place to cash them is minor compared to the problems inherent with electronic forms of funds transfer.
     

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