This blog entry was written by Tony Ubertaccio.
Making “Cents” of Changing Money…How to not get ripped on the exchange rates.
By now I’m sure you’ve gotten a handle on the whole Euro vs. Dollar thing and the always challenging “How much should I withdraw?” dilemmas that every study abroad student encounters. I hope you have found which banks are affiliated with your banks in the states and have learned to withdraw as much as is within your means to defend against that sometimes-painful service charge. Today, Euro bills and coins no longer feel foreign. Without so much as a second’s hesitation, you can reach into your pocket and grab just three coins to pay for your 3,50€ panino. Bravo.
But this weekend you’re going to Croatia and, uh oh, they’re not on the Euro… what now? Will there be ATMs? I have 200€, should I exchange it when I get there? For those of you traveling to countries like the Czech Republic, Hungary, Switzerland, or Croatia, it is okay to be asking these questions. You are not alone. To help make some sense of this whole changing money conundrum I’ll give you the same advice I gave the passengers on the trip.
If you have money in the bank and Euro in your pocket, don’t touch your Euro. Whenever you convert Euro to another currency like Koruna or to Kuna, in Croatia, you will be charged by the converter and lose some money in the transaction. That doesn’t make sense if you know you’ll be back to Florence on Sunday and will need those Euros eventually.
So fear not when leaving the Euro countries. Go places your friends have never been before. And spend money you might never again have the opportunity to use. And, if you can, hold on to some… Franc, Kuna, Forint, Koruna, and Euro are some of my favorite souvenirs from my travels abroad.