How to Manage Currency While on a Trip to Europe

Amongst the first things of priority while planning a holiday to Europe, is planning your currency requirement as soon as you’ve booked your tickets and received your visa. Among the 28 European Union countries, 19 countries and more than 330 million people have adopted the same currency, the Euro. The widespread adoption of the euro has helped tourists and locals to easily compare prices between countries. This has also negated the need to change money while crossing over international borders. Even in some non-European Union countries, the euro is commonly used. For instance, Montenegro and Kosovo are not in the EU, but the euro is their official currency. Following are some tips by which you can effectively manage your money while on a Europe trip.


  1. 1
    Note that not all European countries have switched to euros. Major tourist destinations which have not yet adopted the euro include: UK, Denmark, Switzerland, Norway and many more. In Switzerland, some ATMs give euros, while most prices are listed in both Swiss francs and euros. Travellers can get by with euro cash but the exchange rate is quite high. As such, if you are in a non-euro country for more than a few hours, it is advisable to get the local currency.
    • Be informed about the currency of the countries you're visiting before you leave.
  2. 2
    Avoid using traveller’s checks as much as possible. They are a waste of time and money. You will often find long queues at the bank where you go to get them cashed and you will have to pay fees to get them and even when you need to cash them. ATMs are the way to go.
  3. 3
    Minimise cash exchange. Every time you exchange your currency into another, you lose money. On an average, at a bank you lose around eight per cent when you change rupees to euros or another foreign currency. If you visit currency exchange booths, you lose more, as much as around 15 per cent. If ever the need arises to get currency exchanged, it is advisable to visit the postal banks inside the post offices at Europe since they provide the most reasonable exchange rates.
  4. 4
    Use local cash. You will be happy to know that the shops in many countries which have not adopted the euro as their official currency will still accept the euro. This prevents the hassle of exchanging the currency now and again but your purchase will be costing you about 20 percent more because of the store’s terrible exchange rate. As such, it is recommended that you use local currency whenever you are staying at a country for more than a few hours.
  5. 5
    Avoid buying foreign currency in advance. It is, of course, necessary to have some currency with you in person before you embark on the trip, but avoid buying too much foreign currency in advance. With lousy stateside exchange rates and the volatile nature of the world economy, it is more advisable to get your money out of the ATMs when you reach the destination country’s airport, to get the optimal benefit.
  6. 6
    Figure out the currency conversions. Before going to any country, have a rough idea of that country’s currency system. You do not have to go to a currency converter each and every time you visit a new country to figure out. If you indeed need some assistance, you can consult any currency conversion application on your smartphone, which will easily give you the solution to such a trivial problem. Survival on a budget will be much easier when you get comfortable with the local currency.
  7. 7
    Get rid of the coins once you leave a country. Coins with large denominations are common in Europe and exporting a pocketful of change can be an expensive mistake. Before leaving a country, spend them on postcards, a newspaper, or food or drink for the train ride, change them into bills, or simply give them away unless of course you are a numismatist. Otherwise, all you have are just a bunch of souvenirs. However, euro coins are perfectly good in any country that uses the euro currency.
  8. 8
    Get back to your home currency at the end of your trip. If you have any foreign currency left at the end of your trip, change it into your home currency at any of the European airports or simply spend it before you fly home. You might get a slightly better rate from your hometown banks for those foreign bills, but it is much more convenient to simply fly home with nothing but your home currency in your pocket.

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