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 I received this question from a reader travelling to Europe.
He wrote, ” Over the past decade I have converted my Canadian dollars to US currency whenever I
travel.  I feel it is the most stable and strongest currency in the world and universally accepted.
Merchants are always happy to get it and I never have hassles in trying to figure out
relative values in most Caribbean countries I have tended to visit.
However I am planning my next long trip as a European long-stay over much of the coming winter. I found a great place in southern Spain that is really well priced and the weather is just fine for most of the winter months. Not super hot, but I can live with that.
My friends are telling me that I should not use the US dollar as my
base.
What is your advice?
I receive many questions like this and the answer can sometimes change with the conditions, but less so in considering what currency to use when travelling to Europe.
Certainly the American greenback will always be welcomed, and as an instant trading currency it is especially well received in countries like Mexico and the Caribbean.
However since you will be spending quite some time in Europe, and travelling around quite a
bit while you are there, I would recommend converting directly to the EURO.
Notwithstanding the ups and downs its levels have faced, the numbers of people who use US
dollars for merchant transactions is extremely small compared to the sunspot
countries.
You will save the double conversion costs, and I believe doing your day to day business will
be much more efficient.
Even in the Caribbean countries, I have noticed that when they accept US dollars, the
exchange rate they are giving at restaurants and retail outlets is nowhere what
it really should be.

They are quick to accept the dollars because they know they are increasing their profit
margin with every transaction.

It does become interesting when moving into boarder European states that still are not using the Euro. Suddenly finding yourself creating a new math formula can be interesting if not frustrating.
If you have travel questions or travel comment email me at pradinukr@shaw.ca . I am always happy to help with your travel planning.

 

 

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