Search This Blog

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

$Exchange Rates$

Rhonda and I have been observing the exchange rates in both of the countries we will be visiting later in the year.  China uses the Yuan (CNY) and Italy uses the Euro (EUR).  Currently the Euro is going through a downturn (YAY for the US dollar) and makes it possible to get more bang for the buck.  The rate is as low as it was three years ago when we first visited Europe.  A gelato that costs 3 EUR is worth approximately $3.74 USD today relative to $3.92 USD a month ago.  That may not seem much, but it makes a big difference. Especially if I want to purchase 2 gelatos. HA!! The CNY is going the opposite direction, so the dollar is weaker.  But the costs in China are pretty inexpensive so it's not so outrageous. And I read somewhere that many restaurants in China don't accept tips.  Now that's a custom I wish the US would adopt. But on the flip side, I would pay the American restaurant staff higher wages. That's only fair.

So in our effort to be budget conscious, we will be using my sister's Capital One card when we make purchases abroad (food, souvenirs, etc).  It's a good card for traveling internationally because they charge NO fees.  Also, we will use an ATM that will allow us to draw money with minimal charges.  I've located several banks in both China and Italy that will utilize my bank card without the outrageous fees.

Another consideration point is international phone calls.  I'm a little nervous about that one.  Three years ago I had a plan where I talked all of 10 minutes and it cost me over $30.  I can not have that happen again.  So I'm researching other options that could be utilized in both Europe and China. I've heard that global phones are a viable option. I'm with AT&T.  If anyone has any suggestions on this and other matters that will help the budget conscious traveller, please leave a comment.

No comments:

Post a Comment