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Cost of Euros

Last year when we went to France the euro cost 1.05. Now it is 1.24. Yikes! We're going again in the fall. Should we buy some now or does someone know if it might be falling any time soon?

Posted by
5103 posts

How would anyone know if it might fall soon? If we all knew what was going to happen to currency values we'd all be trading away furiously.

Even the experts don't know, it's all a gamble, either buy them now and feel some relief if the value increases or kick yourself if it decreases.

Posted by
7046 posts

Currencies fluctuate, it's a fact of life. The best idea is to use an ATM once you get there. If you think the exchange rate itself is bad, would you want to pay an extra, say 7% in straight fees on top, just for being able to buy it ahead of time? Undoubtedly, buying it will make it even more expensive than the exchange rate suggests (the exchange rate is what you'd get at an ATM if your bank doesn't charge extra fees).

Posted by
6102 posts

Having had to prepay our Haarlem hotel feels a lot better now!

Posted by
2424 posts

The current US administration wouldn’t be too disappointed to see the dollar weaken against other currencies in order to boost US exports.

So yes, I think Euros will cost more in the short term. The pound is also strengthening against the dollar.

Posted by
22983 posts

If I could answer that, I would flying first class to Europe every six months. BUT - buying now is a sucker play regardless which way the Euro goes. Unless you are a mega purchaser, you will pay between 1.31 to 1.36 to purchase Euro in the US today. That means the Euro will have to increase to something in the mid 1.30 before you have a chance of breaking even. Probability ???? who knows but probably low. Put the same amount of money in a no-load mutual fund and you will probably do better.

PS I know you are new to the site but spend a few minutes to understand the structure. If you would placed your questions in the correct section you would get better answers and more responses.

Posted by
4354 posts

Personally, based on the current administration's position on trade, we suspect the cost of the Euro will go up even higher. Just our opinion of course. The least expensive way, regardless of the exchange rate, to get Euros is from an ATM at your destination. However, many (including us) think it's a good idea to have some local currency in hand upon arrival. Getting two hundred Euros from your local bank will cost you a little more, but it eliminates the hassle of trying to find a machine, the stress of hoping it works (they do occasionally malfunction), and doing it all while somewhat jet lagged. To us the small amount extra it cost to have money in hand when arriving is money well spent, and the extra cost relative to the overall cost of the trip is not, in our opinion, that much. Just something to consider if you don't have Euros left over from your prior trip. With regard to the exchange rate which may (of may not) go up, you simply have to put a pencil to it by comparing the cost of getting Euros now vs getting them later at what you anticipate the exchange rate will be. Don't forget to factor in the foreign transaction fee if you bank charges one.

Posted by
1278 posts

As many have said, there is no way to know. To give you an idea: In 2007, we began planning a trip to Italy, Switzerland, etc. with another couple. As we planned, the exchange rate was climbing. It finally peaked somewhere in the $1.60 to one Euro range. During that climb, we took a hard look at whether we even wanted to go that year at that cost. We decided we could afford it and moved forward. By the time we went 9 months later, the euro was back down to $1.35 per euro. You are fortunate you went when it was $1.05 per euro. The last time I can remember that rate was around 2002. Shortly after it climbed up to $1.25 per euro. If you go into xe.com you can look at 5 year and 10 year trends., Historically, $1.24 is not really all that high. What will it do next? Only time will tell.

Posted by
211 posts

We travel to Europe frequently and use ATM machines in the different countries for local currency. Often there is a flat transaction fee per visit so access as much as you think you will use so as to reduce the impact of the fee. When we have euros, pounds, etc remaining at the end of the trip, we usually hold on to it and use it for arrival pocket money on the next trip since there is a fee to convert back into US dollars once we return. Also, notify your debit card issuer ahead of time of your travel plans. Otherwise, your transaction may be declined. All part of the fraud prevention program to protect you.

Posted by
650 posts

If I knew for sure what the Euro would do next, I'd be wealthy enough to upgrade you all to first class and not much notice the price. But I don't. So we spread tbe risk. We always come home with about 400 to 600 Euros. We pay for lodging and some venues in advance. That way we spread the exchange risk out. We never make a killing and we never take a bath.

Posted by
7046 posts

Everyone's different. I don't believe I've spent more than 200 EUR total in cash on any European trip (even over two weeks). I primarily use credit cards for everything but small incidentals and withdraw only what I need as I go. If I come home with any cash, it's under 50 EUR (if not less).

Posted by
6174 posts

I came back from Greece a couple of years ago with several hundred surplus euros. Lucky me, they've risen in value. Luckier, I traded some of them for convertible pesos in Cuba and avoided the steep surcharge on the dollar exchange rate there. Now we're going back to Europe this spring and I have a couple of hundred euros worth a little more than what I paid for them in 2015. Call me a genius! (Just not a very stable genius, thanks.)

Historically the euro was worth over $1.30, so it's still lower than that. My guess is that it will rise, but not enough to make it worth your while to speculate. Like another poster advised, you might want to pay a big bank fee to get a few euros ahead of your trip so you have some cash when you land. Otherwise, go the ATM route over there.

Posted by
3972 posts

Last year when we went to France the euro cost 1.05. Now it is 1.24.
Yikes!

I was in Germany last year and I think the exchange rate was something like €1 = $1.04. Before I returned to NYC, I went to the ATM and took out some Euros without int'l fees. I felt very lucky to be in Europe with the exchange rate so favorable to the $; I would save it for my next trip. I'm thinking about going to Paris in November and I see that the it's now $1.24 = €1. It's still quite good. I remember $1.60 = €1 in April of 2008.

Should we buy some now or does someone know if it might be falling any
time soon?

From here in the US? I would never do that. The exchange rate might drop or stay the same this fall. Even if the euro strengthens, your exchange rate getting euros in the US now could still be more expensive than going to an ATM in the fall.

Posted by
2693 posts

The question is what will the exchange rate be when I travel, and am I better off buying Euros at the current exchange rate? The correct answer is: nobody knows the answer. If you are making your go/no go travel decisions on the basis of exchange rates, that is sad.

Posted by
18941 posts

About the best discount rate you can get on euro over here is 5% from Wells Fargo. If you use the right bank, you can get 0-1% from an ATM over there, so if you get them here you're behind the 8-ball from the start.

There are other reasons why you might not want to take enough euro for your trip on your person when you go.

Posted by
7897 posts

We just suck it up and charge everything on our credit card. We are not foodies, and get along eating hotel free breakfasts, a snack or picnic mid afternoon and a moderate priced meal at dinner. We don't buy anything that is not absolutely needed--including souvenirs.
And the credit card bills usually beat me home, and I just pay them.
We are so fortunate that our cost of living is so low, versus much of the rest of the modern world.

Posted by
11 posts

I feel you pain. Last year the euro was 1.17 when I purchased them and went to Paris. I just purchased my euros for the years trip and paid 1.30. I've heard that the euro may hit 1.40, which means it will sell at about 1.45. My new tact will be to buy euros when I feel the price is right and just save them for the my next trip.

Posted by
22983 posts

Mikakona, I am not following your comments. The current exchange rate today is 1.24. Why are you paying 1.30? Anytime you purchase euro in the US you will pay a premium between 5 to 10%. That is a big hurdle to climb over before you can get close to breakeven.