Should I Get Euros Before Going To Italy?

Traveling to Italy can be a thrilling experience, filled with rich history, stunning architecture, and mouthwatering cuisine. But before you pack your bags and head to the airport, consider an important question: should you get euros before going to Italy?

Should I Get Euros Before Going To Italy

The Age of Digital Transactions

In the modern age of digital transactions, the need for carrying physical cash has significantly reduced. According to Rick Steves, a renowned travel expert, the ubiquity of cash machines and the widespread use of a single currency in Europe has made it easier than ever for travelers. Gone are the days of having to go to your hometown bank for travelers’ checks or foreign cash.

Resist the Urge to Buy Foreign Currency Before Your Trip

It might be tempting to have euros in your pocket when you step off the airplane, but this could cost you in terms of unfavorable exchange rates. Steves advise waiting until you arrive in Italy to withdraw money. European airports are well-equipped with plenty of ATMs, making it easy to access euros upon arrival.

The Downside of Traveler’s Checks and Currency Exchange

Traveler’s checks are often seen as a safe way to carry money when traveling abroad. However, they can be more of a hassle than they’re worth. They can be time-consuming to cash and often come with fees. Similarly, currency exchange can be a rip-off, especially at airport booths. On average, you lose about 8 percent when you change dollars to euros or another foreign currency at a bank. The hit can be as much as 15 percent at an airport currency exchange booth.

The Power of Local Cash

While it might be exciting to see a store advertising, “We accept dollars,” the truth is, your purchase could be costing about 20 percent more because of the store’s unfavorable exchange rate. Without realizing it, you’re changing money — at a poor rate — every time you buy something with dollars. Therefore, using local cash is often the best way to go.

Credit Cards: A Friend in Need

Credit cards can be a lifesaver in emergencies. If you lose your debit card, you can use your credit card at an ATM to get a cash advance. However, it’s important to know your PIN and be aware that you’ll likely pay a sizable cash-advance fee.

The Bottom Line

In conclusion, it’s generally best to wait until you arrive in Italy to get euros. This approach allows you to take advantage of better exchange rates and avoid unnecessary fees. However, it’s always a good idea to have a backup plan in case of emergencies. Whether it’s a credit card or a small amount of US dollars, having a safety net can provide peace of mind as you explore the wonders of Italy.

Remember, the goal is to enjoy your trip without worrying about money. By understanding the local currency and making smart decisions about when and how to exchange your money, you can focus on the incredible experiences Italy has to offer.

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