Maybe I’ll have Internet access over there, maybe not. So, I might not be back on until next week!
Tonight, we’re going to LAX to spend the night. Our plane leaves tomorrow morning and then we’ll spend the next, well, relatively the next 15 or so hours on the plane before we arrive in Germany on Saturday morning.
Goodbye USA, Hello Germany.
The reality of leaving the country hits me more and more everyday. I am pretty frightened, excited, intimidated, anxious, and all at the same time. It’s great to finally be able to say I’ve traveled around the world, and it sure as heck took me long enough!
One of the issues that I’d like to put a nail into already is the currency exchange rate. First, I didn’t realize how horrible the the rate of exchange from the dollar to the euro really was. Then I started researching.
$1.30 for every dollar??!
The crazy thing is that when we arrive, it might be back up to $1.32 or even the record $1.36/euro. Let me put it this way. If I decide to bring $100, that would exchange for 77.05 Euro. I lose $22 in the exchange!! How’s that for living in a time where the US dollar is at an all time low!
How frustrating! I now have to figure out how to get the best exchange rate. After calling the banks at which I keep my money, I find out that one bank will exchange a euro for $1.37 and the other at $1.36. What? But the dollar is being traded for as low as $1.29! Well, I was told that to receive that kind of rate, you have to be trading hundreds and thousands of dollars. It seems that the average schmo has to suck it up. I then try to find out about charging. One bank will allow you to charge for the regular exchange rate + 2% and the other will allow you to charge at normal rate with no fee. This is even worse because it limits any purchases I make to my debit card only. I must have some euro in hand while I’m in that country!
Luckily, one of us has a bank which can be used at ATMs in Germany and it won’t incur any additional fees! So, I’m putting most of my money in that account. As for the rest, I’m going to have to see what the conversion rates are over there and if it beats what I will pay here, I’m definitely just bringing cash with me and exchanging it over there.
Anyone have any better ideas?