If you think you'll
spend $2,000 on your trip, bring $5,000.
Think $5,000, bring $15,000.
Over $10,000, take your life's savings.
In Europe, every shop is quaint, every restaurant is new, and every sight
is unseen. Your spouse or traveling
companion will nag you to do it all.
Usually, one-third of what you pay reflects the true value of the good or
service that you buy, the other two-thirds the amount you're being ripped off as
a tourist. Americans routinely
overpay by four times, Canadians and Britons by three times, and New Zealanders
by about one-and-a-half times.
Australians are actually entitled to a discount if they sing "Down Under" while
munching on a vegemite sandwich.
The best way to
carry money is to take somebody else's.
Second to that, we recommend counterfeit bills.
is one of those necessary evils every traveler must suffer through.
Most European currencies fluctuate vís a vís other currencies, so you
never know exactly how much local money you're going to get for your own.
The only constant in the jungle of floating exchange rates is that you're
going to get ripped off.
in Europe works something like this.
You walk up to a currency exchange booth and hand them your dollars.
The cashier will, in turn, give you nothing.
In the worst cases, the commission costs are higher than the amount
you're actually changing, so you'll wind up paying the cashier even more money
to still get none of the local currency.
A few examples of exchange rates are listed below.
Exchange Rates For US$1 At Some Popular European Destinations
Valid April 1991
||What The Traveler Actually Got
||1 schilling and a goofy smile
||38 African francs, worth about 17¢
||0.63 pounds sterling
||an outdated British coin from 1941 plus a correction
of his English pronunciation
||a sample of a German sausage
||one U.S. dollar -- no one's ever around to change
||his wallet stolen
||a lot of small talk and little money
||alternate greetings of "Welcome to España" and "No
||nothing, but the female cashiers are pretty
Where To Put Your Money
This shouldn't be
too difficult. As we've already
explained, once you get to Europe to change your money into local currency, you
won't have any money to worry about.
Women can hide the
odd bill between their breasts, if they're large and firm enough -- the bills,
that is. This will not discourage
European men from stealing, but you may get a nice fondle in the process.
You're probably going to be fondled in any case, particularly in Italy,
so you might as well put some money there to justify the ordeal.
Men can conceal currency notes inside their shoes.
This comes in very handy when you're trying to pay in Germany.
Germans would rather accept nothing than take smelly money.
It reminds them too much of the hyperinflationary times after the First
World War when currency notes had the value of garbage.