Should I exchange money to take to East Europe? | Australian Frequent Flyer
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Should I exchange money to take to East Europe?

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Tracy

Newbie
Joined
Aug 2, 2006
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I am travelling to Prague late Sept & will spend 6 weeks in East Europe.
Au$ rate is good now. Should I exchange $ now, and what into?
Or should I just use cash machines in major cities?
 

Mr_Gimlet

Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2006
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356
I would say do it when you get there. The AUD strength has primarily been against the USD because of the expected interest rate differential, a chunk of which disappeared last night anyway, and USD weakness. The Euro rate is relatively stable at the moment, and should be OK for six weeks or so. Local cash rates here are pretty poor.

Try and withdraw as much as you can in a single transaction (assuming you are happy with carrying cash) to keep the fees down.
 

Kiwi Flyer

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 24, 2004
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5,453
Some currencies are hard to get in this part of the world, may require a week or more advance booking of the exchange, and poor exchange rates. If you must get foreign cash then euros would be best bet, although this means 2 lots of currency changes.
 

Mr_Gimlet

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Jun 18, 2006
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Kiwi Flyer said:
Some currencies are hard to get in this part of the world, may require a week or more advance booking of the exchange, and poor exchange rates. If you must get foreign cash then euros would be best bet, although this means 2 lots of currency changes.
I thought Czech used euros these days?
 

Kiwi Flyer

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Mr_Gimlet said:
I thought Czech used euros these days?
AFAIK it is still cronurs. While Czech Republic is a member of EU that doesn't automatically equate to joining EMU (ie taking up euro as currency).
 

winetraveller

Member
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Apr 14, 2007
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203
Mr_Gimlet said:
I thought Czech used euros these days?
Czech's use Crowns. They won't be part of the EMU until they are able to fulfill further financial requirments under the agreement.

Currently it about 16 crown to the AUD$, I go in an out of Prague a lot, I use it as my European base, and buy currency when I'm there. But it's just as easy, if you are going for a known period to to set yourself a daily allowance and withdraw from an ATM.

If you arrive at terminal Two, on the ground floor, there is a row of atm's on the far right end of the hall when you leave the customs area. In terminal One they are scattered about on the departures level, I think.

I general just use ATM's, but stick to those in bank foyers, others can charge some fairly hefty fees.

You are also best to change all currency when you leave the country, rather than waiting till you get to your next destination, you may find with the less well known currencies they just won't take them.

I have a fantastic collection of Kuna, Krune, Zlotys, Crowns, Roubles.

You will find some quite fantastic places, some full of tourists, some empty, and some great people. If you have any questions about Eastern Europe drop me a line, I've spent a lot of time there since working in Prague 15 years ago.
It was very different then I can tell you.
 

JohnK

AFF Supporter
Joined
Mar 22, 2005
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41,109
I gave up on buying foreign currency in Australia a long time ago. It may sound convenient but can be very expensive with the poor exchange rates offered.

For my trip in August/September I will be in places like Denmark, Finland, Germany, Poland, Czech Replubic, Hungary, Austria, Switzerland and I plan on using Australian dollars and ATM's to withdraw foreign currency over there.
 

Tracy

Newbie
Joined
Aug 2, 2006
Messages
2
Thank you for the response. I will change money when I get there in amounts I am prepared to carry. I have only travelled in Asia and then it was American $ and some blackmarket exchange too:eek:

I will have to look at what charges may be incurred in withdrawing money from ATMS (noted they should be in bank foyers preferably). I wonder how charges at ATMs are incurred, are they just from my bank?:confused:
 

Mr_Gimlet

Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2006
Messages
356
Tracy said:
Thank you for the response. I will change money when I get there in amounts I am prepared to carry. I have only travelled in Asia and then it was American $ and some blackmarket exchange too:eek:

I will have to look at what charges may be incurred in withdrawing money from ATMS (noted they should be in bank foyers preferably). I wonder how charges at ATMs are incurred, are they just from my bank?:confused:
You're charged an overseas withdrawal fee, which is a mix of a fixed fee and sliding scale based on the amount. Look at your bank's website and it should have it under fees and charges. The exchange rate used is the interbank rate, which is as good as you're going to get without being a corporation.
 
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