MSE News: Is it worth changing euros for the summer holidays now?

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  • It has worked in my favour as I booked 12 months ago directly with the hotel, Advance Booking discount of 20% and returning customer discount of 5%,payable on arrival.I booked flights and taxi transfers separately.With a tour operator it was almost £900 more ( same hotel, room etc...)The price was fixed in Euros and I have been watching and waiting, Clarity card in hand.Just contacted the hotel and paid it today, I still have the same cancellation conditions, nothing to pay if I cancel up to 48 hrs and 1 night payable with 24hrs cancellation notice.The rate today has knocked a further £200 off the cost off the hotel.....the rate I get will change , it may go up or it may go down , which might be today's or tomorrows, they have done the transaction, depends when it appears on my statement., but I think( hope) it will only be small change.Need currency for small purchases and tips and got 1.3105 at Tesco yesterday( ordered/paid for online using my Tesco Credit Card, with no commission , it was 1.28 at the bureau)Happy with that too......if it goes up then I will happily use my Clarity Card for everything if it drops dramatically then will use the Euros( got extra to either use or save )....Winter Sun here I come!!!!
  • edited 28 January 2015 at 4:00PM
    duncansotonduncansoton Forumite
    18 Posts
    edited 28 January 2015 at 4:00PM
    Pincher wrote: »
    Just worried about tourist scalping in general. Unfortunately, the con artists and pick pockets hang out where tourists go. I hear Athens was a rip off joint even before the recession.


    The Parthenon has free entry days! E.g. 6th March in memory of Melina Mercouri. EURO12 full price, OAPs EURO6.


    Hotel and flight should be OK, but how do I avoid getting ripped off getting from the airport to the hotel?


    I suppose I could wait till retirement and do a cruise, but on-shore excursions are even more of a rip off.



    Taxis are fixed tariff from the airport to downtown Athens - 35 Euros. Taxis generally I've found to be amongst the cheapest in Europe.

    There is a bus which costs 5 Euros each and goes to Syntagma Square or the metro costs 10 Euros per person.

    The costs for the Parthenon alone is 6 Euros - 12 Euros is the integrated price for 6 separate sites. Senior or student entry is half those prices, so take ID/photocopies.

    Athens is generally a very cheap city, if you do decide to go perhaps research more and leave some preconceptions at home and you'll have a better time :)
  • Kernow666Kernow666 Forumite
    3.5K Posts
    Seventh Anniversary 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker I've been Money Tipped!
    MSE_Helen wrote: »
    "The euro has weakened even further over the last week and £1 can now buy you €1.34 at the spot rate..."
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    like how MSE assumes everyoneis in london and can collect in person to get this rate
    "If I know I'm going crazy, I must not be insane"
  • MikeJOMikeJO Forumite
    374 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Name Dropper
    Kernow666 wrote: »
    like how MSE assumes everyoneis in london and can collect in person to get this rate

    The "spot" exchange rate (I think I'm right in saying) is the rate agreed between financial institutions and not available to someone looking for holiday cash, wherever they live.
    Procrastination is my middle name....well it would be if I could be ar**d to contact Deed Poll."
  • Taxis are fixed tariff from the airport to downtown Athens - 35 Euros. Taxis generally I've found to be amongst the cheapest in Europe.

    There is a bus which costs 5 Euros each and goes to Syntagma Square or the metro costs 10 Euros per person.

    The costs for the Parthenon alone is 6 Euros - 12 Euros is the integrated price for 6 separate sites. Senior or student entry is half those prices, so take ID/photocopies.


    Athens is generally a very cheap city, if you do decide to go perhaps research more and leave some preconceptions at home and you'll have a better time :)




    Just got back from Egypt. Fake duty free! Broken alabaster souvenir because they didn't pad between the two pieces when packing. They got their money, who cares what happens to the merchandise.


    Guilin in China a few months ago was a another one. Camera got stolen. Came out of a five star hotel, no taxi will take me to the station on meter. They all wanted at least double. After 300 meters, pushing my 21kg suitcase, had to give in and paid what they asked.


    I have a Greek (not Cypriot) neighbour two doors down, who goes to Athens fairly often. All the pre-conceptions I have came from him. Been to Knossos in Crete, walked a circuit round Olympus in Cyprus, Athens is kinda on the bucket list.
  • edited 31 January 2015 at 1:07PM
    savvymalcsavvymalc Forumite
    2 Posts
    edited 31 January 2015 at 1:07PM
    If you are unsure as to when to buy your foreign currency for your holidays the solution is simple. Buy half now and the other half nearer to when you travel. This is basic "ForEx hedging" for us ordinary folk and I'm surprised we don't hear this advice all the time...
  • savvymalc wrote: »
    If you are unsure as to when to buy your foreign currency for your holidays the solution is simple. Buy half now and the other half nearer to when you travel. This is basic "ForEx hedging" for us ordinary folk and I'm surprised we don't hear this advice all the time...

    Given the relative stability of the major currencies, even in uncertain economic times, I'm much more an advocate of getting a decent card (Halifax Clarity for example) and withdrawing at destination.

    Your hedge plan loses merit because the exchange rate obtained buying currency in the UK is invariably terrible compared to a zero loaded card transaction.

    Pretending to play the currency markets with a few hundred quid of holiday spending money is a mugs game. Seeking out value isn't.
  • According to the OANDA web site the euro is at a 5 year low vs the pound. So in my opinion now is the time to buy. The recent announcement of cash injections by the European Central Bank caused the euro value to fall. Also in the last 2 years actions by the UK government has increased the value of the pound vs the euro.


    In my opinion market nervousness in the run up to the 2015 general election will cause a small reduction in the value of the pound vs the euro. The only change which would cause a large reduction the value of the pound is Labour winning the 2015 general election. Expect the value to fall even further if Labour requires an alliance with the SNP to form a government.


    Buy your Euros now or as far ahead of the general election as you can manage.


    I have already bought mine
  • DigForVictoryDigForVictory Forumite
    11.6K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    Forumite
    All our passports are out of date, but the state of the Euro means Euro-zone birthday presents are looking much more interesting as the money goes further.
    When birthdays are over, what rate the Euro is at goes right back to being academic.
  • Given the relative stability of the major currencies, even in uncertain economic times, I'm much more an advocate of getting a decent card (Halifax Clarity for example) and withdrawing at destination.

    Your hedge plan loses merit because the exchange rate obtained buying currency in the UK is invariably terrible compared to a zero loaded card transaction.

    Pretending to play the currency markets with a few hundred quid of holiday spending money is a mugs game. Seeking out value isn't.

    PW I think you missed the point...
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