Financial Tips to get you Through Italy

Those who are planning on traveling to Italy will certainly want to keep in mind some important financial tips that will help with making this trip go as smoothly as possible. One of the most important things to remember when traveling to another country such as Italy is that emergency credit cards can help.

There can be many unforeseeable circumstances which can arise, and having one of these credit cards can really be a life saver. There are many different credit card companies that offer cards with emergency travel assistance features, so it will be important to look into some of them prior to making a final decision of any kind.

Bancomat, Italy
Bancomat, Italy by Fabio Bruna

When you have a credit card with emergency travel assistance, you will be able to stay in touch with your airline in the event that your luggage is lost, or be able to transfer cash if a situation arises where you need to obtain funds as quickly as possible. These cards can help with anything from writing money to bail bond assistance, so you will certainly need to take the time to consider getting one for your upcoming trip. Considering all of the different types of emergency situations one can encounter when traveling abroad, it would certainly be prudent to invest in an emergency card to use on your vacation or business trip to Italy.

One of the most common mistakes that people make when visiting another country is choosing the wrong place to exchange their native currency for Italian currency. A lot of the change storefronts in certain parts of Italy, especially in popular tourist areas, do not have a clear exchange rate posted. By taking the time to find the right place for these services, you will be able to avoid paying an outrageous exchange rate which could be as high as 19 percent.

In Italy you will find that ATMs are called Bancomat, and are easily located in some of the larger more populated cities across the country, although they are still fairly prevalent in smaller areas. The experience of using a Bancomat in this country is very similar to that in the U.S, starting you off with a screen which will prompt you to choose your preferred language. The good news is that using a debit or credit card from your bank will be fairly simple. You will however need to make sure that you can use your card at a particular cash machine by locating the Cirrus, VPay, or BankMate logo on the card which must allow appear on the Bancomat which you wish to use.

Perhaps one of the more important things those who are planning on visiting Italy to learn before taking this trip is how the exchange rate for money works. In Italy you will find that there are no traditional dollars or pounds as in other countries, but rather the Euro. As of right now a single Euro is the equivalent to $1.29 USD. Before you exchange your money for Euros though, you will want to check what the current exchange rate is, as it tends to change from time to time.

Euro coins
Euro coins by Nils Geylen

One very easy way to go about determining how much you owe when you are given a bill in restaurant for example is to multiple each Euro by 1.29 and you will have your total. This means if you were to receive a bill for 20 Euros, it would simply be 20 multiplied by 1.29, which equals out to $25.80 USD. You will also find that paper money in Italy and many other countries in Western Europe come in different colors as well as sizes, depending on the value of each one. A 500 Euro bill is violet, 200 Euro bills are yellow, 100 Euro bills are green, and 50 bills are orange.

Finally, it will be extremely important to make certain that you check your bank account while you are visiting this country. Not only will you want to make certain of how much money you have for budgeting purposes, but it will also be important to check to see if there has been any unusual activity. Each year thousands of tourists in different parts of the world, including Italy, fall victim to identity fraud. Always make sure to keep your credit cards and wallet close and out of plain sight. These tips should serve you well when traveling to Italy, so keep them in mind for your trip there.

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