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Paying for Paris: How I don’t let exchange rates stress me out!


Exchange rates are very important to factor in when planning your budget to Paris. If the exchange rate isn’t a 1:1 ratio, you need to plan carefully to not go over your budget. Exchange rates change frequently and can be maddening to keep up with while traveling.

If the exchange rate history isn’t volatile with wide swings in a day, once I get to Paris, I don’t worry about the exchange rate anymore. Instead, I use whatever the exchange rate was on the day of my departure.

On my last trip to Paris, the exchange rate started out at 1.05 USD to 1 Euro and by the end was 1.10 USD to 1 Euro. A rate swing my budget could easily absorb (and a wonderfully low exchange rate, at that).

Before I leave for Paris, I plan my budget knowing how much I plan to spend in euros so that once in Paris, I only need to think in euros. For example, if my pastry budget (yes, I always have a pastry budget) is $50USD then I calculate what that equals in euros. Using the average exchange rate from my past trip as an example, my pastry budget in euros would be about 46 euros (50 divided by 1.08 rounding to a whole number). Now when I spend my money in Paris, I know that I have 46 euros to work with to keep within my $50 budget. Make sense?

What about you? Do you have any tricks to keeping up with the exchange rate while you travel?

Bises (kisses),


More ways to manage your money in the “Paying for Paris” series:  How to Avoid Extra Changes on Purchases and How to limit those pesky add-on banking fees.

Interested in exploring more of my “for Paris” series? Check out series 1: Packing for Paris and series 2: Prepping for Paris.

4 Responses to Paying for Paris: How I don’t let exchange rates stress me out!

  1. Stacey says:

    Great tip and you’re right that you don’t need to let it stress you out- just build in that little buffer. One of the tools I use to calculate costs when traveling, and really all the time actually as I book tickets etc., is the XE Currency app. It allows you multiple currencies at once so I can see how much something costs in USD, CAD, GBP, EUR, and LEK all at the same time right now. It works offline but, of course, only updates to the conversion rate when connected to wifi which I usually am at least once a day while traveling so that’s more than enough.

    And yes the exchange rate is great right now…more for the pastry budget! 🙂

    1. theparisitinerary says:

      Thanks for the app recommendation!

  2. Allison says:

    Great tips in this series. Mine is to use a pre-pay currency card. I can load it up in advance with the currency I need (avoiding conversion fees on each purchase), take advantage of good rates by loading up a bit whenever I can and then I can keep track of my spending easily. Whatever is on my card (which is used like a credit card but the money is already there) is my budget. I can even use it to withdraw cash at an ATM if I need to supplement the cash I take with me for immediate/on the fly purchases. I regularly use mine on trips to Paris and if I don’t use up all the money I can either withdraw the cash to convert when I get home, use the card at home or simply leave it there for next time.

    1. theparisitinerary says:

      Pre-pay currency card is an excellent idea. Thanks for sharing.