Going to Spain will be one of the most memorable occasions of your life.
This country has everything you could dream of, and it’s all waiting right at your fingertips.
Even if your bags are packed and you’re ready to hit the road, you still need to consider the money.
Not your vacation money, which you’ve worked so hard for and saved up all year in anticipation of traveling to a sun-drenched paradise.
The Spanish money.
Technically, you’ll have to convert your money over to the Spanish currency.
How does this work?
It isn’t as hard as you may think, and you’ll be flying by as soon as you get the gist of it. To help you out, we’ve covered all the basics in this definitive guide to currency in Spain.
Currency in Spain: Understanding How it Works
What exactly is the currency over there?
Like most of Europe, Spain uses the euro. When you travel there, it’s a good idea to have to have some euros on your person to pay for things like food in restaurants.
It’s important to have euros on you because you may not be able to pay for everything you want to buy with your credit or debit card.
Some shops or small tiendas may not accept cards. Even if you aren’t shopping in these places, it’s still a good idea to have euros.
Paying in cash can be a lot better.
That being said, you’ve got to be smart about it.
Currency in Spain: How Money Conversion Works
It’s important to familiarize yourself with the exchange rate before you arrive.
In this case, the exchange rate is basically the value of your currency as measured against the Spain currency.
In other words, how much is a dollar worth in euros?
Unfortunately, the exchange rate changes quite often as the markets which dictate it are active 24/7. Fortunately they don’t change that much, except in volatile situations which Spain is not experiencing at the moment.
Sometimes, you may need to convert dollars to euros, such as when you’re trying to figure out how many euros you’ll get out of that vacation fund you’ve carefully squirreled away.
Other times, you’ll need to convert euros to dollars, such as when you try to figure out how much a paella will set you in your own currency.
Keeping up with the exchange rate doesn’t have to be difficult with the right tools. Some people use a money converter to track it.
There are a few handy apps which can help you out along the way:
- XE Currency App: This handy app allows you to keep currency information tucked into your pocket, all for free. It’s got minute-by-minute updates on exchange rates, so you’ll always have the latest information.
- Easy Currency Converter: The Easy Currency Converter allows you to access world markets from anywhere. This app works in on and offline modes, so you won’t be down and out without internet.
- All Currency Converter: This simple money converter offers 162 currencies (including the one you need), and even comes with a tip calculator.
Currency in Spain: Exchanging Your Money
If you’ve made a smart move and brought cash along with you, you’ll arrive to Spain with some U.S. dollars in your pocket.
When you do, you’ll need to exchange those dollars for euros.
There are three main ways to do this:
- Bureau: A Bureau de Change is an office where you can go to exchange your money. These are trustworthy places and generally have a good rate, though they will most likely charge you a commission.
- Bank: You can change your money at the bank, though most will charge a high fee and are closed Sundays and holidays. However, it is generally safe and a good idea to use the bank if it’s convenient.
- ATM: Using an ATM is the easiest option, and you can usually find a way to avoid paying any fees associated with them. For example, always choose to have the fee charged in local currency. This ensures that the bank’s extravagant exchange rate won’t put you out of house and home.
Currency in Spain: Protecting Your Money Abroad
Traveling with currency in Spain isn’t dangerous, but you should still be careful.
US News offers some good tips for protecting your money abroad.
They recommend carrying only a small amount of cash, so as to minimize the damage if you do get robbed.
They also advise you to bring along a second credit or debit card in case one gets stolen. You don’t want your money to be completely inaccessible.
Other ways to protect yourself include not exchanging money on the street, as this is illegal and can be dangerous. Always keep your wits about you, and take note of anyone suspicious in your surroundings.
Understanding Currency in Spain is Essential for your Awesome Vacation
Keeping track of currency, exchange rates, and safety concerns doesn’t have to be difficult. As long as you use these tools, you’ll have an easy time of it.
Now that you’ve familiarized yourself with the currency in Spain, you’re ready to hop on the plane to paradise.