Welcome to America. We accept Euros

The Good Old Days Are Gone

There was a time when American tourists rambled happily through Europe like children at a birthday party gathering up bargains and paying with fistfuls of greenbacks from London to Latvia. Now the shoe is definitely on the other foot. These days we are struggling to pay our mortgages and fuel bills and if we are traveling at all, it is not to Europe where our formerly ferocious dollars buy less and less, but more often to domestic destinations, where we can still eat dinner for less than the price of a new car.

For those who earn their money in Euros, however, the United States has become a shopper’s paradise with everything from luxury goods and electronics to sneakers being available as much as 40%cheaper than at home. Buyers offering British Pounds, Scandinavian currencies and Canadian Dollars are also basking in the glow of the weak dollar and filling their shopping carts with newly affordable American goods.

The Euro exchange rate being what it is, more and more European visitors are turning up in American towns and cities every month. Last Christmas Virgin Atlantic ran three day holiday shopping excursions to New York from the UK for thousands of Brits and this summer promises to bring record numbers of tourists from Germany, France, Spain and Italy. Thank you folks, we need the money. Welcome to America. We definitely accept Euros.

Euros and Dollars
Euros and Dollars

Tips for the First Time Visitor

Whether you come to shop, sight see, go camping in Maine, relax in a Florida timeshare or a Las Vegas condo, you will be running into Americans on their own turf—possibly for the first time. Don’t think that because you have seen us running around your country for decades with our fanny packs, and white sneakers that you know all about us. We are best observed in our own surroundings, as you will see. Here are a few suggestions for getting the most from your American idyll.

  • The USA is a huge country. Just to give you an idea of it’s size, the distance between New York and San Francisco is greater than the distance between New York and Reykjavik. The distance between New York and Phoenix Arizona is about the same as the distance between London and Istanbul. Though our fast food and our music may seem very homogeneous from abroad, there is as much difference culturally between an American from New England and one from Southern California as there is between a Frenchman and a German (though, in theory at least, we do speak the same language.) If you only have a week or two to visit us, don’t try to see it all or you will end up seeing nothing. If you want to shop in New York, come and shop. If you want to lie on the beach, fly to Florida or California and stay there. Rent a car and poke around, but don’t try to see the whole country in one go and don’t think that because you’ve been to Disney World you’ve visited America. A Big Mac may be the same all over the world, but every small town American coffee shop has its own version of apple pie. Now that we are an affordable destination for you, we hope you will come see us many times and get to know us better.

  • The hidden costs that can trip you up. Traveling within the USA can be confusing. Each state has it’s own tax structure, and some big cities, like New York City, impose their own levies on top of state taxes. So depending on where you are, the posted price of anything may not be the final price you must pay. Don’t think it is because you are a foreign visitor. It happens to us too. Gasoline is taxed in all states, but is cheapest in New Jersey, where the state gasoline tax is low, and most expensive in California, where it is high. Most states charge a sales tax on certain items, and what is taxed for how much varies from state to state. For example, if you buy a $100 suit in New York, 6% sales tax will be added to your bill. The same suit bought in New Jersey will be tax free,as New Jersey does not charge sales tax on clothing,but does have a 7% sales tax on a variety of other items. Cigarettes are $8.00 a pack in New York but only half that in North Carolina because of state taxes. States like Florida, Vermont, and Maine with thriving tourist industries charge a rather sizable “hospitality tax” on hotel rooms which will be added on when you go to pay your bill. Ask about taxes when you book as the additional charges can add up. There are also taxes on theater tickets, amusement park admissions and the like so the price you see posted is not always the final price you will pay. Be prepared. Then there is tipping in restaurants. Yes, it is expected. The service is almost never included in American restaurants. Generally speaking, in a cafeteria or fast food establishment like McDonalds you are not expected to tip, but in any restaurant, even a modest one, where you are served by a waitperson, you are expected to leave 15 to 20% of the total bill as a “tip” for your server. Keep in mind that the waiter does not get a real salary and lives from tips—so you are not being taken advantage of. It’s just the way the system works.

American Restaurants

  • Big cities like New York offer a broad range of international cuisines for every pocketbook and are prepared to cater to international tastes. In most of the country you will have to deal with some unfamiliar Americanisms in restaurants. This is particularly true in chains like Olive Garden (which bears only a passing resemblance to anything Italian) and Outback Steak House(which is Australian in name only), and others too numerous to name.

    Here you will find that salad is offered as an appetizer, or at a separate, serve yourself “salad bar”and is eaten by Americans before the main course, not after it .The main course will be called an entrée and what you think of as an entrée will be called an appetizer. Got it? Whatever you order, portions will be huge. Not to worry. You are not expected to eat it all. Your server will give you a “doggie bag” to take the leftovers home in. You can have them for lunch tomorrow or toss them in the nearest garbage can.

    If you don’t want to be confronted with a main course large enough to feed a family of four, order an appetizer as your main course and ask to have green salad served afterwards

  • Coffee and Tea in America If you are visiting us from anywhere in continental Europe you are going to hate our coffee. If you are from the UK you won’t mind our coffee so much, but you are not going to be carried away by our tea(nothing fancier than Lipton and always in a teabag). Lately, we’ve gotten into herbal teas though, and you can find a wide variety of them almost anywhere. Some are very good. If you want a cup of good strong coffee, order an espresso or, find yourself a Starbucks and ask for an Americano.Ordinary American coffee is going to taste like leftover dishwater to you. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

  • Don’t be surprised if the waitress who takes your lunch order also asks you where you are from, tells you her name and even shows you a photo of her boyfriend. Smile, nod and tell her what you want for lunch—she’ll get it for you. She really doesn’t want to be your new best friend, in spite of the fact that she tells you to“have a nice day”. In fact, by tomorrow she won’t even remember who you are unless you forget to tip her:-)

  • We are not good at foreign languages. In fact, the English would tell you that we don’t even speak very good English. We speak an American vernacular that has many regional variations and most of us, unless we are the children of recent immigrants or recent immigrants ourselves, do not speak another language and don’t have a clue of what it is like to try and get along in a language that is not your own. After all, only 25% of us have ever traveled abroad and we can go thousands of miles in any direction and encounter only other Americans. Please be patient with us. We’re trying to understand you and we do want those Euros!

  • Weights and Measures in America Before you venture out shopping in America, be sure you know what your American clothing and shoe size is. In fact, particularly if you are buying for the whole family, bring along a conversion chart. Temperatures are always measured in Fahrenheit so if you want to know how hot or cold it is, you better know how to convert to Celsius. Liquids are in ounces, pints and quarts. Nobody will get you a liter of anything, certainly not beer( You don’t want American beer anyway, trust me. It’s terrible. Go native and try California wine or Kentucky bourbon) But back to my subject— distances are in miles not kilometers and speed is, of course, in miles per hour. Land is in acres not hectaires and solids are in pounds and ounces. Nobody will sell you a kilo of anything so you better study up

Now that I think about it, there are advantages to not being the world's strongest currency anymore. It was a terrible burden to bear and I personally am happy that the Euro has taken it off our straining American shoulders. So now here's to you Euro-zoners.(and Brits and Scandinavians and Canadians too) It's up to you to spend and keep the wheels of the global consumer economy going round. Signs saying " We accept Euros" are sprouting all over American cities and even the fabled taxi drivers of New York are happy to have them. We set the standard for years--now it is your turn. Enjoy it while it lasts and come visit us soon.

Something to Carry Your Goodies Home In

More by this Author

Comments 86 comments

funride profile image

funride 8 years ago from Portugal

Eheheheh! Robie, I loved the way you wrote this hub, specially the tips for the first time visitors, simply hilarious LOL! I guess there are always good outcomes for those who have strong currency, at least while it lasts :rolleyes:

moonlake profile image

moonlake 8 years ago from America

I am very surprised how many Russians are visiting here. My husband and our sons were ice fishing couple week-ends ago. There were Russians ice fishing. My family tried to talk to them but it was hard but they did give them the fish they caught. The Russian people wanted to pay for them but we are Americans we don't take money for just being friendly.

Enjoyed your hub.

Pgrundy 8 years ago

Hi robie2! Great hub! I would add, "Don't be surprised if half of the Americans you meet come from overseas." Thanks for another good one with a wry twist.

robie2 profile image

robie2 8 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

Hi Everyone-- wow three comments already--thanks sooo much. Glad you enjoyed it Funride. Moonlake--thanks for your Russian story and PG I'm so glad you stopped by to read. Euros rule--at least for now.

prems4u profile image

prems4u 8 years ago from KERALA Cochin

Hi ... I invite You To the " GOD OWN LAND " - KERALA

See this website of tourism department http://www.keralatourism.org/

ahmu profile image

ahmu 8 years ago

Today at my work we had a British man come and ask for directions. This hub is so up to date. Good job!

robie2 profile image

robie2 8 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

Thanks for the invitation, prems4u. Kerala looks beautiful. and thank you ahmu for reading and commenting.

compu-smart profile image

compu-smart 8 years ago from London UK

Great fun hub! which was easily digested, very informative,..I hope to go to the USA one day and meet a fellow hubber or two!! but i would rather convert my pounds and pence to dollars and dimes anyday..

Down with the Euro lol

robie2 profile image

robie2 8 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

Hi Compu-Smart-- you just bring those pounds and pence right over here.They're as good as Euros from our perspective, and have the pedegree of age which makes them even better:-) Just let us know when you are coming so we American hubbers can kill the fatted calf and have a big hub-party for you.

BTW I remember being very confused by pounds and shillings the first time I went to England many years ago--it was 12 pence to a shilling and 16 shillings to a pound which made no sense to me--and then there were things priced in guineas which I was told was a pound and a shilling but actually didn't exist any more as currency -- it made for some very interesting monetary transactions LOL.

Glad you stopped by and thanks for reading and commenting:-)

dafla 8 years ago

I'd like to add a ...

P.S. Please just don't come to Florida. We have enough people living here full time who don't speak the language. And if you do come, please don't get huffy because we don't have your favorite european foods. Get over it. This isn't Europe. I'd imagine that's why you're "vacationing" here.

robie2 profile image

robie2 8 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

Hi Dafla-- ahhh yes only been to Florida once--don't know it very well--but just think what all those Euros could do for the economy:-) BTW I like your new avatar--very elegant. Thanks for stopping by.

Lissie profile image

Lissie 8 years ago from New Zealand

You forgot to mention -an entre is a main meal and entre is an appetiser -and an entre is far too big for 1 person to eat unless they are a teenage boy going thru a growth spurt!

robie2 profile image

robie2 8 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

Right you are, Lissie, about the confusing American usage of the word entree--I should also have included information on the appalling amounts of food presented to diners in some American restaurants and the "doggie bag" to take it all home in. LOL. A family of four could live for a week off of one "lumberjack's breakfast" at the HOuse of Pancakes! Thanks for the suggestion. I think I'll go back in for a bit of a rewrite:-)

Uninvited Writer profile image

Uninvited Writer 8 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario

I find Europeans act much better than many American's who go overseas :)

Great hub!

robie2 profile image

robie2 8 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

Thanks for reading and commenting UW. I don't think we are worse than anybody else--tourists from anywhere are not exactly the best representatives of their country abroad. It's just that until now there have been so many of us all over Europe compared to the number of Europeans who come here. All that is changing now eh? Won't it be fun to have Europeans asking us " How much is that is Euros?":-)

What I find interesting is that the very qualities which make American tourists so obnoxious abroad(acting like loud, rude, ignorant children and getting too personal with everybody too fast) are the very qualities that foreign visiters like when the come here. They are charmed by our openness and friendliness when they see us on our own turf--go figure.

robie2 profile image

robie2 8 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

oops--my apologies Uninvited Writer. I just checked your profile and discovered you are Canadian--not American. In my reply to your comment I assumed you were a fellow Yank--so sorry. I know that drives Canadians nuts! Must admit that Canadian tourists are usually quite well behaved as tourists go. Well, for whatever it's worth. I'm your newest fan--We like Canadian dollars these days too :-)

compu-smart profile image

compu-smart 8 years ago from London UK

Kill the fatted calf lol.Thankyou, that was very sweet of you!...... i dont remember the shillings at all but i hope by the time i do get to visit i will have lots of pounds n pence:)


robie2 profile image

robie2 8 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

Too young to remember shillings<sigh> ahhhhh youth:-) that means you have lots of time to get rich and bring all those pounds and pence to America for a big partying shopping spree:-) thanks for the return visit CS. I'm enjoying your "color(oops I mean colour) hubs BTW.

compu-smart profile image

compu-smart 8 years ago from London UK

lol, thanks..n i sure hope so!

With regards to color and colour, i always use the American spelling even though im from the UK because i know the majority of readers are from the US so it's only fair!...i just thought id add my 2 cents! ;)

I sure know a dollar goes far....in some places .I did a hub about how much a $100 buy you where you live, and the best place is Kenny Wordsmith home India which is another place i also would love to visit

robie2 profile image

robie2 8 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

Good news to hear that the dollar still goes far in India. Maybe I'll go there one of these days--sure would like to.....before it is crawling with American touristsLOL

SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 8 years ago from Southern California, USA

This is a very well researched hub. Good information for all of us Americans. Also, good tips for Europeans visiting America for the first time.

robie2 profile image

robie2 8 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

Hello SweetiePie. It's always good to see you and your Teddy Bear and thanks for the kind words. And welcome Decrescendo. I hope you have Euros:-)

cgull8m profile image

cgull8m 8 years ago from North Carolina

At least it is good for the US to get more visitors and buy goods will help the economy a little. But this trend will be there for a long time, Bush has put us in a big mess.

robie2 profile image

robie2 8 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

I totally agree,cgull--the actions of this administration will have world-wide reprucussion for many years, I am afraid. This is just my attempt to look on the bright side cause if you don't laugh, you're gonna cry:-) Thanks for reading and commenting.

Mary Tinkler profile image

Mary Tinkler 8 years ago from Gresham

Come visit Oregon...split your big meals with your mate, and unless you are in downtown Portland, they wouldn't know what to do with a euro! No sales tax here, either. Though they keep trying. Almost every large issue here has to be put before voters and win by a majority vote. Sounds good but it gets tricky.

I have yet to see all the varied landscapes and points of interest in Oregon.

There are some hotel taxes. Tip your servers well, their minimum wage is lower than the standard job minimum wage.

I completely agree with Robie's take on the long term cost of the past 8 years of madness. And yes isn't it sad we've been reduced to a nation of consumers.

robie2 profile image

robie2 8 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

Hi Mary and thanks for your comment--let's hear it for Oregon. Never been there but have been told it is breathtakingly beautiful--Since you share my opinion of the gang of theives in Washington, i know you must be exceptionally intelligent and well-informed LOL. Thanks for stopping by and for your comment.

lacyleathers profile image

lacyleathers 8 years ago from US

Thanks for the lighthearted look at this....I was starting to think that there was something personal with my overseas clients....Now it makes sense! You rock!

robie2 profile image

robie2 8 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

Well thanks Lacy--likewise I'm sure--time to up your international prices:-)

Bike Web Guy profile image

Bike Web Guy 8 years ago

Great tips for most Americans that only make it out of our hometowns a couple of times per lifetime. I live 200 miles from Glacier Park and 300 miles from Yellowstone park. I know people who have lived here all their life that haven't visited either park. The question is what is America? Just like your advice, it is where you are looking and where you aren't.

robie2 profile image

robie2 8 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

What a beautiful spot you must live in--no wonder nobody goes far away:-) Thanks for dropping by and adding your two cents(love your avatar BTW)

Angela Harris profile image

Angela Harris 8 years ago from Around the USA

Love this hub, as I love to travel. Odd that the tables have turned somewhat on us Americans, don't ya think?

robie2 profile image

robie2 8 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

Fair is fair, I say. Soon we will hear Americans complaining about busloads of rude European tourists while the Europeans ask things like "how much is that in real money":-) hmmmmmm sounds like a good SNL sketch to me LOL

gamergirl profile image

gamergirl 8 years ago from Antioch, TN

This is AWESOME! Great hub, robie.

robie2 profile image

robie2 8 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

gamergirl--glad to see you and glad you liked it. I am a great fan of your forum posts as well as your hubs so I'm particularly pleased you stopped by to read:-)

gamergirl profile image

gamergirl 8 years ago from Antioch, TN

Oh shucks. I'm just me, what can I say. People love me enough to keep liking me after my *cough* flareups on the forums, so I'm happy. :D You are an awesome writer, so you just keep it up.

Ladymaggic profile image

Ladymaggic 8 years ago

Good article...interesting..



pjdscott profile image

pjdscott 8 years ago from Durham, UK

Fact-filled hub written in an informative and entertaining manner. A friend of mine from Ireland recently led a party of schoolboys on a trip to New York (school trip to New York? Whatever next?) - and they persuaded her to return with an iPhone!

I like your advice about sales tax and various hidden taxes.

Lastly, you have shown me how to add Hub tags -many thanks.

robie2 profile image

robie2 8 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

Thanks ,pjd, glad you likrd the hub--I think your friend deserved an iphone just for chaperoning a bunch of schoolboys in NYC--not an easy job, I think:-)

Satori profile image

Satori 8 years ago from California

What a thoughtfully well-written hub! The title certainly hits an Anerican reader like a ton of bricks, and the rest of your article follows through. Even reading as an American who's travelled I found it very interesting and worthwhile, reading it from the opposite perspective. Your foreign travellers, however, may be interested to know that many of our drug dealers have already adopted metric, and they will happily sell you a kilo. (It doesn't really matter just where the Euros are spent, does it?)

You have a take on things that somehow manages to be cynical, pragmatic, and refreshing, all at the same time. I appreciate your sharing your writing, and your thoughts.

robie2 profile image

robie2 8 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

Thank you Satori for such a long and thoughtful comment. And, of course I like that you liked the hub:-) Right you are about drug dealers lol there are some things you can buy a kilo of in America. I stand corrected:-)

wilhb81 profile image

wilhb81 8 years ago from Southeast Dreamland

Well, US now is falling deep in the economy slump while the EU is rising up like shooitng stars.

It's a reality that US economy will be suffer a lot in the near future...


robie2 profile image

robie2 8 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

yup--what goes up must come down :-) I think you are right, Wilson. Thanks for visiting and commenting.

solarshingles profile image

solarshingles 8 years ago from london

Very nice and very educational hub!

Now, it is a really perfect time to visit USA and maybe, even to buy some nice big house with garden...

robie2 profile image

robie2 8 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

Yup--come on over. I am told that Florida and Arizona houses are at bargain prices right now for those with cash....and what better place for "solar shingles"LOL. Thanks for reading and commenting.

lio_mess profile image

lio_mess 8 years ago

Hello, when i see this hub, this hub make me know what should we do if we go to America, i really want to go to America but i dont know when?. Nice hub. Thanks. Lio_mess from Indonesia

robie2 profile image

robie2 8 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

Hello Lio_mess. Thank you for reading and commenting. I hope you will come visit us one day. I would also like to see your beautiful country.

beachbum_gabby profile image

beachbum_gabby 8 years ago

wow, this is really cool when people accepting money from different currencies. ^__^

robie2 profile image

robie2 8 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

Thanks for stopping by,Gabby, and for your comment

aussiegold profile image

aussiegold 8 years ago from Australia

Despite the fact that having our Aussie dollar close to par with the greenback (94c) makes it a viable proposition to visit, I personally don't deem it necessary.

Thanks to a wonderful "free trade" agreement, I feel America has come Downunder!

We have always had your McDonalds, but when the ads are presented in an American accent, to the point of offering to add tom_A_to to my burger instead of our native tomato, I draw the line! Down here a burger ain't a burger unless it has beetroot, anyway......

As far as television goes, I gotta wait for the weather report to get anything like local content!

Got nothing against Americans, or any other race for that matter, but isn't this globalisation thing getting a bit out of hand? Anyone else feel we are fast losing our local identity? The favourite passtime for my sons in Sydney is "spot the Aussie".....it's getting more difficult by the week!

Avagoodone Mate, and don't forget the aeroguard!

robie2 profile image

robie2 8 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

Hi AussiG--well you may have our burgers but we have your beer and I must say I think we got the better of the deal as I'd prefer Austalian beer to a Big Mac any day:-) Thanks for stopping by and commenting--that Aussi dollar of yours will buy a lot of burgers in New York sio come see us soon.

Veronica profile image

Veronica 8 years ago from NY

Excellent hub! I agree this is not just great help to non-USA citizens, this is also helpful for USA citizens visiting other areas of the country.

Ah, I am old enough to remember Schillings...

Lots of great points here. There's an old saying, to a European 100 miles is far, and to an American, 100 years is long. This is so very true. Whenever I'm driving around Ireland and I say I flew into Shannon and I'm flying out of Dublin people are shocked. Last time I did that we wound up driving about 300 kilometers in a week. That's about 186 miles. That is just nuts to a European. Here, that's nothing. People here rack that up in a week's worth of work commuting. A European comes here and learns what "far" really is.

Same is true with the age thing. Europeans go to see the Liberty Bell, which we claim is so old. They have family heirlooms in their own homes older than that. When Americans are over there however, we learn what "old" really is. Ever been to New Grange? It was built in 3300 BC. Most Americans can't even do the math to figure out how old that actually is!

robie2 profile image

robie2 8 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

Well said Veronica---that 100 years/100miles thing says it all in a nutshell. Delighted that you stopped by and commented. Good to see someone else old enough to remember shillings and pence:-)

Chef Jeff profile image

Chef Jeff 8 years ago from Universe, Milky Way, Outer Arm, Sol, Earth, Western Hemisphere, North America, Illinois, Chicago.

Having lived in various countries overseas, I have always wished our currency looked as pretty as theirs! Currency envy!

Now if we could just convince our current leaders to do something positive to strengthen the dollar! Good thing I held on to all those Euros I exchanged for the last few times I went to visit Spain! Who knows - I might be wealthy and not even know it?

robie2 profile image

robie2 8 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

Maybe you should turn some more dollars into Euros,chef jeff. Things are not looking too good:-) I share your currency envy--green is very boring and with different colors you aren't so likely to mistake a ten for a twenty or visa versa. Thanks for reading and commenting.

Chef Jeff profile image

Chef Jeff 8 years ago from Universe, Milky Way, Outer Arm, Sol, Earth, Western Hemisphere, North America, Illinois, Chicago.

Veronica wrote: "Same is true with the age thing. Europeans go to see the Liberty Bell, which we claim is so old. They have family heirlooms in their own homes older than that. When Americans are over there however, we learn what "old" really is. Ever been to New Grange? It was built in 3300 BC. Most Americans can't even do the math to figure out how old that actually is!"

Sadly, Veronica, as you say we often do not appreciate the ancient treasures here in the U.S. because they are not "ours".  We go to Rome and gaze in awe at buildings that are up to 2,000 years old, never realizing that we have structures & sites that old, and older, right here! 

Obviously we are not ancient Romans, although some like to think we are akin to them.  However, because the sites in the U.S. are Native American, those of European or other non-Native American ancestry tend to ignore them, or even denigrate them! I would love to see the pyramids in Mexico, visit Machu Pichu, and perhaps someday I will.  I do not belittle the ancient structures of Europe.  I, too, stand with mouth agape when I see them, but I also realize that in just about every continent, and amongst every people that ever lived, there are wonders enough to keep us in awe all our lives. 

Veronica profile image

Veronica 8 years ago from NY

Chef Jeff, great comment. And I know you're right. But most American's don't have the concept of what ancient or old really is, the way Europeans do. That was my point.

I just visited some Mayan caves with ruins in tact in them, in Belize this month. There's alot of world out there, isn't there.

Power Advisor profile image

Power Advisor 8 years ago from Durham

This is a hot topic right now. It's a good idea for american businesses to reevaluate how they accept payment in this global economy. I have turned to business ventures that I can easily promote and earn from internationally, because americans are just pinching pennies too tightly right now!

My advice: if you're looking for side income, get involved in something that has international reach. Europeans and those from other countries are spending more, have more to invest, and are looking for bargains from the US right now. For us, home business has been the best option (and has helped my family to maintain a comfortable lifestyle while others around us who used to make $70K+ per year are seriously struggling). We've greatly enjoyed the spike in business from those overseas, and are not sweating the current state of economic instability. Instead, we're happily planning a trip to Europe in the summer!

Good luck to all!



francetales profile image

francetales 8 years ago from Toulouse, France

Friends of mine just started a Google France group solely for the purpose of listing things they want to buy on the next trip to the states. The list is a spreadsheet using google docs that everyone can edit. The idea is that 5-10 friends get together and when one of them travels they buy stuff the others want. Everyone gets to have stuff, without shipping or the horrible VAT. DOn't know how long it will last but some analysts here in France think the Euro will go to at least 2€ for $1, Yikes. I earn mostly in dollars but I do have a job that pays me in Euros, not many hours though.

Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 8 years ago from North America

We have many Russians in our metro area and many college students now taking Russian as a course and practicing it in public whole thinking that no one will understand.

All of these folks are surprised with they tell a joke in Russian at tee grocery store or standing in line at the movies and I start laughing. I took Russian beginning in 7th grade in an experimental course and continued all the way through college and for 1 year of grad school as well. Funny! :)

William F. Torpey profile image

William F. Torpey 8 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y.

This is an exceptionally timely and well done hub, robie2. It was very enjoyable and entertaining to read, even for an old American like me.

robie2 profile image

robie2 8 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

I'm so glad you stopped by and commented, 'Willaim--We live in exciting and unsettled times, don't we-- oh yes, and it is always a pleasure to see Bing too :-)

dutch84 profile image

dutch84 8 years ago

this is an EXCELLENT article!

robie2 profile image

robie2 8 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

Glad you liked it, dutch84 :-) Thanks for reading and commenting.

CafeZrii profile image

CafeZrii 8 years ago from NYC

Very amusing, informative, with a slight taste of disdain for the European visitor. As an American, I will actually take some of this advice...and perhaps NOT get thrown out of Hilton I stay in.

Ananta65 8 years ago

I'll just drop my € 1,- here, shall I?

Enjoyed reading your hub, Robie. And just like Americans, European folk comes in a lot of different shapes and sizes ;)

robie2 profile image

robie2 8 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

Goodness. CAfeZ--no disdain here--I promise. Just having a bit of fun with the fall of the almighty dollar. Thanks for stopping by.

Ananta65--Welcome and by all means leave those Euros here:-) and right you are about European diversity.

guidebaba profile image

guidebaba 8 years ago from India

Do you accept Indian Rupees.... Just Joking. Nice Article. Keep it up.

robie2 profile image

robie2 8 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

But of course, guidebaba:-) In fact the way things are going, the Indian Rupee may be worth more than both the USDollar and the Euro one day soon. Thanks for visiting and for your kind words.

countrywomen profile image

countrywomen 8 years ago from Washington, USA

Robie- I have a friend who went to UK for further medical studies cleared all the exams but was making peanuts their. I was once joking like you that you guys in Europe who are earning in Pounds and Euros must be coming to US for bargain shopping unlike us over here. What he told me surprised me as the basic things that we so take for granted are pretty expensive over their. For the standard of living in US the cost of living is still pretty cheap compared to most of Europe (and he has been to a couple of countries in Europe). More ever many places even water has to be bought and rest room usage one has to pay unlike in US where we are blessed with a number of Rest Areas which have these basic things free. Good hub and I wish one of these days I get to travel to Europe (again the US currency is getting stronger so maybe in the near future I can)....hehe

robie2 profile image

robie2 8 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

Countrywoman-- thanks for reading this one. I wrote it last summer when the dollar was at an all time low against the Euro and before it became clear that the current financial mess was global not just American. I saw busloads of European tourists on shopping trips in New York spending Euros the way Americans used to spend dollars in Europe and it made me laugh. Soooooo I wrote this.

Yes, I agree the cost of living is still pretty cheap compared to much of Europe--but the quality of life, I think, is often better in Europe where there is a bigger social safety net in terms of health care, child care etc. for the average person.

In any case, both in Europe and the United States we are still very fortunate compared to much of the rest of the world when it comes to standard of living. So glad you took the time to read and comment. Thanks for stopping by.

Elena. profile image

Elena. 8 years ago from Madrid

Hey Robie – Here's a big 50 euro note in the form of a thumbs up! :) This was a fantastic read and I think very enlightening for Europeans or visitors of any other currency! (In the current economic climate it seems like "currency" is more appropriate than "nationality"!) Even though today's exchange rate isn't the 1.6 that I found in my last foray, your hub is still very applicable!

On foreign languages, I've found that it's rather easy to get around with Spanish, even with those waitresses and waiters that won't remember your name tomorrow but will do everything in their capacity to make your meal a fabulous experience!

robie2 profile image

robie2 8 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

Hello Elena, and thank you so much for the 50 euro note:-) I'm also very appreciative of your kind words! Yes, you are right-- it is pretty easy for a native Spanish speaker to get around, especially in certain parts of the country where Spanish is really the unofficial second language.... In Miami, for instance, street signs and advertisements are often in both Spanish and English.

Happy to hear you've had good traveling experiences in America and hope you'll come back soon:-)

issues veritas 7 years ago

Interesting hub.

BTW, I heard that the Chinese are coming over here to buy some cheap property.

1.00 USD = 6.83890 CNY

United States Dollars  

China Yuan Renminbi

1.00 CAD


5.36890 CNY

Canada Dollars China Yuan Renminbi

1.00 EUR


8.67001 CNY

Euro China Yuan Renminbi




robie2 profile image

robie2 7 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

Hello issues veritas-- thanks for stopping by this one too. I wrote it long ago when the dollar was low against the Euro and the Dow Jones was high. Hmmmmm how quickly the world changes eh? There are definitely bargains to be had in the American housing market these days for anyone with cash or gold bars:-)

ReuVera profile image

ReuVera 7 years ago from USA

Great, great, great! It is better late than never. I'm glad I've read your hub, though it was published some time ago. I'm going to e-mail a link to it to my friends in Europe.

My son collects foreign currency, but only from the countries we visited, or we had visitors from. When a child, he just loved Turkey, he was a millionaire there!

robie2 profile image

robie2 7 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

Hi RV and thanks for commenting on this one-- The dollar is a bit stronger than it was when I wrote this, but the advice on negotiating food and restaurants still applied I think. Thanks for emailing the link-- hope it gives your friends a chuckle--and I would love to visit Turkey-- millionaire or no:-)

LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London

This is a great hub - just discovered it, and enjoyed it greatly (-:

"it was 12 pence to a shilling and 16 shillings to a pound" not to be pedantic, but it was 12 pence (d) to a shilling (s) and 20 shillings to a pound (L). So 240 pence to a pound.

robie2 profile image

robie2 7 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

Hi LondonGirl and thanks for giving this one a read... it seems kind of outdated now what with the global financial meltdown and all. I stand corrected about shillings and pence and thanks for setting me straight. It was all pretty confusing at the time, especially the part about the guineas:-)

hypnosis4u2 profile image

hypnosis4u2 7 years ago from Massachusetts

Actually there used to be such a thigns as a farthing in the U.K. 4 to the one penny. And you could actually buy a piece of sweet (candy) with it. Sorry off topic.

And the helpings in American Restaurants are huge!! Most Europeans would manage to finish them.

Thanks for hub I enjoyed reading it.

robie2 profile image

robie2 7 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

Hi Hypno :-) thanks for the comment. I think I remember reading about farthings in Dickens or something--I'm glad they weren't around in the '60's when I was in London to confuse me further.

Glad you enjoyed the hub-- welcome back anytime:-)

Epsilon5 profile image

Epsilon5 7 years ago from Eastern Pennsylvania

This is a fantastic hub! Excellently written. Thanks for writing it!

robie2 profile image

robie2 7 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

Thank you Epsilon5. I'm glad you liked it:-) thanks for stopping by and reading and commenting

Tim Blackstone profile image

Tim Blackstone 6 years ago

What a great hub. Very informative for tourists and an amusing read as well.

robie2 profile image

robie2 6 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

Thanks Tim-- glad you liked this. It is a bit dated-- I wrote it two years ago when the world was flying high economically and before the current tough times, but some of the advice still holds I guess. Thanks for stoppinng by

suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 4 years ago from Taos, NM

I love this hub!!! We are surrounded by Germans, French, Canadians and Hispanics here in Naples, FL. Because their currencies go so far in this country, they are invading "paradise."

When my cousin was on his honeymoon here in America in the l980's and visited me when I lived in Ohio, he wanted to take a "day trip" to California. I nearly keeled over in laughter and explained that California was like 2000 miles away and we would not be taking a "day trip" there. Instead, we would be going to Niagra Falls - 4 hours by car from my house. Now his children are hoping to make a trip to California some day for a vacation.

I like your twist on this hub, advising foreigners/Europeans on visiting America. Very creative!

robie2 profile image

robie2 4 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

I love your comment, Suzeette makes me feel so good that you enjoyed this. I have to admit that it was fun to write it( was it really two years ago?) Oh well, thank you for sharing your personal insights--I love the " day trip" to California. Europeans think we pay so little for gas, but as one recently remarked to me

" gas may be only one third what it costs at home here, but it takes three times as long to get anywhere " which just goes to show there is the good news and the bad news about everything.

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