Europe: Lessons from the Road


After years of traveling, I still find myself filling my mental notebook with "should haves" and "next times."
We spent 2 ½ weeks in Europe recently, mainly in Albania and Southern Italy. It was a memorable trip, filled with exploring new cities, meeting new people and spending time in Naples with old friends.
We did many things right, including putting together a self-guided tour of the Amalfi coast by public bus! Not much went wrong, but, as always, there were a few things we'd do differently.
Where's the best place to buy euros online? 
I answered that question today in the Times, but with some reluctance. Click here for more details. I hardly ever buy foreign currency in advance of a trip. With ATMs in every airport, there's rarely any reason to buy euros here, given the poor exchange rates and high fees. This is especially true now with the value of the euro falling against the dollar. There are times, of course, when you might need a small amount to get going - ie: arriving at an obscure airport late at night where there might not be a machine or currency exchange open. If so, shop around. The rates and fees really vary quite a bit as a quick bit of research showed.

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