Five countries, five languages, five currencies

This will be my seventh trip to Europe. My previous six trips:
  1. A choir tour in 1989 to Germany, Austria, and Hungary.
  2. A choir tour in 1990 to England and Wales, with an add-on sojourn to the northern part of France.
  3. A choir tour in 1994 to Germany and Austria, and Switzerland, with an add-on sojourn to Venice.
  4. A long weekend in Paris in 1997.
  5. A choir tour to Ireland, Wales, and England in 2000.
  6. A trip all by myself to Tuscany and the Cinque Terre in 2009.

My first four trips were pre-Euro, but the most different currencies I dealt with in a single trip was 4. With languages, I had less of a challenge: never more than 2 different languages on a single trip, and only one location where I didn't speak the language at all (but where we had a local guide so no real issues).On my upcoming vacation, I'll visit five countries with five different currencies and five different languages.
  • Denmark: the krone (currently about 5.25 to the US dollar)
  • Sweden: the krona (6.3 to the dollar)
  • Finland: the Euro (0.69 to the dollar)
  • Estonia: the kroon (10.85 to the dollar)
  • Iceland: the krona (114 to the dollar)
I'm not worried at all about the language barrier, because I suspect more people in these countries speak English than in France or Germany or Italy or any of the other non-English-speaking places I've visited. I'm more intrigued by the challenges of figuring out how to deal with all the different currencies.

(EDIT: I just learned that earlier this year Estonia adopted the Euro. So much for five currencies...)


Hi Lane,

Have you heard about CapitalOne's Venture credit card? I think it is the only major US credit card that doesn't have any foreign transaction fees. There are two different versions: one with no annual fee, and another with a fee that provides you with some extra perks and probably a higher credit limit. I got the no-annual-fee one before coming to Sweden, and it is great to have. They also have a function on their website where you can list the dates and locations of your trip, so that you don't run into the dreaded problem of suddenly finding out your card has been suspended due to "suspicious activity." Of course, there are times when you'll want to have cash, but the card definitely makes life easier and cheaper when you're going to a bunch of different places!