Even through our family was watchful with our expenses during our European vacation the Euros seem to fly through our wallets. As we walk around the crowd filled alleys of Plazza di Trevi we realize we are short on Euros and we decide to go into a small currency exchange office off the tourist alleys of Plazza di Trevi and exchange some U.S. dollars for Euros.

Do Not Make Our Mistake

As we wait in the short slow-moving line the heat soars from the small currency exchange office and we feel like we were in a sauna.

From line we review the buy and small prices listed above the currency clerk. We noted currency exchange clerk sat well dressed in a suit behind a bullet proof window that separates him from our line. Our guess is that the exchange office area has air conditioning.

The minutes slowly pass in line we were anxious to quickly leave the currency exchange.

Our eagerness to leave the currency office causes us not to be better advocates for ourselves.

After ten minutes in line the currency clerk exchanges our Dollars for Euros and passes us our Euros through a small slit under the solid bullet proof window.

Just as we were about to step away from the clerk we recount the Euros and our foggy minds awoke.

The numbers with the buy and sell spread did not add up.

We were short on Euros. Hot, sweaty, frustrated and confused we explain to the very limited English-speaking currency clerk that are funds are short.

 In broken English the clerk says fee, fee, fee- 18 percent fee.

Ugh, we are both shocked. We had not seen an 18 percent fee post above the clerk. The buy and sell of currency is listed but not the eighteen percent fee.

As we Dip in sweat we left the currency exchange office with a lesson learned. The 18 percent fee of our funds instantly evaporates into the pockets of the currency exchange office.

We not only lost the value between the buy and sell spread but we paid an 18 percent fee to convert our dollars to Euros.

We would like to advise others to be aware of the high fees that many currency exchange charge.

I hope this post, What You Must Not Do In Rome as been helpful.