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31.7.09

Getting Used to Prices in Melbourne


...or in any country, for that matter.

When I moved to Melbourne, two things I struggled with were weights/measures and currency. Today I'm going to focus on currency because getting used to metric isn't something that every traveler to Australia will have to do.

It's no secret that Australia is one of the most highly taxed countries out there, but that doesn't mean you can't find a good deal. The key is exchange rates.

When I first moved here, so many things seemed outrageously expensive, but that's because I had all my reference points firmly in the US dollar. When I started converting my reference points to Australian currency, things started looking up.

When you're traveling to a new country - or even better, before you travel - subscribe (or just play with) a site like XE.com. Though I don't need it like I used to, I get an email every day from that site giving me the list of what Australian dollars are trading at for each currency.

For example, if Australian dollars are trading at fifty cents on the American dollar, I know that a two dollar pack of gum here that is usually one in the States is fine. It's the same price in different currencies.

It may sound complicated and confusing now, but it's really not. Ease yourself into exchange rates gently and you'll find that you'll be able to get more worth out of your money when traveling.

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