Which proves our method worked because using the conversion table to convert Zorks to pounds we got a total price in pounds. Then converting that ‘estimated’ price in pounds back into Zorks we arrive close enough to the original cost of the towel in Zorks that we can be sure our calculations are accurate.
(For anyone like me who just had to calculate it to see how accurate the ‘guesstimate’ was, 91,500 Zorks equals £65.59.)
Using this method, you have a simple foundation on which to build your understanding of the currency and the pricing system. At the start of the holiday you will use the checklist, but after a few days you will have become more familiar with the currency. You will begin to recognise prices, making mental comparisons and conversions that will allow you to recognise immediately that 1,234 Zorks for a chocolate bar or ice cream is about right.
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Foreign currency – countermeasures
Beware of foreign currency. Because you are unfamiliar with the denomination and value of the notes and coins it is easy to find that you have spent far too much money on a cheap item.
Research the holiday, destination and currency, and draw up a simple comparison chart. Use this to fix the value of the currency and the price of a few key items in your mind so that you can quickly recognise reasonable and extortionate prices.
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Don’t get so tied up in mathematics and conversion rates that you forget to barter. Traders in many countries expect buyers to barter and haggle over the price. They pitch the prices high, expecting to be beaten down a little. If you pay the asking price they think Christmas has come early!
Though I have all the relevant documents to hand I usually make a couple of copies. One copy I leave in the UK with a family member who is listed on my emergency contact list and another copy I keep on me while travelling and in my case while at the destination.
Some documents I always carry with me, such as emergency contact numbers and any important medical information. The copies which could be very useful if cases are lost, or passports, etc. are stolen include:
• Travel insurance certificate
• Health insurance certificate
• Detailed itinerary
• Traveller’s cheques numbers
• Driving licence
• Emergency contact numbers
• Medical history notes
• Medication letter.
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