Finland is the #1 safest country to visit in 2017

Travel+Leisure has taking the liberty of ranking the 10 safest countries for you to visit in 2017, according to the World Economic Forum’s Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report 2017. Many travelers believe the world feels much more dangerous today than it did just a few decades ago, but why should that stop you from seeing the world. If anything, maybe it should inspire you to think more outside the box when it comes to your 2017 vacations. T+L kick starts the imagination by showing you 10 of the safest countries that you may not have given much thought to by ranking the top 10 safest places to visit in this year. Many well-known destinations made the list, such as Switzerland (8), Hong Kong (5) and Singapore (6). However, taking first place is the Northern European country of Finland.

With a population of around 5.5 million people, Finland’s most popular attraction is its Northern Lights, which can be seen from the country’s Artic Lapland province – a vast wilderness made up of national parks and ski resorts. Helsinki, the country’s capital, is home to the internationally recognized Design District; the 18th-century sea fortress, Suomenlinna; as well as an abundance of museums, chic eateries, and sleek lounges. The country itself occupies a peninsula surrounding the Baltic Sea. Its bordering neighbors are Sweden, Norway, and Russia.

FCE exchanges over 80 different currencies, keeping the more popular ones – Euros, pounds, pesos, yen, etc. – in stock and readily available at every location. Convert your US dollars to Euros today with FCE, and experience all the beautiful things Finland has to offer this summer.

POSTED: June 6, 2017

Finland, Lapland, Kittila, Levi, Aurora borealis over cottage
Photo credits from Folio/Getty Images

The safest countries to visit in 2017

Author: G. S. McClure
CreditsTravel+Leisure

Finland dropped significantly —11 places — since the last report, but as the safest country in the world it’s still got an edge. With tourist attractions including the Northern Lights, the Midnight Sun Film Festival in Sodankylä, Lapland (if the sun stays up all night, you might as well, too) and the distinguished honor of most saunas per capita, it’s a terrific place to spend a holiday. T+L

For the more elevated drinker -- the highest whiskey bar in the world.

Perched 64 stories (800ft) above the bustling city scene, Alfresco 64 is the only place on Earth where one can sip a $7000 bottle of Chivas Regal while enjoying sweeping views of the Bangkok skyline and Chao Phraya River. Alfresco 64 – a Chivas bar – was designed with whiskey in mind.  Deepak Ohri, CEO of Lebua Hotels & Resorts, wanted the perfect, most unique atmosphere to show off his exclusive Chivas Regal blend, which contains rare whiskies only distilled before 1985, then finished in a first fill sherry cask. “I wanted to go away from the traditional dark leather sofas, wood paneling and dim light. We created something beautiful and festive. It’s half indoors and half outdoors, and designed to resemble the cabin and prow of a luxury yacht.” The result is a rooftop bar perfectly situated atop the luxuriant Lebua Hotel – voted Bangkok’s #1 hotel by the Condé Nast Traveller Reader’s Choice Awards.

Be sure to convert your dollars to baht at any one of our Currency Exchange locations. FCE exchanges over 80 different currencies, offering the best exchange rates in the area–matching any lower rate within 100 miles!

POSTED: May 30, 2017

Alfresco 64
Photo credits from Lebua Hotels & Resorts

World's Highest Outdoor Whisky Bar Towers Over Bangkok

Author: Adam Morganstern
CreditsForbes

Many hotels would be satisfied being first to have their own custom blend of Chivas, but for Deepak Ohri, CEO of lebua Hotels & Resorts, it led to further inspiration. “We had this unique whisky,” says Ohri, “now we needed a unique place to sell it.” The result is the world’s highest outdoor whisky bar, the newly opened Alfresco 64 — A Chivas Bar, perched 64 stories high at the Tower Club at lebua in Bangkok. Forbes

Lake Como -- the best place to travel in May.

Travel+Leisure, the sophisticated traveler’s one-stop resource, has named Lake Como, Italy the number one best destination to travel to in the month of May 2017. For decades, Lake Como has been known as a leisure retreat for wealthy and famous figures like George Clooney (who has a house on the lake). However, several new hotels and amenities have popped up for the solo traveler, couples, and families alike; and the restaurants in the area have stepped up their game.

Be sure to convert your dollars to Euros at any one of our Currency Exchange locations. Euros are always in stock and readily available – no need to wait, no need to order!

POSTED: May 2, 2017

Lake-Como-Italy-May-Travel-BESTPLACES0416
Photo credits from Getty Images

Memories you’ll remember fondly for the rest of the year

Author: Stephanie Wu
CreditsTravel+Leisure

Somehow, the leisure retreat of Lake Como is full of news this year. Several hotels have opened up, including Il Sereno Lago di Como, designed by Patricia Urquiola, and Villa Lario, a family-friendly property with six suites. And the Grand Hotel Tremezzo has undergone a huge refresh, adding a brand new spa (and a spa suite) for those who want to be pampered 24/7. Restaurants have stepped up their game, as well. Should you decide to venture outside your villa, head to Ristorante Silvio, where chef Christian Ponzini serves his famous missoltin—salted lake sardine. T+L

4/28/2017 - Weekend Getaway: Amsterdam, the Netherlands

If you had the time and resources to “getaway” every weekend, where would you travel? FCE prides itself on providing a high-quality currency exchange service and helping travelers find the right currency. Now let us also help inspire you on choosing the right destination. Every Friday, we’ll shed light on a different foreign city with a brief guide on what to do, where to go, and things to see.

Today, we are spotlighting Amsterdam. Convert your US dollars to Euros at any one of our convenient Currency Exchange locations. We exchange over 80 different currencies, offering the best exchange rates in the area–matching any lower rate within 100 miles!

Click to enlarge

72hrs in Amsterdam

With 60 miles of canals and nearly 7,000 buildings dating from the 18th century or earlier, Amsterdam is one of Europe’s best preserved cities—the center has barely changed since Rembrandt’s time. Yet it’s no mere museum piece: T+L’s Amsterdam travel guide shows that, alongside the historic monuments and Old Masters, the city is a modern capital with all the trappings a traveler could want, including a wide range of hotels, innovative restaurants, and stylish shopping.

Colorful, quirky and charming, the old-world city is lined with 17th century building, canals, and the constant sight of bicycles whizzing by. But it also bears the hallmarks of a thriving and downright lenient metropolis. While many young people visit Amsterdam for the marijuana scene—and perhaps to peek at the legal prostitutes in the Red Light District—the city is teeming with high culture, from the world-class art in the Van Gogh Museum and the Rijksmuseumn to P.C. Hooftstraat, the shopping street where you can find plenty of the contemporary, cutting-edge design that has become a source of pride in Amsterdam and the Netherlands. TRAVEL+LEISURE.

CURRENCY

Euro (€)

LANGUAGE

Dutch

TRANSPORTATION

Amsterdam is compact, so walking or renting bikes are most ideal for getting around. Public transportation (trams, metros, and buses) are also abundantly available. Buy a chip card at a ticketing machine or ask the driver for a tourist pass (one to seven-day cards start at $8).

THINGS TO DO

Go to: Vondel Park

Do: Van Gogh Museum and Anne Frank House (book in advance for both)

See: Street Art Museum Tour

(pictured above)

Wanna get away? No time like the present!

Wanna get away? No time like the present! Europe is said to be the “bargain of the decade,” with round-trip airfares from the U.S. to popular destinations, including Paris, Rome, Barcelona, Madrid and Prague, are down between 20 and 35 percent for travel from April through the start of September, according to KAYAK.com.

Convert your US dollars to Euros at any one of our convenient Currency Exchange locations. We keep Euros and British pounds in stock and readily available – no waiting!

POSTED: April 24, 2017

30GETAWAY-master675
Photo credits from New York Times

“Europe is the bargain of the decade,”

Author: Michelle Higgins
CreditsNYTimes

If you’ve ever dreamed of renting a villa in Tuscany, hiking under Iceland’s midnight sun or vacationing practically anywhere else in Europe, the time is now. From Reykjavik to Rome, lower airfares and a strong dollar are making for some of the best bargains in years for Americans.

Round-trip airfares from the U.S. to popular destinations, including Paris, Rome, Barcelona, Madrid and Prague, are down between 20 and 35 percent for travel from April through the start of September, compared with the same time last year, according to Kayak.com.

4/21/2017 - Weekend Getaway: Barcelona, Spain

If you had the time and resources to “getaway” every weekend, where would you travel? FCE prides itself on providing a high-quality currency exchange service and helping travelers find the right currency. Now let us also help inspire you on choosing the right destination. Every Friday, we’ll shed light on a different foreign city with a brief guide on what to do, where to go, and things to see.

Today, we are spotlighting Barcelona, Spain. Convert your US dollars to Euros at any one of our convenient Currency Exchange locations. We exchange over 80 different currencies, offering the best exchange rates in the area–matching any lower rate within 100 miles!

Click to enlarge

72hrs in Barcelona

What city in the world could be more perfect than Barcelona? With its cosmopolitan feel, relaxed pace of life, breathtaking architecture, fantastic gastronomy, and unbeatable climate, it really is the city that has everything. T+L’s Barcelona travel guide will tell you everything you need to know about what to see, eat, and visit in the Catalan capital, from the tried and tested favorites, to top secret spots, and the best new arrivals on the scene.

The beachside city’s bustling art scene and bohemian vibe make it the offbeat counterpart to the more classic Madrid. Visit Barcelona for its gorgeous beaches and eclectic nightlife, plus it has some of the best seafood in all of Europe. The streets of Barcelona are lined with breathtaking works of architecture, from Gothic churches to Antoni Gaudí’s surreal buildings, as well as modern sites like Maremagnum Mall. It’s also home to the one of the world’s most beloved soccer teams, Barcelona FC. TRAVEL+LEISURE.

CURRENCY

Euro (€)

LANGUAGE

Spanish and Catalan

TRANSPORTATION

Barcelona has an excellent public transport system and its reasonably priced. There’s also an abundance of taxis and Uber – cheap and hassle-free.

THINGS TO DO

Go to: Magic Fountain of Montjuic and the Picasso Museum

Do: Bogatell Beach and La Boqueria (market)

See: Basilica of the Sagrada Familia

(pictured above)

Too many travel sites to choose from? This article can help with that.

Over the last decade, more travel sites have appeared online than we can keep track of. Expedia, Travelocity, Hotwire, etc. They all seem to offer the same services, but swear to have better rates. This begs the question – which site should I use? Turns out they may just depend on you, the user. Check out this insightful article from NYTimes Travel to learn how to choose the best site for you and your travels.

POSTED: April 20, 2017

NYTIMES23FRUGAL-superJumbo
Photo credits from New York Times

Does it matter which site you use, or are they all basically the same?

Author:
CreditsNYTimes

In the beginning, you called an airline or travel agent when you wanted to book a trip. But if you’ve done any traveling at all within the last 15 years, you’ve probably come across a fare aggregator or metasearch site. Hundreds of perfectly legitimate ones exist; you’ve undoubtedly heard of Expedia, Priceline and Hotwire, to name three. Does it matter which site you use, or are they all basically the same? NYTimes

Delta changes policy in light of United's social media mishap

Delta Airlines changed its booking policy in the wake of United Airlines’ viral controversy. Last week, United endured epic social media uproar when videos depicting a passenger being violently removed from his seat by police due to overbooking hit the internet. Albeit United was within legal perimeters deplaning the passenger, a flurry of backlash was directed towards the airline giant because of its nonsensical booking policy and the fact the passenger suffered injuries to his face and head.

Clearly in an effort to avoid the PR nightmare, Delta took the initiative and changed its own policy in a way that greatly benefits passengers who may be forced to deplane due to overbooking.

POSTED: April 17, 2017

103277517-GettyImages-Delta
Photo credits from Getty Images

"In some cases, compensation is now allowed to reach $9,950"

Author: Everett Rosenfeld
Credits: CNBC

The company’s customer service agents are now authorized to offer up to $2,000 for voluntary denied boardings. The previous normal limit had been only $800.

In some cases, compensation is now allowed to reach $9,950, though Delta has a number of rules — including authorization from superiors — before agents can go up that high. Until the bulletin took effect on Friday, the maximum payout had been capped at $1,350. CNBC

4/14/2017 - Weekend Getaway: Copenhagen, Denmark

If you had the time and resources to “getaway” every weekend, where would you travel? FCE prides itself on providing a high-quality currency exchange service and helping travelers find the right currency. Now let us also help inspire you on choosing the right destination. Every Friday, we’ll shed light on a different foreign city with a brief guide on what to do, where to go, and things to see.

Today, we are spotlighting Copenhagen, Denmark. Convert your US dollars to Danish Krone at any one of our convenient Currency Exchange locations. We exchange over 80 different currencies, offering the best exchange rates in the area–matching any lower rate within 100 miles!

Click to enlarge

72hrs in Copenhagen

Copenhagen is literally the happiest place on Earth. For the past 40 years, it has regularly topped international happiness surveys, most recently 2013’s World Happiness Report from the Earth Institute at Columbia University. The best time to visit is said to be the summer months, for the days are longer and warmer and all the little open-air cafes. However, fewer crowds make winter more enjoyable, especially in the weeks leading up to Christmas—which are said to be uniquely magical, with the city resembling a royal kingdom. The streets, castles and canals are covered in snow. But even now, despite still being a little cold and very rainy, Denmark is a prized weekend destination.

T+L states that Copenhagen has become known for its excellent taste in everything from architecture to fashion, and – of course – food. Also, in recent years, this city has seen an upsurge in bars, restaurants and shops. When you visit Copenhagen, the first thing you’ll notice are the prim houses lining tidy cobblestoned streets and canals, and the kitschy Tivoli Gardens that form the city’s centerpiece. But beyond these postcard-perfect moments, Copenhagen is an ambitious city with much to explore. TRAVEL+LEISURE.

CURRENCY

Danish Krone (KR)

LANGUAGE

Danish

TRANSPORTATION

A cornucopia of reasonably priced, public transportation – bus, metro, or S-train – is available. However your best option may be the bike—Copenhagen is a small city, and most often it will be faster, cheaper, and more fun to traverse on two wheels. Taxis and Uber are also widely available.

THINGS TO DO

Go to: Kødbyen Gallery District

Do: Islands Brygge Harbour Bath and Tivoli Gardens

See: The Tower, Christiansborg Palace

(pictured above)

Florence, Italy tops TRAVEL+LEISURE's list of Best Cities in Europe

Capital of Italy’s visually spectacular Tuscany region and home of some of the most recognizable masterpieces of the Renaissance, Florence ranks #1 on TRAVEL+LEISURE  list of Best Cities in Europe.

FCE keeps Euros readily available at all of our locations – no waiting, and furnishes currency for the other 14 destinations listed. We help travelers find the right currency and offer the best exchange rates in the area–matching any lower rate within 100 miles!

POSTED: April 12, 2017

Europe, Italy, Florence,  Vasari Corridor of Galleria degli Uffizi
Photo credits from Getty Images

"Historic streets, renowned cuisine, world-class art, and a culture all their own" - T+L

Author: Lindsey Olander

Sure, it’s the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance, but a little history isn’t enough to make a city rise above the rest of Europe. But throw in centuries-old cathedrals, pedestrian-friendly medieval neighborhoods, terra-cotta-roofed palazzi lining the Arno, and galleries housing masterpieces like Michelangelo’s David and Botticelli’s Birth of Venus, and you can understand why Florence takes the grand prize. And we haven’t even mentioned the food—or the views from Brunelleschi’s Duomo, where you can see all the way to the Tuscan countryside. TRAVEL+LEISURE.

4/7/2017 - Weekend Getaway: Bangkok, Thailand

If you had the time and resources to “getaway” every weekend, where would you travel? FCE prides itself on providing a high-quality currency exchange service and helping travelers find the right currency. Now let us also help inspire you on choosing the right destination. Every Friday, we’ll shed light on a different foreign city with a brief guide on what to do, where to go, and things to see.

Today, we are spotlighting Bangkok, Thailand. Convert your US dollars to Thai bahts at any one of our convenient Currency Exchange locations. We exchange over 80 different currencies, offering the best exchange rates in the area–matching any lower rate within 100 miles!

Click to enlarge

72hrs in Bangkok

April is the hottest month and public transportation is known to be a little unpredictable. However, Travel+Leisure calls Bangkok a city “filled with non-stop action, grit, character and some of the best cheap eats in the world. This is precisely why Bangkok makes FCE’s first ever Weekend Getaway Guide.

This is a frenetic jigsaw puzzle of towering skyscrapers, colorful taxicabs, motorcycle taxis, and busy pedestrians. When you visit Bangkok you discover what this diverse city—an amalgamation of old and new—has to offer. It may be a busy metropolis, but at dawn you can see Buddhist monks clad in yellow robes filling the streets. Like the rest of Thailand, there’s a lot of negotiation and bartering: haggling at markets is the norm, and a language of its own. Come here and you’ll find a wide range of activities to amuse yourself, from the historical and religious to shopping, galleries, and spas. Travel+Leisure

CURRENCY

Thai Baht (THB)

LANGUAGE

Thai

TRANSPORTATION

Traffic is unavoidable, and public transportation is unpredictable. It’s said the best way to get around the city is the tuk tuk – they’re cheap, speedy and fun,

THINGS TO DO

Go to: Chinatown

Do: The Soy Sauce Factory

See: Wat Arun

(pictured above)

Trump, Chinese Pres. delivers long-term boost in Palm Beach's tourism

The White House announces today Pres. Trump will be hosting a visit with President Xi Jinping of China at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida Thursday and Friday. Trump has visited his Mar-a-Lago estate six times since taking office in January, including a somewhat controversial meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. On average, each visit has added a one to two percent increase in hotel room occupancy. With the visit of the Chinese president, a more long-term economic impact is expected for the Palm Beach area.

FCE established its Palm Beach currency exchange branch two years ago. Visit this convenient location at the Palm Beach Outlets to exchange your currency. We exchange over 80 different currencies, offering the best exchange rates in the area–matching any lower rate within 100 miles!

POSTED: April 5, 2017

palmbeach-city-push
Photo credits from Sixt.com

“It’s the visibility that the visits are getting us around the country and around the world,”

Author: Andy Reid

The talk may be about trade wars and human rights violations, but the images broadcast around the world will show Palm Beach County’s blue skies, beaches and lush golf courses.

President Donald Trump meets with the president of China on Thursday and Friday in Palm Beach, attracting more international media attention that local leaders expect to deliver a long-term tourism boost. Sun Sentinel.

FCE resumes buy/sale of Indian Rupee

As of March 27, the Florida Currency Exchange has resumed the purchase and sale of India’s currency – the rupee (INR). On election day, Nov. 8 2016, Prime Minister Narendra Modi made the decision to swap the country’s two most widely circulated currency notes for new bills, deeming the 500 rupee and 1000 rupee (roughly $7.50 and $15) worthless. This interesting NYTimes piece explains the reasoning behind the decision and how it almost led India to financial collapse.

Visit any one of our convenient Currency Exchange locations to convert your US dollars to Rupees and vice versa again. FCE exchanges over 80 different currencies, offering the best exchange rates in the area–matching any lower rate within 100 miles!

POSTED: April 4, 2017

rupee2
Photo credits from ShutterStock.com

"No economy can lose that much currency in a few weeks without creating major hardship — certainly not one like that of India"

Author: NYTimes Editorial Board
Credits: New York Times

Two months after the Indian government abruptly decided to swap the most widely used currency notes for new bills, the economy is suffering. The manufacturing sector is contracting; real estate and car sales are down; and farm workers, shopkeepers and other Indians report that a shortage of cash has made life increasingly difficult.Read more on New York Times.

Canada ranked #1 on NY Times' "52 Places to Go in 2017"

New York Times ranks Canada as the #1 travel destination for 2017. This is great for American tourists because of the relatively weak Canadian dollar. This means your dollar will go a long way exploring Canada’s unspoiled natural beauty and bustling metropolitan cities. 

Convert your US dollars to Canadian dollars at any one of our convenient Currency Exchange locations. We always have Canadian dollars in stock and readily available – no waiting!

POSTED: March 31, 2017

canada (1)
Photo credits from Hotels.com Article

Cananda - A “world unto itself”

Author: Josh Haner
Credits: New York Times

Canada is huge — the second-largest country by area. It’s also a world unto itself, with cosmopolitan cities, barely explored natural wonders and everything in between. And this is the year to visit: In honor of the 150th anniversary of its confederation, when the original colonies came together as one country, Canada is rolling out the welcome mat. All of the country’s more than 200 national parks and historic sites are offering free admission through the year, Read more on New York Times

Florence, Italy tops TRAVEL+LEISURE's list of Best Cities in Europe

Capital of Italy’s visually spectacular Tuscany region and home of some of the most recognizable masterpieces of the Renaissance, Florence ranks #1 on TRAVEL+LEISURE  list of Best Cities in Europe.

FCE keeps Euros readily available at all of our locations – no waiting, and furnishes currency for the other 14 destinations listed. We help travelers find the right currency and offer the best exchange rates in the area–matching any lower rate within 100 miles!

POSTED: April 12, 2017

Europe, Italy, Florence,  Vasari Corridor of Galleria degli Uffizi
Photo credits from Getty Images

"Historic streets, renowned cuisine, world-class art, and a culture all their own" - T+L

Author: Lindsey Olander

Sure, it’s the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance, but a little history isn’t enough to make a city rise above the rest of Europe. But throw in centuries-old cathedrals, pedestrian-friendly medieval neighborhoods, terra-cotta-roofed palazzi lining the Arno, and galleries housing masterpieces like Michelangelo’s David and Botticelli’s Birth of Venus, and you can understand why Florence takes the grand prize. And we haven’t even mentioned the food—or the views from Brunelleschi’s Duomo, where you can see all the way to the Tuscan countryside. TRAVEL+LEISURE.