Dollars for Euros

Insider advice for making your shopping dollars stretch on St. Maarten By: Mark Rogers

Most vacationers planning a trip to St. Maarten will know that the island has both a Dutch side and a French side.They may even know that travel between the two sides is effortless, without a border control or a need for passports. What travelers might not know is that select stores on both the French and Dutch side are offering an amazing shopping value for U.S. travelers.

The euro is worth considerably more than the U.S. dollar — trading at one euro to $1.32 as of press time. On St. Maarten, the worldwide dip in the economy has inspired select stores to post prices for goods offering parity between the U.S. dollar and the euro. For example, if the currency exchange rate was being followed, a piece of jewelry costing 100 euros would presumably cost a U.S. visitor $132. But at select stores on St. Maarten offering parity between the two currencies, that piece of jewelry would cost U.S. clients only $100.

Clients can ask cab drivers for help in finding these stores. And, at some stores, it is possible for clients to negotiate their own euro/dollar deals with the owners.

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