Money changes hands swiftly at currency exchange booths at Helsinki's Central Railway Station. The strong euro is favouring travellers at the start of schools' autumn break.
Jyrki Nilson is at the station to buy dollars for his upcoming trip to the United States.
“I plan to use the extra dollars to shop for brand-name goods in the country,” he says.
The euro has seen a choppy climb against the dollar in recent months. Last Friday, one euro bought $1.38. This is, however, still well short pre-recession highs. In the spring of 2008, one euro fetched nearly $1.60. The eurozone's progression towards economic recovery is driving up the value of the 16-nation currency. Analysts expect the euro will continue to see gains, but only in the short-term.
The American dollar has meanwhile floundered, but analysts say the US economy still stands on a stronger basis than the euro.
“In the long-term I believe the trend will turn and the euro will start to weaken,” says analyst Jan von Gerich from Nordea Bank, adding that debt burdens of eurozone member states may pull down the value of the currency.
Most people probably don't plan their trips according to the ups and downs of currencies, but today the strong euro is also boosting the budgets of travellers heading to Asia—where the strong euro means more bang for the buck.