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Travel Budget, Money Matters, Financial Talk Mom, can I borrow ten grand?! Gimme yo mastercard! How the heck can I pay for my trip?! Ideas for making money. How much dough do I need?

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Old 04-24-2008, 06:53 PM   #1
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Red face Some Money Questions from a New Traveler!

Hey guys! I'm doing a working holiday in London this summer and I've got a few money issues. Bare with me because I've hardly ever been out of the states and I need a little help, please. :D

1) I contacted my bank about using my debit card in the UK and they told me that they do not charge any fee, just the current exchange rate. So, if I use my debit card at a cash point to take out some money, will that cash point charge me a fee? What's the typical fee? Are there certain brands I guess you would call them that charge less (and what are their names if so)? I know here in the states some ATMs charge you more than others.

2) I plan on being in London for three months, but I'm also going to be getting a job and renting a room as soon as possible. The first week or so that I'm there I'll be staying with a friend's parents. In this scenario, how much cash should I bring? And where is the best place to exchange? My bank allows you to order British pounds but their rate to get cash is currently $2.10:1 pound. If I can get a better deal that'd be nice. I've seen some online exchange companies, from like Wells Fargo and such; anyone have any experience with this?

Lots of love to anyone who can provide any help or extra tips!
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Old 04-24-2008, 08:47 PM   #2
 
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1. HSBC and NatWest from experience do not charge. For the most part none charge best of such competition

2. I never bring cash. I always try to pay for my way into London (for instance the gatwick express or heathrow express) ahead of time. They have ATM's everywhere in London, especially at train terminals. I know Paddington does, can't remember where(although I should, I lived there for 4 months). If you feel like you need pounds, you wouldn't need more than 20gbp if you buy your tickets to get you into london ahead of time like I said.

Also I know the gatwick express runs promotions sometimes. Google "gatwick express coupon codes" sometimes you'll find 2for1 deals.

Good luck!
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Old 04-24-2008, 08:48 PM   #3
 
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Best = because. I'm a little tipsy right now haha.
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Old 04-25-2008, 03:19 AM   #4
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I booked my Gatwick Express ticket along with my flight on BA.com. They offer 1st class tickets for the same amount as 2nd class, so I went with that and wasn't sure what the difference was. I was really hoping for a complimentary financial times/port/tophat. Oh well.

The current exchange rate is 1.97 so 2.1 isn't a good exchange rate

--Joey
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Old 04-25-2008, 07:11 AM   #5
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If you take money out from an ATM belonging to a major UK bank (Barclays, Natwest, HSBC and others) then they will not charge a fee for the withdrawal. These machines are usually built into the wall of a bank. Other machines such as the small self-standing ones in shops and pubs usually charge around £1.50-£2.50 per withdrawal.

You will get a much better rate using your ATM card than changing cash. You should get a rate of $2:£1 at the moment with this method.
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Old 04-25-2008, 07:30 AM   #6
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Thank you all so much! :D Takes one more weight off my shoulders!
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Old 04-25-2008, 07:32 AM   #7
 
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Please keep us updated on the top hat situation. haha
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