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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 12-14-2004, 12:41 PM   #1
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Hey all-

I'm headed to Europe in a couple o weeks, whats do people think is the best way to pay for things?

Traveler's checks, VISA card, euro? Do all hostels accept a credit card?

Any help is greatly appreciated. Happy trails!

AG
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Old 12-14-2004, 01:46 PM   #2
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I think we hit this topic weekly around here

I'm pretty sure that most people are in agreement with me that ATM is the way to go. You get the best exchange rate, they're widely available, and the only thing you have to worry about its the withdrawal fee, but that's taken care of by taking out a big chunk at a time.. just remember to use a moneybelt or similar security measure to make sure you don't get robbed of your newly withdrawn loot.

Most hostels take credit cards, but I've run into a few that don't. It's usually easy enough to take cash out to pay them... Speaking of credit cards, it's good to have one with you for emergency expenses (or when you see that one expensive keepsake that you just can't go back home without). Remember to call your credit card issuer(s) to tell them that you'll be using it overseas, so that they don't shut it down on ya.
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Old 12-14-2004, 02:45 PM   #3
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What omisan said. Travellers cheques are for SUCKERS! Well, not really, just annoying to have to track down the AMEX office durring their shitty hours.
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Old 12-14-2004, 03:08 PM   #4
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HERE HERE!! ATM's are the way to go.. They are everywhere, open 24/7 and cheap! Just make big withdraws (so you don't keep paying bank fees for smaller amounts)

Good Luck and have fun!
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Old 12-15-2004, 05:50 AM   #5
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While I agree with the others about ATM's being the way to go, it would not hurt to carry a small amount in a traveller check (maybe $50). I did this and it saved me when my ATM card would not work in Poland for some reason (not fund related). Sometimes you might have a problem with your ATM card, so make sure you have some back up cash with credit cards or a traveller check.
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Old 12-15-2004, 04:03 PM   #6
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atm, mastercard and traveller's cheques is what I took. good to have some cheques with you in case something happens (bank puts a freeze on your card, cc doesn't work, etc.) you don't have to find an amex or american express office if you don't mind the small fee the money exchange places charge (and believe me, if you're in a jam, you won't care)
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Old 12-17-2004, 10:21 AM   #7
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Just to add to what other people mentioned:

BE SURE to call your cc company before you go, tell them where you are going and the dates. Their anti-fraud systems often shut-down a cc as soon as a foreign charge hits your account - which really sucks.

Also, make sure you get a PIN for your cc, just like your ATM card so you can withdraw cash in an emergency or if your ATM card gets eaten, stolen, lost, etc.

If your going on a really long trip, you may even want to set up a separate bank account back home prior to leaving (if you can get a free account - many banks have them). Deposit an emergency fund (even a hundred bucks) and get an ATM card which will serve as a backup. That way, if your primary card is eaten by an ATM machine in Prague, you have a backup to get you through the day.
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Old 12-17-2004, 01:19 PM   #8
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i also agree with atm, there are machines EVERYWHERE, their very convenient and fast to give money.
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