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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 09-27-2005, 07:31 AM   #1
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Ok so I am leaving for Europe in less than two weeks and I am finalizing everything.

Question what do you reccomend as far as carrying money? Only use credit cards? Only use debit cards? Only use atm's? Only bring cash? Or a combation of two or three?

Thoughts?

I was thinking of bringing a 100-200 in euro and then taking the rest out as I need from atms, and also using my CC when I can. My bank is a worldwide bank and says they give me the best rate of the day as well as they do not charge atm fees.

Now your thoughts??

Thanks!!
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Old 09-27-2005, 08:36 AM   #2
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Bear in mind while your own bank may not charge fees those atm's that are owned by european banks may do. Another idea maybe using an american express travellers cheque debit card, its a new thing!
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Old 09-27-2005, 09:14 AM   #3
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I think if you have all three types of cash/cards then you should bring all three. Bring some cash as a backup/emergency fund - hide it in your pack or in a moneybelt. Bring an ATM card so you can easily have access to cash when needed - maybe make that your primary card that you use. Bring a CC for times when it is accepted/needed (internet reservations for hostels, attractions, etc.) and as an alternative to using cash.

The more options you have also gives you piece of mind that if your ATM card gets inexplicably eaten by that damn bank in Paris on a Sunday morning and you are supposed to catch a train to Germany that same day...well...it's not the end of your trip.
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Old 09-27-2005, 09:24 AM   #4
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Definitely a back up emergency credit card - "just in case." They have debit cards that you can use anywhere you use a credit card (if it has visa or mastercard on it). You can use that for online resys and paying for stuff. You get the best exchange rate when you pull out of an ATM, plus you can pull out as you see fit. Definitely have some cash with you when you land. We assumed we'd just immediately pull out in Euros, but had problems with our cards and it would have made life a lot easier to have brought money with us.
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Old 09-27-2005, 11:22 AM   #5
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Ok thank you all so much for the advice.

I will carry a combo of all three. I think I will make sure to have some cash for when I land, but take out as needed from atms. My bank actually doesnt charge me anything for using any bank. If the atm charges me 5 us dollars to withdraw, they pay for it. Its a bank for the military and government. Hence they are worldwide.

I would like to at least carry 100-200 on me at all times, and maybe just use the debit card for meals and hostels, etc. Cash for at the bars, and what not. CC in case of emergency.

Would you recommend stashing some cash for emergency as well?

Does this all sound like a good plan?
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Old 09-27-2005, 11:47 AM   #6
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Sounds like a solid plan.

And yes, having a backup stash is always a good idea!

As for taking some cash for when you land.. I don't even bother with that. I just find an ATM at the airport and get a FAR better rate than the currency exchange booths there.

Keep in mind that in some countries, you may run into hefty credit card fees (this includes your Visa/MC-branded debit card), so ask first before charging your lunch/souvenir/whatever!
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Old 09-27-2005, 12:00 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by jamiepeaski@Sep 27 2005, 08:24 AM
plus you can pull out as you see fit.
Sorry but did anyone else find this choice of words funny or am I the only perv?

I was talking to someone at my bank yesterday on the phone and they suggested to use my credit card and cash. It seems as though they had some pretty steep fees for using the debit card at the ATMs. I'm glad I found that out now as opposed to hundreds of dollars in bank fees later! But if your bank doesn't charge fees, then that should be cool too.

And to avoid paying interest on my credit card bill (which I hate to do, so I pay it off in full every month) I'm going to have most of my trip money in a bank account and use my online banking service to transfer the amounts towards the VISA each month. That way I also get points for every dollar I spend.

Have a great trip!!


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Old 09-27-2005, 01:15 PM   #8
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See I get cash back on my debit card, so I am thinking I would like to use that alot but not if there are large fees.

What about getting money here in the us prior to take off. Is there a place to exchange money that is better than another? Are Banks the best bet?

Sorry for all the questions, but just want to be prepared, so I can have all the fun time there.
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Old 09-27-2005, 08:57 PM   #9
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The reason I suggest leaving with cash is because you never know what could happen - when we landed, we had problems getting our money, so having enough cash onhand to buy a calling card or whatever could be beneficial. Better safe than sorry. Even if you get a poor exchange rate (say 78 c to the dollar as opposed to 82 or something similiar) if you have like 100 USD that transfers into 78 Euro as opposed to 82, so yes, you lose a few bucks, but it's not as bad as everyone makes it out to be.

Go to your local bank if you have one, and see if they do currency exchanges. If they don't, as for a place/bank that does. In Europe, if you have to do an exchange of currency, do go to a bank. The exchange rate still isn't perfect, but you get a much better one than at a currency exchange.

Definitely do it before you go and not like at the airport. Anywhere there's a lot of traffic - airports, train stations, tourist areas - the exchange rate is bad. So, as long as you have the time, do it before hand!

And it's always good to have some cashish on the plane for those "extras" (you can use currency from where you're leaving from or currency from or where you're going on planes). Mmmmm... beer... Unless you bring your own of course!

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Have some general questions such as whether or not to get a rail pass or how much money you'll need? Visit here!

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