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TheWills 06-08-2004 01:22 PM

Hey all
Well its getting close to trip day here only a couple of months left. Im set to go but I still have one concern I cant get over. How am I gonna handle my money ??? I need advice bad, how do you guys do it ?
Do you bring travelers checks, all in cash, did you pay with credit cards the whole time, or did you hit up a bank and use a card to take out some money from back home. Im totaly stunned and dont know what to do about this, I just would like too hear what you guys did becase that should get me some ideas.
thanks :worship:

joanofarc 06-08-2004 01:28 PM

i carry all cash all the time - well, while i travel anyway. it's the best way for me. but then again, i'm a gambling woman.

omisan 06-08-2004 01:46 PM

I've posted in another thread (and repeated this to many friends) that an ATM card is the way to go. You'll usually get a solid wholesale exchange rate. However, there's almost always a withdrawal fee on both ends - still less than getting gouged at the Bureaux de Change or AmEx offices. If you're in the UK, note that Barclays ATMs won't charge you a fee! :)

In terms of credit card usage, while you can use them for just about everything in the states, some European countries severely limit their use. I guess this is good, since you won't run up a monstrous bar tab, but it can be a hassle, as well, when funds are low. In Paris, they were more than happy to take my credit card at stores, providing I showed a passport, offered up my firstborn as collateral and sang the Marseillaise.

ladaz 06-09-2004 06:40 AM

I always have two checking accounts open at one bank, and bring a debit card from each. That way I have two cards in case I lose one and I can transfer money from one to the other with a quick phone call.
I also always carry at least $100 in cash hidden away. I've never had a problem with this method. (knock on wood)

omisan 06-09-2004 10:27 AM

Damn, ladaz - that's a freakin' great idea!

cliffo 06-09-2004 03:43 PM


I relied on my ATM card for the trip and didn't have any problems at all. Because my bank hit me with a $5 withdrawal fee each time I took out some cash, I withdrew a weeks worth of cash at a time.

That helped me to stick to my planned budget (i did go over my budget but not by too much) each week and break it down into a daily limit to make sure I was as close to budget as possible - OK maybe I'm a bit anal but it seemed to work for me :)

The credit card came in handy to book flights and hostels (use the booking system on TP's site - worked a treat for me) over the net.

Another thing to watch is I tried to use an ATM attached to a bank during opening hours just in case it swallowed my card but never had any problem of any kind in that regard.


FireGuy 06-10-2004 07:06 PM

Welcome to the boards Newbiepacker!

Ladaz, that's a damn good idea...

What I do is carry one ATM/Debit card, and one credit card (with a 4 dig pin), as backup. I usually go to a bank atm, during the day if possible, and withdraw a weeks worth or so, or however much currency I think I'll need during my stay in that country. I pay cash for everything. I keep it in a money belt with my cards and passport, and have a days worth of money in a cheap wallet in my front pocket. That way you're not pulling out your money belt every time you need lunch, metro ticket, etc. Also, I keep a 100 bucks or so hidden for emergencies. This has worked for me so far...

Biggest point (you probably already know) is use a money belt!!

TheWills 06-11-2004 12:55 AM

THanks all
Its seems atm is the way too go
I'll pick up a money belt asap too, gotta get on that

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