travel advice & savings
 
RAIL PASSES GUARANTEED LOWEST PRICES at RAILPASS.COM Click Here
3 replies
What to do with the cash....
AOXOMOXOA
AOXOMOXOA's profile picture
Eurotrip Points: 3
Member: 7640
Joined: 06/02/2008
User offline. Last seen 13 years 8 weeks ago.

I’m headed to England and France on October 15th for two weeks. One week in London, One in Paris. This will be my first trip to Europe, and I’ve saved a little over five grand to have available. My question to the more experienced here is this: how much money should I bring with me, on my person, in a hidden money belt?? I’m not sure how much to leave in a bank and how much I should carry on me initially…also, is there a basic going rate to exchange money inside airports? And if so, would it be cheaper to exchange in the US before I depart, or when I arrive?? Any suggestions would be helpful. Also, one other different and slightly dumb question…my favorite jacket, which I shall be bringing, is a vintage US army jacket that still has a patch the reads “U.S. ARMY” over the chest pocket. Does anyone here have a reason to believe I may offend any European citizens with this?? I’m not sure how they may view our policies or military. It’s a stupid question, but it still makes me wonder….

oldlady
oldlady's profile picture
Moderator
ModeratorModeratorModeratorModeratorModerator
Eurotrip Points: 19
Member: 778
Joined: 01/03/2007
User offline. Last seen 5 years 18 weeks ago.

I would leave most of your money in the bank. ATMs are everywhere. I usually carry $200 in US twenties (or the equivalent in euros) as an emergency stash in a money belt. I withdraw enough at the ATM (in local currency) to get me through 3 or 4 days.

I don’t know where you live in the US, but at my local bank the rate results in about a 7% loss on the actual exchange rate, plus a $5 fee. Using the ATM in Europe is a much better deal for me.

VinkoCM
VinkoCM's profile picture
Traveler
TravelerTravelerTraveler
Eurotrip Points: 214
Member: 8075
Joined: 09/29/2008
User offline. Last seen 9 years 37 weeks ago.

Hi there,

I think you should have about 200 Euros well hidden with you for emergencies. Also, I think you should carry around 75 Euros with you for activities/shopping/whatever you are going to do. Other than that you should get the rest as you need it from an ATM.

I also agree that ATMs are probably cheaper.

‘All men by nature desire knowledge.’ – Aristotle
Vendo mi propiedad.com

luv_the_beach
luv_the_beach's profile picture
Eurotripper
EurotripperEurotripperEurotripperEurotripperEurotripper
Eurotrip Points: 2028
Member: 193
Joined: 01/03/2007
User offline. Last seen 8 years 5 weeks ago.
AOXOMOXOA wrote:
I’m headed to England and France on October 15th for two weeks. One week in London, One in Paris. This will be my first trip to Europe, and I’ve saved a little over five grand to have available. My question to the more experienced here is this: how much money should I bring with me, on my person, in a hidden money belt?? I’m not sure how much to leave in a bank and how much I should carry on me initially…also, is there a basic going rate to exchange money inside airports?

The exchange rate at airports will be horrible. You don’t need to exchange money before you leave the US. Exactly as Oldlady and Vinko suggested: keep most of your cash in a checking account at home, and use an ATM card to withdraw money from European ATMs. The European ATM will dispense Euros (in France) or Pounds (in Britain), and the rough equivalent of that in US Dollars (plus a small fee) is withdrawn from your checking account back home. Your bank looks for the best exchange rate in the international financial markets, so you’re best off using your ATM card, rather than trying to exchange cash by yourself, where you’ll get a bad exchange rate and be charged a high commission fee. But it’s not a bad idea to carry some US Dollars with you in cash. You’ll also want to bring a credit card to fall back on, just in case (doubtful you’ll need it, but it’s good to have the back-up). Before you leave home, make sure your ATM pin number has 4 digits, not 5, as many European ATM machines will not accept a 5-digit pin. Also before you leave, make sure you have the phone number to call in case your ATM card and credit card are stolen: keep in mind that the regular 800 number to call in case your card is lost/stolen, this number will probably not work outside the USA/Canada (even if the uninformed bank employee tells you that it will), so make sure you find a non-toll free number [one that is staffed 24 HOURS] with a normal area code (not 800 or 866), that you can call from Europe in case your card(s) is/are stolen.

AOXOMOXOA wrote:
And if so, would it be cheaper to exchange in the US before I depart, or when I arrive?? Any suggestions would be helpful. Also, one other different and slightly dumb question…my favorite jacket, which I shall be bringing, is a vintage US army jacket that still has a patch the reads “U.S. ARMY” over the chest pocket. Does anyone here have a reason to believe I may offend any European citizens with this?? I’m not sure how they may view our policies or military. It’s a stupid question, but it still makes me wonder….

Large in-your-face type of prints will come off as arrogant and nationalist, but a small, humble print or patch is perfectly fine. However, from experience, the military fatigue/camouflage colors may offend some people. I’m not sure why exactly that is, but I have this military-camouflage coloured hat that offended a few random people in Spain and France.


beach-lunch-siesta-beach-shower-dinner-nightlife-repeat