23 Days 12 Countries---- Help!!

Jan 26th, 2004, 09:47 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 88
I agree that $100 a day will be PLENTY! On a Contiki tour there will most cetainly be a range of people with much less disposable cash. Not to worry.
The_Pixies is offline  
Jan 26th, 2004, 09:57 PM
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 12,176
Denise, go to
Select the area you want. Then select Suggested Itineraries (under Attractions).
WillTravel is offline  
Jan 26th, 2004, 10:01 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,885
Why don't you look into a pre-paid CC/ATM card? You put in let say $2500 in the card and she could use any ATM machine in Europe to withdraw money(in local currency and in most cases at best available rates) as needed without carrying bunch of it around all the time. Also, just in case she runs out of money, you will be able to re-load little more here into the card, which will save you cost of sending cash through Western Union or something similar.

WesternUnion.com, AAA.com, and I believe AmericanExpress.com offers these cards. They could be used as credit cards or as ATM cards. Very cheap to set-up and you could also request 2 cards for little extra charge which she could keep with her documents in case she looses the first one.
AAFrequentFlyer is offline  
Jan 27th, 2004, 06:30 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Hi Denise,

I also suggest not trying to time the futures market in Euro. No one can really tell if it will go up or down. Also, exchange rate is poor in the US.

Use the ATM machines upon arrival.
ira is offline  
Jan 27th, 2004, 08:10 AM
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 38
Just a quick comment - your daughter will save a lot of money if she scopes out a grocery/convenience store when she arrives in a city and buys water, pop, snacks, meals there rather than off street vendors or in restaurants. When we were in Italy, we would visit the grocery store in the morning and buy a couple bottles of water for the day, some snacks, maybe a sandwich and it saved a lot of money. In Rome, a bottle of water was $4CAD from someone on the street, but only $1 or less from a store. The savings add up!
skidoo_chick is offline  
Jan 27th, 2004, 08:14 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,689
Here are my suggestions:

1. I have not taken a tour, but from what I can see of tour websites, the optional tours are where the tour operatos make their money. I would tell her to avoid these and strike out on her own. With the help of a good guidebook and the people on this site, she can easily see the sights on her own at much less cost. For example, there is a 3.5 hour bicycle tour of Rome for 20 Euos (including the bike) which I think would be great for young people, take a look at http://www.enjoyrome.com. This Enjoy Rome people offer other tours as well. People on this site have other suggestions for tours and tour guides.

2. Get the Lonelyplanet guidebook for Europe and/or the individual countries she is visiting. They have great budget restaurant ideas. They also are good guidebooks generally, IMO and will give her lots of ideas for places to explore on her own.

3. She should try to get to a grocery store when arriving in a city or in free time and buy snacks, breakfast bars, soft drinks, etc. Breads and lunch meats would probably be a good idea too. She will save a lot this way. From your description of the tour, a lot of her time will be spent on a bus so it will be good to be provisioned. I wouldn't bring food from the US unless they are very light-weight, maybe a box of breakfast bars. If she and her friend strike up friendships with others on the bus, perhaps they can take turns being the designated grocery shopper on arrival and buy for a number of people. This will save even more.

4. Places like McDonalds are often expensive, esp. in Switzerland, so steer her away from those places. There are so many good bakeries in Europe that she will have no trouble giving up the Big Macs.

5. As others have said, do not buy Euros now. You don't know what will happen with the exchange rate. Whatever it is, she will get a better exchange rate by withdrawing via an ATM. Remember that Euros are not the currency of Switzerland, and while they are accepted at many places, she will get an awful exchange rate so an expensive meal or purchase will end up costing more; make a withdrawal at a Swiss ATM in Swiss Francs. She or you need to check with her bank to make sure (i) she understands whatever charge the bank may assess her for a foreign withdrawal, and (ii) whether there are any daily or weekly limits on withdrawals.

6. If is easy and cheap to check e-mail at a cyber café, a good way to stay in touch with you. For a list of cypbercafes in cities all over Europe, go to cybercafe.com

Cicerone is offline  
Jan 27th, 2004, 08:33 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,098
$50 per person a day is really quite a lot for food for one day anywhere in Europe, unless you are stuck on eating in semi-fancy places catering to tourists. However, I guess she might be stuck with that since she's only going to be in each place one full day.

On our trip to Germany, per person we spent nothing for breakfast (included in room rate), $6-$10 for lunch, and $12-$25 for dinner. A typical $12 dinner might be goulash soup (practically a meal in itself), a pork or chicken dish with vegetables, and a beer or glass of wine. We ate very well and never spent as much as $50 a day per person.

However, we did seek out places away from the immediate tourist areas.

In Munich, a 21 year old would probably enjoy the English Garden with its nude sunbathing areas. There are several excellent art galleries (including modern art), too. Schloss Nymphenburg is really big (on the outskirts of the city, but an easy tram ride). She would probably enjoy the Viktualienmarkt and beer garden as well.
With only one full day each place, the problem won't be what to see, but what to leave out.
RufusTFirefly is offline  
Jan 29th, 2004, 02:36 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 7
Hi. We want to thank everyone who responded. Everyone gave really good advice and it is very appreciated. I am sorry to those that thought I was trying to plot and plan for my daughter-trust me she is actively involved...but she is also a full time college student with a full time job so I told her I would check on the Fodors site for her. She is checking lonelyplanet, etc and plowing through travel guides in her spare time. Again, thanks for all the help and suggestions. You guys have been wonderful!
Denisegm is offline  

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