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Converting dollars to euros in the States before trip?

Converting dollars to euros in the States before trip?

Old Aug 15th, 2015, 03:32 AM
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Forums are for grown ups.
Basically you get what you give.
You get upset and react - you upset others and they react.
If it gets to you just don't.
There are useful things in forums
Just get only those or accept to take some heat from some.
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Old Aug 15th, 2015, 09:16 AM
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Trophywife: Thanks for your suggestion. I called my bank to verify that they don't charge that additional 3% for a foreign transaction. They don't.

>ATM is $5.00 plus 3%.<

That would be $20.00 for a withdrawal of $500.00. Way too much! $80 to draw $2000 in $500 increments.

My bank (Wells Fargo) charges $5.00 for a foreign ATM withdrawal. Period. There is a 3% fee if I charge on the ATM card, but I don't normally use my ATM card that way, though I did do it 4 or 5 times on my last trip. (I was irritated when I had to add in 31 cents or 11 cent charges to balance my checkbook.) I have a Chase/Mileage Plus Explorer card that doesn't charge a fee, so I use that for larger expenses.

I think I'll continue to do what I've been doing, which is to pay major expenses with my Mileage Plus Explorer card and lesser stuff with the cash I get with my ATM card. When I spend $5000--$6000 on a trip, I'm not going to cavil at paying $10 or $15 in ATM fees.

P.S. I did run into DCC in eastern Europe a couple of times. It caught me off guard. I signed the receipt before looking at the notice printed on it which said that I had discussed and accepted the cost of charging the item in dollars. Then I realized it was DCC but didn't bother to cancel, since it was a small amount. I won't be as agreeable in the future.

The second time I encountered it, I told the server to charge it in euros.

I don't usually read a squabbling thread all the way through, but this one was kind of interesting. Lots of personalities.
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Old Aug 15th, 2015, 10:42 AM
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Zenfoodist:
This thread reminds me a bit of home.

My wife is like you ... at home she likes to only pay in cash (which she gets from the brick-and-mortar bank's very pleasant and helpful tellers) or by old-fashioned written checks. (Unfortunately, or fortunately - depending on your point of view - her habits began to change when our favorite supermarket stopped accepting checks.)

Whereas I am a persistent user of ATM and credit cards and rarely have any more than $20 or $40 cash on me.

*** We pleasantly accept each others' habits - at least, most of each other's habits - and just happily accept each other for what we are.***

Having said that, we both use ATM's and credit cards when travelling, but both keep enough cash on our person to pay for things when our cards do't work (inevitably that happens onece or twice a trip).

Warning: the following is not meant to create a new thread, just to mention a potential problem zenfoodist may not be aware of - she can search the forum for an infinity of posts on this:

Re credit cards:
do be aware: there are 3 types: (1) swipe and signature - the old kind still predominant in the US, (2) chip and signature, which the US is gradually moving towards - you use them then still sign a receipt, and (3) chip and pin (you use them and enter a pin number, just like an ATM card - most of the world outside the US uses them almost exclusively.

In EU it's likely that you will have trouble using swipe and signature cards in most places (though many/some tourist places will know how to deal with them. Many - but not all places - will know how to deal with a chip and signature card. In many automatic machines like autostrada ticket machines or rail or transit ticket machines, or some manned places that aren't frequented by tourists, you will NOT be able to use any card except for chip and pin. (So in EU my habit changes and I carry some cash with me ... picked up from an ATM machine.)
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Old Aug 15th, 2015, 11:23 AM
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Zenfoodist,

Please, please do come back to this thread after your trip and let me know how the villa in Sorrento works out. I hope it is magnificent for you.
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Old Aug 15th, 2015, 11:24 AM
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zenfoodist is planning this trip in great detail because she feels responsible for the enjoyment of the family members on the trip. I know the feeling. And it's more difficult when there are multiple age groups with divergent interests and stamina.

So I laud her for trying so hard to make everything perfect. After all, aren't we on Fodors all planners ourselves?
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Old Aug 15th, 2015, 11:44 AM
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<i>n EU it's likely that you will have trouble using swipe and signature cards in most places </i>

Not in my experience except in unmanned booths--and even then some accept the swipe credit card, but who wants to spend vacation time testing which do and which do not accept these credit cards?
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Old Aug 15th, 2015, 12:14 PM
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sassafrass~ there is absolutely no way you will not get my trip report! I promise you that. That villa is because or YOU and no one else.

Thank you for the kind words Mimar. I'm blessed to have my two healthy parents with us on this trip and really want it to be memorable. I am a big planner and I guess myriad successful trips (humble brag?) are testimony to this.

I thought it was pretty pathetic that a bunch of phonies were trashing ME, a complete stranger, in their little lounge. I spent a few minutes scrolling through Lounge posts last night and it's pretty unbelievable what people feel the need to discuss with essentially a bunch of strangers. I'm just glad I have actual friends I can ask about whether or not my photo Christmas cards are offensive or what to tip my movers or share my Friday night raves and rants with. "JEEZ".

Truthfully, I can't imagine opening myself and my life up any further through a Trip Report. If they were jealous of a private pool in NYC, God Knows what they'd do if they saw photo proof of some of the decadence I have planned (NOT a humble brag!).

Anyone who wants the Trip Report will get it. All three of you!

Happy, healthy travels to you all!
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Old Aug 15th, 2015, 12:34 PM
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>>I have a new ATM card. It took all of 15 minutes at the bank. Hopefully this settles the dispute.<<

Before you leave, be sure to ask your bank if they have a partner bank where you're going. If you use that bank's ATMs, you should be able to save some money on fees.

Lee Ann
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Old Aug 16th, 2015, 05:19 AM
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Swipe and sign credit cards will work fine in Italy with no fuss.
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Old Aug 16th, 2015, 07:07 AM
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zenfoodist,

Look at your original post which sounds like someone who has never traveled abroad and then read your posts on your previous experience in Barcelona etc. There's a disconnect that is absolutely off-putting.
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Old Aug 16th, 2015, 07:33 AM
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Zen, I'd be interested in reading your trip report. You took on quite a project when you agreed to plan this family trip! Remember that there are plenty of people reading who don't feel compelled to post something critical every 20 minutes...
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Old Aug 16th, 2015, 08:23 AM
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For all the help you have received to announce that we don't deserve a trip report is beyond petty.

The picture you paint in your original posts is nothing like you come across later on. You just forget to mention you speak five languages?

If there is a "pile on" it's only because the dynamic you set up is ridiculous.

You needed our help to figure out how to get an ATM card from your bank? Really??
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Old Aug 16th, 2015, 08:39 AM
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Suze,
She explained it :
'My memory is awful.'

BTW, You really want to need her tripreport ?

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Old Aug 16th, 2015, 09:25 AM
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Actually she didn't need our help to get an ATM card; she was going without one since she has had no need of one for 20 years. Anyone who is not helping by giving personal referrals and contacts is, as I believe it was put, just 'phonies'. As the OP says above:

<My mistake for being as "personable" and "open" as I have. >

Apparently all one really needs for travel this summer is a passport, and an amazingly healthy ego. As for counting the questions, it is not hard to notice 25+ queries for one trip, truly not the norm. I will probably get ripped, again, for even saying this, but que sera, sera.

And no, I do not want to read the trip report, but what a slap to those who may not be in her top 6, or a FB or Chowhound friend. More than a few people have been very generous here.
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Old Aug 16th, 2015, 11:31 AM
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Zen, I hope you have a great trip and I am looking forward to the trip report. Can't wait to hear about the boat trip!
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Old Aug 17th, 2015, 07:22 AM
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Thanks, EKC. I will definitely fill you in. Settled on Lo Scoglio for the boat day over Da Teresa or Conca del Sogno. Sergio was very helpful with that decision. What a foodie! Many thanks once again for the referral. I just referred him yesterday to someone on these boards and he emailed me to thank me.
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Old Aug 17th, 2015, 07:41 AM
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101 posts ...
The screaming eagles are under way.
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Old Aug 17th, 2015, 08:21 AM
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Oh good - glad you decided. Can't wait to hear about it and maybe I will add it to my Positano list for next year!
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Old Aug 17th, 2015, 04:48 PM
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<I>" I spent a few minutes scrolling through Lounge posts last night ... whether or not my photo Christmas cards are offensive or what to tip my movers ..."

</I>That doesn't match up.
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Old Aug 17th, 2015, 08:11 PM
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Think about it owners of Fodors.
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