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Dollars?US or Foreign Travelers Checks?ATM?or?

Dollars?US or Foreign Travelers Checks?ATM?or?

Old Aug 21st, 1997, 05:32 PM
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Dollars?US or Foreign Travelers Checks?ATM?or?

We are leaving next week for the UK and France.
We arrive in the UK and France on weekends and in the UK, Monday is a bank holiday. What is the best option for L and FF, immediately and throughout the trip?
Old Aug 21st, 1997, 08:36 PM
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In this order: debit cards, U.S. dollars in cash, travellers cheques. Commissions are high to exchange and debit and credit cards give you the best rate, most flexibility and least hassle and calculations of all. In west Europe travelers cheques pay a bit more than cash, and, of course, the risk of loss is lower. I read that some ATM's only take 4 number PIN's though I didn't experience this myself.
Old Aug 22nd, 1997, 03:07 AM
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Suggest you obtain about $100 worth of foreign currency from your local bank to have on your arrival. That way you don't have to worry about this upon arrival. Use your credit/ATM cards whenever possible for the best exchange rates. If you take traveller's checks, get them in the foreign demoninations. Accepted nearly everywhere and can be cashed at the front desk of your hotel or at a bank with no fee or charges. Would discourage you from relying on American dollars or traveller's checks in American dollars. Anything requiring exchange will result in fees, charges, and/or lower rates.
Old Aug 22nd, 1997, 08:35 AM
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I have not been to London for a while so can't
comment on that, but I must disagree with the previous
post re US $ traveler's checks in France as it
does not reflect my experience and I have been
there often in the last 10 yrs, most recently
this July. I have never once been charged a fee
for exchanging US$ traveler's checks in Paris
at banks or Bureaux de Change, and the exchange
rate is only slightly lower than the rate you get
using a credit card (the difference in exchange
rates I got this July from traveler's checks vs.
my credit card was less than 1 pct of the amount).
Exchange rates are not good at the airport,
however, and I would never recommend anyone
exchange money at a hotel unless they know the
rate is equivalent to banks. So, you could use
ATMs if you want; if that doesn't work for some
reason, there are Bureaux de Change that are open
in Paris on weekends, espec. around the main
tourist areas on the Champs-Elysees and around
the Garnier Opera bldg--the one in the Paris Vision
bus tour office across from the Opera building
has very good rates. Personally, I wouldn't get
traveler's checks in local currency if you only
intend to be in the capital cities where you can
easily exchange money, as I don't think there is any
advantage to it. Since you are going to be in
2 different countries and may have some left over
after your trip, it would be simpler just to buy
them in US$.
Old Aug 23rd, 1997, 07:35 AM
Posts: n/a
Wayne, Not an experienced world traveler-reading the other replies maybe I was naive. Myself and my two teens spent two days in UK because we had a stopover there between Amsterdam and St. Louis. So we thought why not see London. We had only guilders
and German marks at that time. My l7 year old daughter read the exchange rate at Schiphol airport and quickly figured out what was the best way to go- we bought some British money for the train. Then at our London hotel we asked the desk clerk. She told us to walk 5 minutes to Hyde Park and right across the street was an exchange store which did not charge any commission and their rate was the same as airport. Last week I had to spend $l.55 US to buy one british pound. Very very expensive. I had to get out of that city quick. We went to a Medieval dinner show at Beefeaters that was fantasic, but 39 pounds per person. In American that was $60. A cabby from Victoria station to Hyde park was 16 pounds, in American $24. Read the sigh Victoria station regarding cabbies. They have independent companies and the licensed version, which were better drivers and lower in price. If I asked the hotel to call a cab they would always call the independent guys. You can book theater and dinner shows, and tours same day, so don't worry about that!

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