Euro

Oct 9th, 2002, 11:41 AM
  #1  
Laura
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Euro

How much in Euro and/or travelers cheques
should we bring to Italy to begin our trip?
Thanks.
 
Oct 9th, 2002, 11:52 AM
  #2  
Lori
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I took 500$ worth of Euro to get me started as I was arriving on a Saturday and didn't want to spend time at the airport exchanging money and waiting in lines or hoping the ATM's were in working order.
 
Oct 9th, 2002, 11:55 AM
  #3  
girl traveler
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You don't need any Euro until you arrive. Simply change cash at the airport when you get there or use an ATM card/machine.

As far as the amount, that's up to you. How long is your trip? Do you need to pay your hotel bill in cash/Euro? Are you asking daily expenses, or for an entire trip's budget?

I usually take $300-500US cash, an ATM card, and travelers checks and credit card only as an emergency backup.
 
Oct 9th, 2002, 12:39 PM
  #4  
mpprh
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Hi

Its always worth arriving with enough local currency to get you from the airport to your hotel.

After 25 yrs of international business travel, I know shit happens.

Delayed flight = airport bank closed
ATM = out of order
Taxi = does not take cards

A happy life !

Peter
http://tlp.netfirms.com
 
Oct 9th, 2002, 01:52 PM
  #5  
alan
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Hi
I usually get some of the currency for the country we are visiting from the airport currency exchange in the US. That way we don't have to bother until later. The previous posting is right. It's better to have some money even if the exchange rate may not be as advantageous, it's not bad. We don't bother with Travelers Checks, they are becoming difficult to cash and some places charge a commission. ATM cards are easier to use.
alan
 
Oct 10th, 2002, 04:24 AM
  #6  
Alice Twain
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I agree with mpprh: bing just enough to allow you to leave the airport in case you are not able to exchange money at the moment you arrive. 100 euro should be fine.
 
Oct 10th, 2002, 06:56 AM
  #7  
Jack
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Hi there. If you are looking for nice and very reasonably priced accommodation in Venice please send me an email and i will help you.
Have a nice day.
Jack
 
Oct 10th, 2002, 07:05 AM
  #8  
Jim
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I am so sick of some people giving the same "don't take any money with you" advice I was in Italy the first of June THIS YEAR and here's my story: Took with me 400EURO TC's (left over from convent deposit needs) and 500 Euro currency purchase prior to trip from Thomas Cook and my VISA debit card along with a couple of misc. credit cards. Arrived on a Sunday and did not try to use the Debit card. However on Monday I tried to make a withdrawal and was refused, the Bancomat telling me that my card was "not authorized for international use." Prior to my trip I had spoken to the bankcard department at my bank, checking out the issues discussed on this forum about loss of a card and unatuhorized use, etc. I told them that I would be travelling in Italy, and even went so far as to have them send me a new card, since the mag stripe on mine was getting a little worn. And yes I have a 4 digit PIN. I talked to them at least 8 times over various issues relating to the use of the debit card in Italy. I called my bank (7 hour time difference) and as it turns out (3 phone calls and most of a 20 EURO phone card) there is a significant problem with the integration of the Cirrus/Star/VISA network in Europe and many (no exact number) of bank networks in the USA, and they knew before I left that there was a strong probability that my card wouldn't work in Italy. In the end my debit card never worked (many apologizes from VISA), and I was stuck with having to get cash advances from Thomas Cook and American Express. This was somewhat inconvenient because there isn't a Thomas Cook or AMEX on every street corner, and you are limited to 230 EURO per day cash advance. I guess the reason for my post is that I see many pepole here tell other posters that there is no need to take cash or travellers checks with them, and I am here to say that I am glad that I had a source of money to fall back on during those first couple of days in Rome. BTW, the lines at FCO ATM machines were huge!! As many as 50 peolpe waiting at several we walked by.

For God's sake don't listen to people like girl traveler and Alice Twain, be prepared for any contingency! I am not saying you should take all of your money in TC's or buy your EURO at your departing airport, but I am glad that I had more EURO with me than to get me "out of the airport" as Alice Twain suggests. I would have been seriously screwed otherwise. Check out other recent posts on this ATM issue, ATMs in Italy are not exactly know for their reliability.
 
Oct 10th, 2002, 07:18 AM
  #9  
Alice Twain
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jim:

Atms in italy are as reliable as they could be. I have been using mainly italian ATMs since I ever had a banck account (ths means at least 15 years) and they never once let me down. Also, I have been using both my ATM card and Credit card abroad and they never let me down. How comes that only YOU ever had problems?
 
Oct 10th, 2002, 08:34 AM
  #10  
Jim
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Check out the thread from a couple of days ago smart ass! I am not the ONLY one who apparently had probelms in Italy. Believe the thread was simply titled "ATM". Could it be that you have an ATM card issued in Italy????? Boy, that was simple.
 
Oct 10th, 2002, 08:48 AM
  #11  
XXX
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Jim:

You're right...nobody should rely solely on ATM cards but it still doesn't mean you need to procure Euro before arriving in Italy or anywhere else. If the ATM doesn't work, you go to an exchange and exchange either US dollar TC's or cash. If you have a debit card, you can go into any bank and use it to obtain Euro currency. If worse comes to worse, you can even use your credit cards to get cash advances which after all is said as done is probably no worse than exchanging cash.

If you have an Amex card, you can cash a personal cheque at any Amex branch for cash and TC's.

99% of the time the ATM's will work. If not, then use your credit cards wherever they are taken, use the local currency exchange to get a minimum amount of cash and then go into any bank branch during bank hours to get cash with your debit or credit cards. These are all back up procedures that work.....but still does not mean you have to make a big deal about procuring Euro before you arrive.
 
Oct 10th, 2002, 09:11 AM
  #12  
Alice Twain
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Jim:

I may be a smart ass, but how comes that in 15 years of countinued use of Italian ATMs I have never had any problem, My father in his whole live of use of Italian ATMs never had any problem, mym niether, my grandfather neiher, my friends neither? The biggest problem anyone of my knowledge had using an ATM was my dad when he got his wallet stolen and had to request a new card. Now, I might be smart ass, but I have a far larger experience in using Itlaian ATMs, and I can assure you that they work great. If you had any problem with italian ATMs, than the problem was more likely with your American bank and not with our teller machines!
 
Oct 10th, 2002, 09:27 AM
  #13  
Nancy
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I just returned from Italy and my ATM did not work either. This is after I had confirmed with my bank that everything was ok, etc.
I had brought 500 in Euro from the US, and I am glad I did.
What is the big deal about taking euro? It is better to stand in line and take the time while still at home than trying to do the exchange in Europe, the first time anyway.
I am not that much of a penny pincher that I won't spend a bit more for convenience and lessen my own aggravation while on a vacation.
 
Oct 10th, 2002, 12:22 PM
  #14  
mpprh
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Hi

I see all the good advice above :

"If the ATM doesn't work, you go to an exchange and exchange either US dollar TC's or cash. If you have a debit card, you can go into any bank and use it to obtain Euro currency. If worse comes to worse, you can even use your credit cards to get cash advances which after all is said as done is probably no worse than exchanging cash.

Anf if you arrive on a 21.00 flight, delayed until 23.30 ? It has happened to me often.

Follow my advice above. Be prepared !

Peter
http://tlp.netfirms.com
 
Oct 10th, 2002, 12:29 PM
  #15  
xxx
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Peter:

Not necessarily disagreeing with you but in every large international airport, the currency exchanges are open 24/7. There may be problems at some of the smaller airports but usually these are not your first stop in Europe.

Look, I am not saying you should never get Euro in advance. In some places, it is a hassle to do so. What I'm saying is IMHO it is not absolutely necessary. You disagree, fine. I've travelled every bit as much and as long as you have and I have never run into a problem regarding currency that could not be resolved. And these problems do not occur 99% of the time.

But if you feel more relaxed having the currency in hand, that is absolutely fine. I personally don't find it necessary and that is my choice. But everybody has to decide just what works best for them...
 
Oct 10th, 2002, 12:53 PM
  #16  
norm
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99%? Like 99.9998% number one hears at US Senate hearing on percentage of time things go right in their department? I get money about one every three days, and about once every two weeks I cannot get money from ATM for some reason, that is about 85% success rate. I am with mpprh and Jim; even on ATM card that usually work abroad, I get bitten more often than I like. I take at least 100Euro with me EVEN WHEN I have tested my cards at the destination for the same reason mpprh mentions. I would take even more precaution on untested ATM cards. Like Jim, I have been told by my bank that the card should work. After having bitten by these bad advises like Jim, I don't trust the banks anymore and I am much better off by providing my own backup plans. If you ask a local how well the ATM works, what does it mean? Your card need to be internationally authorized, be in the network of the destination country, need to make oversea verification of the fund at the time your home bank is close for business, be in the right type of account, etc. They are quite different requirements than using a local card.
 
Oct 10th, 2002, 01:14 PM
  #17  
Jim
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Thank you everybody for your support of what I have been saying for the last couple of months. Just to let everybody know, I attempted on at least three occasions to get a cash advance at various banks around Rome, all of which displayed the VISA/PLUS stickers on their windows. In every case I was refused (sometimes fairly rudely) and told to go to Thomas Cook. I remember that there are only about 3 or 4 Thomas Cooks in Rome, and none are open on Sunday BTW. Finally stumbled on a Thomas Cook just down the street from St. Peter's Square. Also there is one right on San Marco Square in Venice, none in Siena which was our last stop.
 
Oct 10th, 2002, 01:29 PM
  #18  
Nancy
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This is what I am saying too! I don't want to be jumping in and out of banks trying to speak the banking language while I am trying to have fun. It is a hassle that can be avoided by taking a stash of euro with you. Just order it ahead from your local bank and you are on your way.
 
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