Euros and how MUCH?

Dec 14th, 2009, 10:21 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 5,228

I wish I had that problem!

If I were in your situation I would probably stash some of the euros in the hotel safe, carry some on me in a moneybelt never accessed publicly and carry 100 euros "walking around money" in a zippered front pocket or in a purse with inner zipper and outer clasp.

As others have said, the problem isn't usually with muggers with weapons but with very skilled pickpockets. Moneybelts are good if used correctly. I've seen people access them in public which is a big old invitiation to muggers and pickpockets to go for it. Show them what you've got and where you keep it and you become the mark. They'll follow you without you even realizing it.

Pickpockets often work in tandem, use a diversion and are frequently the last people on the bus, train, metro, street you'd expect.

>I'm a firm believer in the fact that if you can't afford it on your own YOU CAN'T AFFORD IT.<
I agree which is why I pay off the balance of my cc monthly to avoid interest charges. I accrue air miles through my cc and fly free more than half the time which is an added value that doesn't cost me anything. Bummer that you can't get a fee free credit card.
amwosu is offline  
Dec 14th, 2009, 11:30 AM
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Don't carry cash around with you. NO, no, no. You can get robbed and that we completely ruin your trip. Our friends insisted on carrying cash (yes, under their clothes). Got robbed!! What a mess! Put your euros in the bank at home. The amount lost thru bank fees will be much less than taking a chance or being robbed. Bad guys are very good at figuring out who is an unexperienced traveller and where their money is. As for putting themoney in the hotel safe...the big problem is getting from the plane, thru the airport into local transportation, to the hotel, from hotel to hotel and so forth. Our friends were robbed getting into the cab at the airport. My husband had his wallet taken in the Paris Metro. It happens and it is not nice. Do NOT walk around with your passport. Keep it in hotel safe.
Elainee is offline  
Dec 14th, 2009, 11:39 AM
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I hope these aren't those rip-off pre-paid ones. Not a good idea at all, although measurably better than your idea of walking around with 1400 euros on your body, which is, IMO, insane.
StCirq is online now  
Dec 14th, 2009, 11:51 AM
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So your recommendation, Elainee ,is to have them convert the Euros back to $NZ, then upon arrival in Amsterdam reconvert the $NZ back to Euros (via ATM)?

I'm sorry you and your friends have had bad experiences, but I disagree with you advice. The risk of getting in a car accident while driving in the car on the way to the airport is greater than the risk of getting mugged and losing the 1400 Euros.

My recommendation is to carry the 1400 Euros with caution as you've planned. Keep them in a safe place, like the hotel safe, and enjoy your trip.
J62 is online now  
Dec 14th, 2009, 12:17 PM
Join Date: Feb 2009
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We went to Amsterdam and Paris in Sept. for 17 days.

We spent per person
$ 548.00 airfare
$ 550.00 boat for 7 nights
$ 250.00 Paris apt. for 4 nights
$ 350.00 Amsterdam apt. for 4 nights
$ 120.00 RT Train Paris/Amsterdam
$ 500.00 Food (we mostly shopped locally and cooked for ourselves)
$ 100.00 Museum/Gallery/Tours
$ 100.00 Taxis
$ 100.00 Misc

so about 3k per person....

we paid for most before the trip so that was nice not to carry cash around. we just went to cash machines when needed and took a few days worth at a time. I like it that way. no muss, no fuss
jetsetj is offline  
Dec 14th, 2009, 12:52 PM
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"Our friends were robbed getting into the cab at the airport." - could you elaborate? You say there were carrying money "under their clothes", but was it in a money belt under ALL their clothes?

"My husband had his wallet taken in the Paris Metro." - I'm sorry to hear that, but not relevant to a money belt discussion.

"The risk of getting in a car accident while driving in the car on the way to the airport is greater than the risk of getting mugged and losing the 1400 Euros." - agree. I carried $2,000 in a money belt around Georgia (Republic of), and $1,000 around Armenia and part of Syria, and never felt that it was in any danger.
thursdaysd is offline  
Dec 14th, 2009, 12:54 PM
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Why choose an optiion that is more expensive and risker (carrying around cash). It is more expensive (price of a meal or two) to get euros at home versus 'there'. If you are being frugal, do NOT get cash at home. An ATM is convenient and cheaper, so....
Michel_Paris is offline  
Dec 14th, 2009, 01:06 PM
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Michel_Paris- The problem, buried in the midst of this thread, is that they already have a considerable amount of cash already converted to euros...

"we didn't intend on carrying such large sums of cash, Both sets of parents have gifted us money and it was already exchanged into Euros."
amwosu is offline  
Dec 14th, 2009, 01:07 PM
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Apparently the OP already has the euros in cash, given as a gift but generous, well-meaning but ill-informed parents. Please, everyone, now that the OP has 1400 euros in cash in New Zealand, what is the best thing to do that will be safest and most cost effective? Surely putting the money back into a NZ bank and losing money on the conversion is not the solution.

At this point, I'm with J62. Split the money between the two of you in secure money belts. Keep 100-150 euros each easily accessible each day. (Perhaps a bit more since we know you won't be using credit cards.) Be careful and have a good trip.
ellenem is offline  
Dec 14th, 2009, 01:19 PM
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One other thing you should check is how usable your visa debit cards are. Are they normal bank debit cards which can be used at an ATM or are they prepaid Visa credit cards. If the latter I suspect you may have problems with them, certainly in Amsterdam. No supermarkets accept credit cards for instance, and nor do the ticket machines for the trains.

If you are very careful with the money belts, and are sure they won't show under your clothes, and you won't access them anywhere public - including toilets! then split the money between you as J62 says.

Take public transport as much as possible to avoid the high costs of taxis in Amsterdam. If when you arrive at Centraal Station you cross over to the GVB information centre they will give you advice on what is the best sort of Ticket for you to buy for your stay.
hetismij is offline  
Dec 14th, 2009, 04:33 PM
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For our stay in Amsterdam last August, we spent $140 euros per day for 2 peopple, not including lodging. That included food, drink, sightseeing, incidentals, and transportation. We weren't extravegant with our meals - I our most expensive dinner was 65 euro. We did average about 15-20 euro a day on drinks not including what we had with meals - just hanging out in cafes in the evenning or whatever - so since you don't drink, that is an expense you wont have.
november_moon is offline  
Dec 14th, 2009, 04:35 PM
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The advice about public transportation is spot on. Very convinient and easy to use - shouldn't need cabs at all. We bought the 4 day pass, which worked out great for us. There are shorter passes as well as tickets that work on a debit system - you put a certain amount onto the ticket and then your fare is deducted as you go.
november_moon is offline  
Dec 14th, 2009, 10:35 PM
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If you do carry all your cash do not use a money belt. Use a money stocking and wear pants over it or a shoulder harness under your shirt.
Skillful pickpockets know how to get a money belt off of people.
And as physically able as you are, do you really want to get into physical confrontation with anyone on vacation? That would really sour my fun.
Also I never leave anything in a hotel safe when I go out.
MiaMom is offline  
Dec 15th, 2009, 03:47 AM
Original Poster
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Hi all thank you so much. We have taken all advice and believe through the help of fodors and you well seasoned travelers we Will be safe, WILL OF COURSE where our money belts under our clothing, and never access in public. Its also the middle of winter so we will definitely have on many layers of clothing. our winter temp avg. is a lot higher than Europe in general .

Our Visa debit card is Maybe in NZ only. It is your everyday bank card access to chq and sav, and in scripted with visa so you have all the freedom without the monthly statement as you use your chq or sav directly never on a credit system. I have been into the bank and they are accepted where ever visa is. if needed for car hire, hotel. etc etc.

Ok so Thank you from down under and we are now trying as best and (cheap) as possible to get through the festive season and Get ready for the trip of a lifetime.

Also Purimas Indonesian ;-) Thank you Hitesmij
livin_the_dream is offline  
Dec 15th, 2009, 04:25 AM
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re your card.

Have a look and see if it has the Cirrus or Mastercard logo. If so you should be fine.

Please don't carry cash. I'm a cop in a tourist area and if I had to tell you how often people get robbed (or just lose) their cash......
Cholmondley_Warner is offline  
Dec 15th, 2009, 04:33 AM
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Call or visit your bank to ask about using it in foreign countries so you know the answer for sure.
amwosu is offline  
Dec 15th, 2009, 05:36 AM
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Yikes, I must focus on reading all of the details

Here is what I would do. Every morning, decide the amount needed for the day and split it between the two of you, in your purse and wallet. The rest goes into money belt(s). You do not access money belt except at beginning of day to load up for day's activities. I'll let others here recommend what type to use (hip/neck/arm).

If ever you are pick-pocketed, you lose only that day's money.

I'd also keep passport in money belt, ATM cards, maybe even credit cards (less one for use).

I've also been working on another strategy that have not yet tried. I've got a bunch of expired credit cards. Put these in a wallet with small amount of cash. If someone wants my wallet, welcome to it. Porbably not necessary for where you are going.
Michel_Paris is offline  

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