How many pounds to bring with?

Old Aug 14th, 2003, 09:32 AM
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How many pounds to bring with?

How much money would you change before leaving the US for London? This will be my first trip and I don't know how much trains or taxis will cost to get from Gatwuck to London. Thanks for any suggestions.
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Old Aug 14th, 2003, 09:39 AM
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I would get about $250 worth of Euros. I recall that the London airport is quite far from central London. So, I would want to have plenty of money for a cab and have plenty left over. Once you are there, you can get all of your money from ATMs. Then you won't have to pay any of the fees associated with changing money.

Have a great time.

Daria
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Old Aug 14th, 2003, 09:42 AM
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Has Britain joined the Eurozone today?
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Old Aug 14th, 2003, 09:46 AM
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You better be getting pounds, not Euros as Daria said! While there are ATM's at the airports we don't like using them when we have jetlag (we have a 10-11 hr flight) so we always take about 100 pounds (not dollars, pounds) with us and deal with ATM's the next day
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Old Aug 14th, 2003, 09:58 AM
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I too am one of those who wants to arrive with local money, about 100 pounds sounds good to me.
If your luggage is manageable, the train from Gatwick to Victoria Station in London is a good option; you could always take a taxi from there.
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Old Aug 14th, 2003, 10:00 AM
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It takes all of about a minute to get pounds at an airport ATM. Am I missing something?
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Old Aug 14th, 2003, 10:04 AM
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If you feel more comfortable, take some pounds with you, but I agree that the airport ATMs are fine, and the exchange rate is better than if you get pounds in advance.
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Old Aug 14th, 2003, 10:49 AM
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Hi coll,

Even though there are ATMs at the airport, I prefer to arrive with some local money. (One never knows, does one?)

100 GBP is a good idea.
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Old Aug 14th, 2003, 11:33 AM
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The last 2 times I went I brought zero GBP and used an ATM (Cash Point, I think they call them there). Very easy, and as a back-up there's the change window (rates aren't as good as the ATM, but they're better than what I can get here in the States).
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Old Aug 14th, 2003, 11:38 AM
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I say bring some local currency with - 50 to 100 pounds. I had ATM cards and credit cards on my last trip and a limited amount of currency for each country I was visiting.

I went to withdraw more in Denmark. But for some unknown reason, my bank had put a $100 limit on my ATM withdrawals. So I got upset in Denmark when I was having no success in withdrawing money. My son tried his card (which is also on my account) and had no problems. The bank apologized for the limit, but had no explanation as to why it had happened.

So it take a couple extra dollars to bring some cash with, but that is trivial compared to the peace of mind. You can also use your credit cards most places, although in my experience most merchants at small places are not that thrilled with them for small purchases. So I ended up using cash more than I expected.

I also took along $100 US - I figured that could get me out of a jam if absolutely necessary.
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Old Aug 14th, 2003, 11:46 AM
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Generally speaking, whatever is easiest and you are most comfortable with. On my first trip I took no cash whatsoever and hit the cashpoints at Gatwick. (Getting foreign currency at home can be quite a bother depending on the bank). Though on my next trip I'll have a fiver on me since it's a bit too much to have in my currency collecton at home.
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Old Aug 14th, 2003, 12:01 PM
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I think it is easier to bring some pounds with you (enough for your first day there) for the peace of mind factor alone. I am usually exhausted after a long flight and want to just get to my hotel ASAP.

On our recent trip to Italy the ATM machine "ate" my husband's card the first time we tried to use one. We had to wait and go back the next morning when the bank opened to get the card back. We were very glad we had some euros with us!

With the current wave in Europe power outages also may be expected.
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Old Aug 14th, 2003, 12:02 PM
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Arghh - that last sentence should read "with the current heat wave".
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Old Aug 14th, 2003, 12:12 PM
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collcat - you don't need cash for the gatwick express. they take credit cards at the train ticket desk a few steps beyond customs and on board as well. btw, if you're traveling as a group of 4 adults you can save 50% by asking for the "four for two" deal. http://www.gatwickexpress.com, click on fares, then look for group ticket info.
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Old Aug 14th, 2003, 12:22 PM
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collcat, make life easier for yourself! Since you know how to use the internet, arm yourself with some information. What you find out now will save you countless headaches down the road. Visit this site first: www.gatwickexpress.co.uk and you will find the fare for the train to London, and the timetable. "Single" means one-way; "return" means round trip. There are several options, depending on your budget.

How much money you need initially depends on how much you need to pay for in cash on your first day. Are you staying in a hotel for which you can use a credit card? Or are you going to be at a little B&B where the landlady wants cash? Are you planning on eating at restaurants which accept credit cards? Or are going to be eating pub lunches? If you don't need to pay a major bill for your accomodations, then you most likely won't need to bring a big wad of dough.
 
Old Aug 14th, 2003, 01:41 PM
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Thanks for the correction. Pounds not Euros is what you will need. (I am currently planning a trip to Italy and I've got the Euro on my mind). Anyway, I agree that it is best to take some pounds with you. I always do that when I travel abroad. That way, you don't have to worry about finding an ATM and what you will do if it is out of order, etc.
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