How much money to bring?

Old Jun 24th, 2013, 05:35 PM
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How much money to bring?

Ok, since I have established in a previous post that this will be my first time outside the US, I was concerned as to the amount of money I should take with me?

I have a special global debit card through my bank that I'll be depositing into, but I need to know a nice round figure to bring.

I need to know how much cash on hand I should have. Also, how much should I keep on my card?

I'll be in Scotland 8 days and my airfare and hotel are paid in full already.

I guess I want to take a tour or two and buy souvenirs and of course there's meals. Most of the time I'll be walking and taking pics.

Thanks
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Old Jun 24th, 2013, 05:57 PM
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I'm not sure what you mean by "bring". In general I bring a few hundred dollars for emergencies but virtually all the cash I use comes from ATM's. I think you'll find that's true for everyone here. The combination of credit cards and ATM's accounts for all my expenditures.

If you want an idea of what things will cost, both I and my best friend in the UK agree, expenses in the UK cost roughly in GB pounds what things in the US cost in dollars. So about 1.5 times as much given the exchange rate today of about $1.55. So if you'd spend $1000 on such a trip in the US you might figure £1000 which is $1500.
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Old Jun 24th, 2013, 08:52 PM
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We never bring more than about $200 mad money that stays in a pocket and we never use.

All larger bills are paid by CC and we pull walking around money from checking account at ATM with debit card.

As to how much to have available - you can travel at many different price points. Two summers ago our DD spend about $8K in 6 weeks but that included hotels and trains between cities - but very minimal shopping and modest, student-type evening pubs and cafes.
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Old Jun 24th, 2013, 08:57 PM
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I don't 'bring' any money -- except the typical $100-$200 I usually have i my wallet.

I rely almost entirely on my ATM card(s) to get cash. So leave your money back home in your checking account . . .
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Old Jun 24th, 2013, 09:04 PM
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Doesn't that link to your normal savings/checking accounts? If not, perhaps ask the bank as that would be the easiest solution, rather than worry that you might run out of money.

Personally I don't understand using a debit card for everything as I like to use a credit card to rack up frequent flyer points to fund my next trip, but to each their own.
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Old Jun 24th, 2013, 09:40 PM
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If you collect points then go ahead and use your CC but don't use it to get cash.

If your hotel is already paid for and your anticipated expenses are only going to be food and drink with the occasional souvenir, then $800 USD for eight days is more than enough.
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Old Jun 24th, 2013, 10:41 PM
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We bring whatever spare euros we have from the prior trip then use our bank cards to withdraw cash as we go and as needed. You will get the best exchange rate that way.
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Old Jun 24th, 2013, 10:54 PM
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Ooodles. Bring oodles.
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Old Jun 24th, 2013, 11:04 PM
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Oodles of cash can buy oodles of whisky.
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Old Jun 25th, 2013, 12:57 AM
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Jamikins, your spare Euros are of no use in Scotland (yet).

As others have said use a credit card and an ATM card. Most places will accept a Visa or MC backed credit card. Don't get out a lot of cash as you could end up stuck with it at the end of your trip, and unless you are planning to visit the UK again you will have to either keep it as a souvenir or exchange it back, at a terrible rate.
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Old Jun 25th, 2013, 01:07 AM
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Haha - sorry, should have been clearer - when we travel we bring spare relevant CURRENCY (euros, dollars etc) and then get the rest of the ATM on arrival.
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Old Jun 25th, 2013, 01:33 AM
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This global debit card is a card with it's own account. It's basically a prepaid card that is not connected to any account, so if it's lost or stolen then all that's on it is all they can get.

I was planning on about 200 GBP on hand, but how much should I keep in my checking account? Would $2000-$3000 be too little for Scotland? Of course, the amount would be different in pounds.
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Old Jun 25th, 2013, 01:34 AM
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Sorry I meant on the card. Would $2000-$3000 be enough on the prepaid debit?
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Old Jun 25th, 2013, 01:35 AM
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It all comes down to how much stuff you are going to buy (food, drink, whisky, souvenirs) but $2000 should be more than plenty for 8 days. For meals and beverages, $100/day is more than enough. Of course, if you like to eat at fancy restaurants, and drink 3-4 drinks with each meal then that won't be enough.
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Old Jun 25th, 2013, 01:42 AM
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I'd check the fees you are paying on a prepaid card. We always just use our regular debit card. Prepaid type cards usually charge extra fees and have extra charges compared to your regular bank card, which will likely work just fine in Scotland. Just check with your regular bank. If you are worried about someone getting into your account just open another account and put the $2000 into that account - limits the amount you can lose without paying the extra fees of the prepaid card...

How much you spend depends on you, but I think $2000 for a week should be fine for the average person.
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Old Jun 25th, 2013, 04:50 AM
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Pre-paid??? WHAT? That is SO high risk. What happens if the card is lost? Stolen? Damaged? How do you get $$$ then? I always take my debit card and pull funds out of the ATM for daily needs. Hotel goes on the C/C. If your debit card is also a Visa, use that if you have the funds in your account. The hassle if anything goes wrong with a pre-paid card is a risk I would never take. For the "just in case" scenario, I have a back up account that I use only in emergencies. If something happens, I get online or call my bank and transfer all my money from one account to the next. I did not know my first time aboard that I needed to notify my bank that I would be out of the country. They turned my card off. I have learned MANY lessons about international travel since that experience.

As far as how much cash to have... Do a budget. Guesstimate the exchange rate. I always use "worst case" scenario and start from that. If you have $3000, you will end up with about 1200 pounds. If you are going to 7 days, that is 170 pounds per day. From that, figure out what you will need for food, shopping, sightseeing, etc from there. I do a budget for every trip like this. I am a bit envious of those that just "go" and never seem to worry too much about funds. However, because you posted this question, I am assuming you are not one of those.

Good luck.
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Old Jun 25th, 2013, 04:54 AM
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Good idea on worst-case scenario. I always go really high, like $1.85-2.00 to the pound. I'd rather have too much cash than not enough.
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Old Jun 25th, 2013, 05:59 AM
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Pre-paid cards are much more risky than using your normal bank account. You can get a second debit account linked to your other one and then every few days transfer more money to it.

Chances are if someone gets that card they would only be able to make purchases, not get cash as they would need your pin for that. Our cards all cover us for that so we wouldn't be held responsible for any charges made - you just let them know if the card has been stolen. With a pre-paid card, if it's lost or stolen you lose all that money. Also they charge crazy fees. Again - it's a really, really bad idea.
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Old Jun 25th, 2013, 06:01 AM
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Having too much cash in your account is much better than too little.

My husband and I take 2 different CCs and 2 different Debit cards.

Plus, we always return home with enough extra Euros so we can get into town and take care of little expenses when we return to Europe.
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Old Jun 25th, 2013, 06:07 AM
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If you consider that your main travelling expense will be food them the UK can be a very cheap destination.

Some areas we have visited, say The Bahamas just drain cash, it is impossible to eat cheaply.

With our, good Supermarket chains and independent fast food/cafes it isn't difficult to curb spending.
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