Jul 10th, 2006, 09:51 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 3

Leave for France and Italy on Saturday. Need help re: money and how best to keep in touch with kids while gone. (1) Is it best to pay for hotels, meals, etc. by credit card or cash? Also, how much cash to exchange at CDG? Help in all areas re: cash/credit card/exchange would be appreciated. (2) What is the least expensive and best way to keep in touch with children back home? Have heard about cell phone rental. Is that something to explore or are there better alternatives? Thanks for the help!
Hoosiergreg is offline  
Jul 10th, 2006, 10:23 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 91,113
(1) You can get currency by changing money at an exchange bureau or using an ATM card to withdraw euro directly from your home checking account. I pay major expenses like the hotel bill with my credit card and use cash for the rest. Personal choice.

(2) I use an internet cafe and send emails to keep in touch.
suze is offline  
Jul 10th, 2006, 10:54 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,568
Cheapest way to call home is to buy a calling card in the country you are calling from -- for less than $10, you'll get hours of transatlantic call time. As long as you have access to a phone where you won't be charged for local calls, and can receive a message in an emergency, there's no need to rent/buy a cell phone.
kayd is offline  
Jul 10th, 2006, 11:01 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,568
Oops, I hit send too soon.
Re money, do not exchange US cash for Euro cash except for a starter amount ($100 or so obtained at your departure airport) if having Euros in hand when you arrive is important for your peace of mind. For all else, use ATMs for cash and charge where you can, provided you know what conversion fees your credit card company charges. Search on this forum under "credit card" and "fees" or "conversion" for lots of threads on this topic.

kayd is offline  
Jul 10th, 2006, 11:12 AM
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 141
Agree, use ATMs when you get to your destination and withdrawl Euros. Certainly take some US cash with you, in the event ATM not available and you must exchange. Use credit cards when possible then you don't have to worry about the exchange rates, commissions, etc.
A local calling card is the cheapest. I rented a cell phone from earlier this year. It was great to have. More expensive than a calling card, but very convenient. I think it depends on how many calls you think you'll be making. The nice thing, someone from home can contact you easily. They will overnight the phone to you before you leave the US. It doesn't work until you get to your destination, but you can read through the info, leave the phone number with family, etc.
tamjam is offline  

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