Money question

Old May 3rd, 2002, 11:21 AM
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Money question

How much cash should I bring for 16 days in Italy & France? I plan on seeing a few museums, and spend cash on tip & small ticket items like gelato! I plan on using my credit card for the most part (hotel, restaurants, etc.)and I would like to leave my ATM at home. Is it a good idea to bring traveler's checks? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
Old May 3rd, 2002, 11:30 AM
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Why not use ATMs? They are everywhere, give you the best exchange rate, allow you to take only as much cash as you need for a day or two. Check out some of the many Fodor's discussions on this topic -- enter "ATM" in the serach box.
Old May 3rd, 2002, 05:02 PM
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Why take all you money out of your bank and buy travelers' cheques? You can leave it safely at home and access it when you need as you go along via your ATM card.

Much better exchange rates and much more convenient than haveing to wait for banking hours to cash you Tr. Cheques.
Old May 3rd, 2002, 05:24 PM
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In the past I took about $250 cash and at least that much in travelers' checks for a 2 week trip. But the last 2-3 trips I have brought most of the cash home and all of the travelers' checks. The ATMs are so easy to use and seem to be everywhere. The exchange rate is the best. I did learn to take out more money each time as the bank charged $2.00 per transaction. Everything I can charge on a credit I do so, mainly so I don't deplete cash. Also, the exchange rate has been very good on my credit card. I do get free travelers' checks so it doesn't cost me anything but next time I'll skip it altogether. Just take cash to use in US airports, US tips, etc.
Old May 3rd, 2002, 07:08 PM
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Anyone who says traveler's checks don't cost them anything is kidding themselves. If you get them in US dollars, you will take a beating in exchange rate when you exchange them in Europe, and possibly pay a fee to cash them as well. If you buy them in Euro or other European currencies, you will take a beating on the exchange rate when you get them. ATM and credit card is the best way to go. Don't take any cash.
Old May 4th, 2002, 03:59 AM
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"I would like to leave my ATM at home."

I interpret this to mean that you want to rely on cash only to avoid the bottomless pit of your bank account. In other words, to discipline yourself.

What you would spend - - as a tourist - - in cash, when traveling in Europe will not be radically different from the amount of cash you will spend at home. Of course, you don't say where is "home" so I really shouldn't project Europe's prices on your home country if you don't live in North America. I have no idea what things cost in Argentina or Afghanistan.

A conservative approach might be to allocate 1 or 2 times what you earn, as personal income per hour for each travel day. Would you go out in any nearby city for the day with that much cash on you? a whole lot more? a whole lot less?

I have still used traveler's checks on occasion when I am responsible for anyone else (kids, friends, whatever). It provides an unshakable peace of mind that if some problem had to get solved fast (emergency need to return home, traffic accident or arrest, other liability) - - then cash talks.

Tell us where you're from - - and your usual frame of reference for a day out, in Orlando, Chicago or Dallas - - and you might get more specific guidance.

Best wishes,

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