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My friend says I should wait till I get to CDG airport to use ATM/get euros

My friend says I should wait till I get to CDG airport to use ATM/get euros

Old Apr 12th, 2005, 02:09 PM
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My friend says I should wait till I get to CDG airport to use ATM/get euros

What do you all think? I was going to go to the bank and buy $75 or so of Euros to get us our metro/RER tickets. He says just use an ATM at CDG and save the time and money. Also, can you use a visa card to get a carnet of tickets? One week and counting..............
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Old Apr 12th, 2005, 02:13 PM
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If you do any kind of search on this forum you will see that EVERYONE suggests you'll get a beeter exchange rate through an ATM. I don't think the CDG ATM would be any different than any other ATM.
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Old Apr 12th, 2005, 02:15 PM
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Oh - I know that. I just meant that it makes me nervous to go over there with no money!
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Old Apr 12th, 2005, 02:15 PM
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You can also buy your RER ticket with a credit card, but not using the automatic machine. So even if the ATM does not work, you will not be stranded at the airport.
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Old Apr 12th, 2005, 02:21 PM
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Hi cooncat, I sure understand. I feel the same way you do. But next time I will try arriving with no Euro's as guess everyone has convinced me.
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Old Apr 12th, 2005, 02:23 PM
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To have a few Eruros in your pocket when you arrive, just change a few dollars in the departure airport.

You will not lose that much money on the small amount changed and you don't have to make a special trip.

Keith
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Old Apr 12th, 2005, 02:24 PM
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Paris is a very large international airport, places like that always have money exchange of some kind, in addition to ATMs. I wouldn't worry about not being able to get money in any way unless you are arriving at a very unusual time of day when shops or services might be closed, even money exchange (eg, 5 am or after 11 pm). Even if the ATMs are not working or something like that, you can always get money at CDG from those services which would be about the same as you getting it at home.

Now I will agree if that is the case, there could be long lines there, and even a long line at the ATM in CDG when it is working. There usually are, so it's up to you (last time I needed to use it, I think I waited 15 minutes in line). If all you are worried about it tickets and you have a credit card, I really would not worry.

I have flown into smaller airports where there was a problem getting money as nothing worked or the only guy exchanign money was on lunch or something, but nothing the size of CDG.
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Old Apr 12th, 2005, 02:42 PM
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Such a minor issue, but I can't follow the logic of saying that if you are worried that all the ATM's won't be working at an arrival airport, that you should get some euro at your departing airport before you go. Why in the world would you do that? Why wouldn't you wait until you get to the arrival airport and then if none of the ATM's are working, exchange a few dollars for euros? It makes no sense to me to do the more expensive option for "just in case" when you can just as easily wait and only do if there is in fact a "just in case" situation!

Is someone concerned that they'd NEED those euros between the time they land and they walk the 50 feet to an exchange booth if the ATMs aren't working?
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Old Apr 12th, 2005, 02:52 PM
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Excusez-moi, but I haven't traveled to Europe in six years. Last time I was there I used Francs, OK?! ;-)
Please, try not to be testy with those of us who are sincerely seeking advice here. I leave a week from today and no doubt I'll have more questions. Hope I can count on you. Merci beaucoup.
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Old Apr 12th, 2005, 02:54 PM
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If it really makes you feel more secure for whatever reason, sure you can buy euro from your home bank or an exchange bureau. Realize you may pay a fee and receive a slightly poor rate of exchange.

If for some strange reason you cannot find an ATM at CDG or it is not working (doubtful situation), you can carry U.S. cash and change at a currency exchange booth at the airport.

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Old Apr 12th, 2005, 02:54 PM
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Also, let me say that I didn't say anything about worrying about the ATMs not working.
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Old Apr 12th, 2005, 03:04 PM
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We take 2 or 3 trips to Europe every year - usually France. We always arrive with about 300 Euros in our pockets. Most times the Euros are intentionally left over from the last trip. If not, I go to the Bank of America's main office in San Francisco, and buy Euros from the exchange window. The rates are just as good as ATMs. Contact your bank and find out what the "cost" is of getting Euros in the US.

I hate to bring this up, but was anyone in France in '00 when they had the ATM strike and none of the ATMs had money????? We were, and we had a couple thousand Euros with us because we got wind of the strike several days before we departed. You should have seen the lines at the Banks where people were trying to cash travelers checks. There was such a run on them that the banks ran out of cash at times. And remember, banks are usually not open on Sat, Sundays, and during lunch.

Stu Dudley
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Old Apr 12th, 2005, 03:04 PM
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Against all advice on this BB, I use ALL methods possible (well most of them). I buy CHF (Switzerland) from my downtown Bank of America branch that deals foreign currency. I carry U.S. cash. I have an ATM card which is my primary method after arrival. I have a change card for large expenses. And (gasp!) sometimes I have even carried Travelers Checks for various reasons.

Do what makes you comfortable! We are talking about a small amount of cost differences in various methods (relative to the cost of a trip to Europe).
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Old Apr 12th, 2005, 03:07 PM
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To me, it all depends on what makes you comfortable.
If you worry about arriving with no cash , then get some Euros and take them with you.
If you are not worried about that, just arrive at CDG, get your Euros, walk out the door and get into the cab or train and that is that.
Sometimes when a person is reeeally excited about going on a trip, one can tend to overplan and worry about every tiny aspect. Sometimes you just have to stop and take a deep breath and go..
one week & counting
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Old Apr 12th, 2005, 03:11 PM
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"Please, try not to be testy..."

Oh, girl, you sure do know how to make a regular laugh. Haven't you learned the Fodorite personalities yet? With only one week to go...better fasten that seat belt NOW!

In all my years of travel I've never gone to Europe without at least 200 Euro in my wallet (Prada...sorry, but I just love that wallet). I prefer to be prepared for whatever. But I view this as a personality thing; some of us just love to be organized and don't want to "deal" with certain things immediately upon arrival.

I don't "do" lines upon landing and I don't ever deal with money when I'm tired, so I'll avoid all this stuff if I can. Plus, getting to my destination asap is all I care about. I prefer to deal with the ATM issues after I get settled and feel a bit more focused and fresh.
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Old Apr 12th, 2005, 03:21 PM
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loveitaly, don't be convinced if you aren't comfortable with it. I always take euro with me, sometimes what I have left over from another trip and sometimes I just go to the local bank and get some before I leave.

If I had to worry about trying to save every penny I wouldnt enjoy my trip anyway. I'm with NYFS on this one.

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Old Apr 12th, 2005, 03:40 PM
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You know, I'm with NYFS as well. I would rather not deal with all of that crap and just get where I'm going. I know myself better than that, so sorry to have wasted everyone's time on this! (You have, however helped me!)
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Old Apr 12th, 2005, 03:48 PM
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I always take euros (or pounds) with me. I don't want to be bothered looking around for an ATM when I first get in to town. I've got better things to do.
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Old Apr 12th, 2005, 03:50 PM
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If you do choose to use an ATM to retrieve Euros at CDG, I suggest you use a debit card instead of a credit card, otherwise you'll be charged higher interest rates and a cash advance fee as well as the normal transaction fee. This means, of course, having some cash in your checking account to draw upon for the debit card.
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Old Apr 12th, 2005, 03:53 PM
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Moi, aussi, get out of the dang airport as quickly as possible... but I love being able to bring home a small fund for the next time, that's the best way to do it...
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