Need money for paris arrival

Jun 5th, 2003, 11:48 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Need money for paris arrival

Arriving next Wednesday to start vacation.
Which plan is suggested/preferred?
Arrive at CDG, do an ATM for some euro (my current thinking),
come with euros from homeland or with some traveler cheques?
ewis is offline  
Jun 5th, 2003, 11:55 AM
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The better rate will be in Paris, but I never want to spend even five minutes waiting in an atm line in the airport, or find it's out of order but the one at the other end of the terminal is working. I've just gotten off a long transatlantic flight.

So I bite the bullet of the lesser exchange rate, and always arrive with about 200 euro in my pocket, gotten in advance from my bank at home.

I take a travelers check or two only for an emergency back up, I don't use them (so far), I deposit them into my bank account when I return home.
elaine is offline  
Jun 5th, 2003, 12:08 PM
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It's entirely your call; your plan sounds good to me.

I've used the airport ATMs to obtain local currency for the past three years or so in multiple countries and never had a problem. I find it easy to stop by a machine on my way to baggage claim (seems my bag is usually one of the last to come out anyway!)

I bring about $200 US just in case there is an issue with the ATM, which I can exchange if need be. No longer bother with travelers checks.
Lesli is offline  
Jun 5th, 2003, 12:33 PM
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I always like to have a little "seed money" so I don't have to search for an ATM as soon as I get off the plane. Most airports will have at least one ATM machine, but they are not always easy to find. Also, you can find yourself in an awkward situation if you need to use a restroom. You need coins to tip the person at the entrance, but the ATM machines do not dispense coins. So after finding the ATM machine, you have to buy something and hope that you get proper amount of coins in change. If there are two of you, you may even have to go through this process twice. By the time that you have done this, everyone on your flight is in the restroom line ahead of you. It can get pretty messy.

If you order $200 US dollars worth of Euros from your bank, it will likely include small bills and some coins. You can probably verify the final (converted) amount with the teller.

The other option is to rush past the attendant without leaving a tip. If you do this, however, be sure to wear a jacket with a Canadian flag.
smueller is offline  
Jun 5th, 2003, 01:20 PM
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ewis, Lesli has the best plan. Plan on using the ATM when you get to CDG and take dollars to exchange in the terminal in case the ATM isn't working.

The ATMs in CDG are easy to find and les toilettes don't require coins and there are no attendants to tip. You might want to find a newstand to get a copy of Timeout or the Paris equivalent and to get a little change.

Enjoy your holiday.
jsmith is offline  
Jun 5th, 2003, 01:56 PM
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Always manage to find an ATM right next to an Exchange Window or next to a restaurant. Been lucky, never have found them out of order.

No tipping required at airport bathrooms.

Good to have USD just in case, which of course you do for your return home. And have travelers checks only in case of emergency.
Jun 5th, 2003, 02:00 PM
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Hi ewis,

I exchange about $100 or so at the airport before departure. (Yes, you get a bad exchange rate. You've lost about a buck and a half.)

After that, I get money from the ATMs in Europe.
ira is offline  
Jun 5th, 2003, 02:07 PM
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Bring some Euro with you for Peace of mind..After that the ATM is your best route. Also dont forget that if you have any problem with the ATM machine, you can always get some cash from the bank, just present your credit card..
Bon Voyage,
kismetchimera is offline  
Jun 5th, 2003, 02:10 PM
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I'm a Scout...I'm Prepared with about 200 euro before I arrive...the SMALL amount of difference in exchange rate is made up with my peace of mind and not having to deal with an ATM while dead on my feet from a flight.
jody is offline  
Jun 5th, 2003, 02:20 PM
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Get some Euros here before you leave!
RachelG is offline  
Jun 5th, 2003, 02:54 PM
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what kind of rates are charged to your account when using ATM's in Europe?
JandaO is offline  
Jun 5th, 2003, 07:11 PM
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While the exchange rate would definitely be better at an ATM once you arrive in Paris, I've learned to bring enough foreign currency to get myself from the airport to the hotel (with a coffee or bottle of water upon arrival).

ATM's are fantastic. But, you just never know when they'll be out of order, out of money, have a long line, or your transaction will be rejected because that's when your bank is performing its "overnight processing" (think time difference). In France, there's always the possibility of some sort of strike, too.
djkbooks is offline  
Jun 5th, 2003, 07:17 PM
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It's better to come with euros from your bank. The atm charges in paris as well as the fees your bank will charge you for using your card abroad will be far more expensive in the end.
Sheilab is offline  
Jun 5th, 2003, 07:18 PM
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Last year I didn't take any euro with me, assuming I'd easily get some at CDG ATM, as I'd done last couple of trips. However, that morning the ATM wasn't working, but it was very easy to find a cab that accepted a credit card. In the future I will probably play it safe and take some euro with me.
grandmere is offline  
Jun 5th, 2003, 07:25 PM
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I don't know about Paris cabs..but I do know if you use a credit card in London cabs you pay a premium about 5 % as I recall!I'd rather have some ready cash at hand.
jody is offline  
Jun 6th, 2003, 06:27 AM
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I opted not to get Euros here in the stes (due to the service/delivery charges imposed by our banks--it woul dhave been abour $20 for 400E!!). We took a shuttle to our hotel (credit card and a guaranteed rate!) and went to the ATM upon arrival in the city. We took AmEx checks for emergency but did not cash them. Most place do not accept them, but there is an AmEx office nesr the Opera House. We paid mostly by credit or check cards and visited the ATM twice while we were there. Worked out great. I just followed the advice I found here!!
LindaSus is offline  
Jun 6th, 2003, 09:24 AM
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Hi Janda,

The ATMs in Europe give you something close to the daily bank rate. Your bank at home might charge a fee for use of the card.
ira is offline  
Jun 6th, 2003, 10:29 AM
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For JandaO ... In my experience the only charge for using an ATM is the 'international' fee from my home bank ($2 per transaction from Bank of America).

For Ewis ... I never bother to get money until I'm in Europe. I carry a bunch of U.S. cash stashed in several different places to eventually exchange at a bank or change window. I also use my ATM card when it is convenient.

I have a charge card for emergencies or to pay hotel bills. Depending on the length of the trip I sometimes take travelers checks (plan to cash them at a bank these days, not in a store or restaurant).
suze is offline  

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