Purchasing Euro's in advance of trip

Mar 24th, 2008, 04:26 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 68
Purchasing Euro's in advance of trip

We are traveling to Italy this summer.

Is it easy to purchase Euro's in advance of the trip (because of the weak dollar).

Is there a limit to what you should purchase in advance.

Is there an advantage to paying with cash or credit cards for expenses.

Thank you.

RKogel is offline  
Mar 24th, 2008, 04:38 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,271
...it depends where you live and whether your bank carries foreign currency or you have to order it or you can order it over the internet but the reality is you pay much more than you would if you wait till you arrive and use the ATM's at your arrival airport..there are naysayers here who say what if the ATM's don't work yada yada yada...simple just go over to the exchange window and change a small amount of your currency (presumably USD) for euro and then wait till you find an ATM that works.

Do make sure you bring more than one ATM card in case there is difficulty with one of them.

Also when you say advantage paying cash or credit cards, there is only one way to travel as far as I am concerned.

That is to use your credit card, preferably one such as Capital One which has no foreign currency exchange fees, everywhere for every purchase wherever they are taken. That way, you will have much less of a need for euro...although in some countries in euroland they have idiotic regulations, unlike the enlightened USA, where merchants can set a minimum purchase price for use of a credit card or are allowed to surcharge credit cards...visa/mc regs in the USA prohibit these idiotic practices.

Also if you use a credit card which doesn't waive the international fees, some charge as much as 3%, be aware you still do far far better than using cash as the exchange fees for exchanging one currency for euro start at 10% and escalate upwards!
xyz123 is offline  
Mar 24th, 2008, 06:07 AM
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 1,515
I always have a small amount of euros to take with me until I can hit the atm machines. Usually, what is left over from the last trip. I don't like to be totally pennyless anywhere and be frantic trying to find a machine. On our last trip to Thailand, our friends had issues with the pin number (long story) and couldn't get money for 3 days. It really stressed them out. Not a good way to start a vacation.
southeastern is offline  
Mar 24th, 2008, 06:34 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 92,315
You can get buy using 1-2 ATM cards, 1-2 credit cards.

I normally carry $300USD as a back up for emergencies.

Getting foreign currency at home ahead of time will cost a bit more, but some people like the comfort of having them (I'd get at least 300 if you are going to bother).

For credit cards, it depends on the arrangements of your particular charge card. Some are not so bad, some have high foreign transaction fees imposed. You need to ask to know how this would compare with cash in your own situation.

suze is offline  
Mar 24th, 2008, 07:05 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,998
Great advice! I suggest you consult your bank about foreign use of your credit card and debit card. Have them detail the costs involved. You need to establish daily debit card withdrawal limits. One limit is for cash and another for purchases. IF your card is stolen you may only lose those limits. Again check this out with your bank. Safety..Withdraw your card from its secure position at the cashier or such, keep an eye on it. When it is returned, immediately replace it in its secure position. It is a good practice to observe ATM use by others. Can you see them enter PINs?
Is anybody else watching them? Again be sure the card is returned. You may choose to split cash with someone in your party! Some banks offer a secure room with its ATM. The outer door is accessed with your card.
GSteed is offline  
Mar 24th, 2008, 09:31 AM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 2
If you will be departing home from a large airport in the US, there will be currency exchange facilities right there. Just buy some Euros before you get on the plane. That's what I always do. Then you've got money when you arrive, tired, no matter what!

lindamae is offline  
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