Spending Money for a 30 day trip

Old Feb 26th, 2017, 09:43 PM
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Spending Money for a 30 day trip

Hey everyone! I'm travelling to Western Europe for the first time this summer (first time on a plane too!) I'm travelling with a company so my flights, accommodations, breakfasts, travel between cities, and some guided sightseeing is covered. All I need to provide for is my lunches, snacks, dinners, and drinks, and any spending money. I do want to buy some souvenirs for myself and my family but just little things and hopefully cheaper things (stuff as simple as a scarf from outdoor markets or little satchels/purses for my family members)

Here is my itinerary as far as I know:

London - 3 days
Paris - 3 days
Amsterdam - 3 days
Frankfurt - 1 day
Lucerne & Swiss Alps - 2 days
Venice - 2 days
Florence - 3 days
Rome - 3 days
French Riviera - 2 days
Provence - 1 day
Barcelona - 3 days
Madrid - 2 days

Some locations will be having a sight seeing aspect (i.e. a cruise by the Eiffel Tower, Versailles, Vatican City) where prices will likely be raised due to the 'touristiness' of them.

Thanks for reading all of this! I hope someone can give me some ideas of what to expect! Wish me luck!
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Old Feb 26th, 2017, 10:40 PM
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>I hope someone can give me some ideas of what to expect!<

To begin with, you'll be spending nearly 40% of your time just traveling and checking into and out of hotels.
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Old Feb 26th, 2017, 10:58 PM
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This is a 6 week tour?
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Old Feb 26th, 2017, 11:29 PM
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>>This is a 6 week tour?
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Old Feb 27th, 2017, 02:46 AM
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Sounds like a great but exhausting "taster" tour. Have a wonderful time!
My advice would be to team up with a couple of like-minded fellow travellers and use your free time to do some independent getting about.
London by the river as daylight fades and lights come on is worth missing dessert for. Tower Bridge has a website to let you know when it will be raised.
In Frankfurt, how about walking the couple of hundred yards from the centre down to the river. Take a cheap padlock so you can Skype video while clipping it onto the footbridge for the folks back home. When my wife & I were there last summer we came unprepared. I only had a roll of sticky tape with me - our eternal love had to be rendered in Scotch tape.
Keep a journal & collect handouts, because you will definitely want to return & spend much more time in some of the places on your list.
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Old Feb 27th, 2017, 02:52 AM
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>> Some locations will be having a sight seeing aspect where prices will likely be raised

My advise: do not buy souvenirs near those touristic locations. You can buy Eiffel Tower-shaped souvenirs at any souvenir shop in Paris, with cheaper price. Same advise goes with restaurants: try to avoid restaurants that are right at the heart of the touristic spot, they look really tempting but they often are tourist traps. For snacks, in Paris you'll have street vendors making crêpes on the spot (a must try IMO), hot chestnuts, hot caramelized peanuts etc. Viennoiserie (croissants, eclairs, mille-feuille,...) from bake shops are often tasty, cheap and authentic.

In Italy, a coffee at the counter on standing will be much cheaper than a coffee on sitting table.

In Spain, you'll have the possibility of tapas bars, where you can try many small bites at small prices.

>> stuff as simple as a scarf from outdoor markets or little satchels/purses for my family members

Those things, if local made, would not be cheap or simple. If not local made, it's often made in China and of low quality. Your call. For buying souvenirs I think you can actually have a choice in supermarkets: small jars of French culinary (jam? saucisson? cheese? rillette? My cousin bought 2 jars of rillette for souvenirs), fold-able shopping bags of Monoprix printed with Paris motifs that costs 1.5 euros each? My Japanese friends bought those bags each and every time she came to Paris.

In Switzerland, chocolate'll make for good souvenirs. Other things are very expensive there.

In Italy, small jars of extra virgin olive oil? Or truffle? Or Parma ham, parmesan?
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Old Feb 27th, 2017, 03:12 AM
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>

PLEASE, PLEASE do not succumb to this absolutely vile, tawdry bit of vandalism.

It sounds like a whirlwind trip. Get away from the main tourist sites as often as you can, if only for a short while. Things will be cheaper, and you'll find more interesting souvenirs. I think 50€ a day will be more than adequate for a simple lunch, a drink, a simple dinner, and a souvenir or two.
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Old Feb 27th, 2017, 04:33 AM
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The eternal love now last about a few months and the padlock is destroyed.
So don't bother.
Besides it is a stupid egocentric custom which deteriorates beautiful monuments.

I'm wondering what of Provence one sees in one day.
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Old Feb 27th, 2017, 07:39 AM
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"Take a cheap padlock so you can Skype video while clipping it onto the footbridge for the folks back home. When my wife & I were there last summer we came unprepared. I only had a roll of sticky tape with me - our eternal love had to be rendered in Scotch tape."

What great advice! Go to Europe and vandalize!

Please DO NOT DO THIS... It's rude and often illegal. It has caused significant damage to public monuments.

Try to act like an adult not a 10 year. If your love is eternal you don't need to vandalize to show that!
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Old Feb 27th, 2017, 08:25 AM
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Since this is a bit of a whirlwind tour, consider visiting a bakery and deli at lunch for a quick sandwich and use the rest of the time to do some private sightseeing until you have to meet the group again. Or, take the sandwich and sit on a park bench people watching and getting some 'away from the maddening (bus) crowd' time.
My kids love food for gifts and the best have been items from the local grocery store - jams in particular. I might be reluctant to take ham or cheese unless picked up at the duty free in the airport. So many food rules. Processed foods are no problem but as these may be heavy, you may want to leave your food shopping until later on your trip. Scarves, key chains or whatever are easy to pack. I am still using my 1 Euro scarves that I bought from a street vendor in Paris 5 years ago.
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Old Feb 27th, 2017, 08:51 AM
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roger_cook -- go play on Trip advisor. Definitely don't post silly stuff like that here. Not only s it stooooopid, it is illegal and vandalism and has ruined the bridges and the locks must be removed by the authorities . . .

>>When my wife & I were there last summer we came unprepared.
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Old Feb 27th, 2017, 11:54 AM
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I completely misunderstood his post about the locks.

I thought he was saying skype yourself putting the lock on the bridge, then remove it (hence the tape reference) and not leaving it there.

I do see the benefit of assuming the worst and criticizing others though. It does make you feel superior.
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Old Feb 27th, 2017, 12:20 PM
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I would order some GBP (smaller amount for your 3 days in London) and Euro (larger amount for the rest of the trip) from your home bank before you go.

Secondarily take a bank ATM card with you in case you need more cash in local currency than you have. And personally I'd have some USD tucked away as an emergency fund.

And of course 1-2 credit cards in case of unforeseen emergency situations.
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Old Feb 27th, 2017, 12:40 PM
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I rezad his post as not only stupid to affix a lock but to skype it to prove folks back home that you are stupid enough to do it.
Then I understood that he came unprepared and had to do it with tape.
But if one feels superior telling such people not to do it assuming the worst, I have no problem for other to feel superior to myself by assuming that I am assuming the worst.
If you follow ;-)
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Old Feb 28th, 2017, 08:48 AM
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Groannnnn, "if it's Tuesday, this must be Belgium" is alive and well still.

"I hope someone can give me some ideas of what to expect!"

There is no doubt many people could tell you what to expect but the question is whether you would like reading what they had to say. It is a question of quality vs. quantity and best use of time.
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Old Feb 28th, 2017, 08:49 AM
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As for the locks on bridges etc. this is common in many places around the world. I don't really see any need to get on a high horse about it.

The smarter places in the world actually provide a place for it. http://www.blogto.com/events/lock-in...lery-district/

As for where it is done illegally, you can decry it all you want but some will continue to do so. I'm not interested in it personally but my shouting would be about a city or whatever not being smart enough to allow a place for people who are interested in doing it to do so rather than trying to stop what is going to happen whether you like it or not. You might as well try to push water uphill.

How difficult is it for any city to provide a place for it? This isn't like Airbnb who are actually doing damage to people's lives. It will harm no one to allow 'love locks' a place to be legally left.
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Old Feb 28th, 2017, 09:15 AM
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Dogeared: it being common doesn't mean that it's okay to do. It's a harmful thing to do for Paris bridges and scenery. Seriously, have you seen the lovelocked bridge in Paris? Do you know that some bridge's railings collapsed under the love's weight?

For the record, lovelock is NOT a traditional in any country, it's a new trend that was started back a few years ago. Yeah, go to Distillery District and lock it all you want, I won't care.
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Old Feb 28th, 2017, 09:45 AM
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FuryFluffy, I understand it can do damage but it is in fact as you yourself say, a 'trend'. If a trend exists, you can decry it, you can ignore it OR you can arrange to accommodate it in a way that will harm nothing.

In this case, it is not hard to arrange to accommodate it and if the petty bureaucrats in Paris are too stupid to accommodate it and prefer to just complain about it, more fool them.

You or I might consider it a silly trend but that doesn't stop it existing. So I for one would prefer to see an answer that SOLVES the problem, not opt instead to tell people, 'don't do that, you bad boy.'

SOLVE the problem.
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Old Feb 28th, 2017, 10:02 AM
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Dogeared, please give me one solution, any solution, to "accommodate" the million of lovebirds that are coming to Paris to feed the trend, that does not ruin the bridges. I was there just last weekend and the number of locks was huge, not to mention that the "petty" bureaucrats took them out every now and then. I'd try to get you a Nobel Peace Prize next year.
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Old Feb 28th, 2017, 11:25 AM
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1. "My advise: do not buy souvenirs near those touristic locations." That's an understatement. Two years ago, there were probably 400 individuals selling 4" models of the Eiffel Tower within 500' of the Eiffel Tower. Each one competing with the others. But the 5-10€ cost never seemed to lower.

2. Rely on ATMs. You won't really grasp how safe that is until you Google "location VISA ATM", find the appropriate site, and determine that even the smallest (600 people) village in a remote part of a country will have two or more ATMs. Weigh that against the chance of being pickpocketed in Paris or elsewhere, and the impact that would have on your piece of mind, and you'll opt for a bankcard. (not a credit card, unless they charge nothing for foreign transactions)
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