Should I get some Euros in the US or....

Old Jun 22nd, 2005, 08:22 AM
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Should I get some Euros in the US or....

take lots of cash (nothing too excessive) and change it once I get there? We will also be using ATMs. Will I get a decent exchange rate at the airport or will it be better at my bank.
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Old Jun 22nd, 2005, 08:29 AM
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Hm, good question. I agree that you don't want to take an amount that is "too excessive". You should be fine if you simply take an "excessive" amount. Hope this helps!
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Old Jun 22nd, 2005, 08:30 AM
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You'll get better responses over on the Europe board...but definitely do NOT take cash and exchange it there - especially at the airport! The airports have the worst commission rates possible and would be a big waste of your money. Most people would probably recommend you take a few travelers checks as backup and then rely on ATMs. I personally rely 100% on ATMS and never take cash or travellers checks. But I also make sure I have 2 ATM cards with me (different banks) just in case I have a problem withdrawing money.
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Old Jun 22nd, 2005, 09:04 AM
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<take lots of cash (nothing too excessive) and change it once I get there?>

This is NOT recommended

Changing $$$ into Euros will cost you a small fortune, i.e., you will get a lousy exchange rate plus pay a transaction fee.

Take some cash ($$$) for emergencies only. If it will make you feel warm & fuzzy, exchange $50 to $100 in the U.S. prior to your departure. Otherwise, get your Euro when you arrive. Get all your Euro from the ATM's, and use your credit card for hotels, rental cars, restaurants, and large purchases.
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Old Jun 22nd, 2005, 09:07 AM
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And don't forget to notify your bank that you will be leaving the country - when they see foreign activity, they can cut you off! It happened to me last year in Paris, at Hermes. It was VERY embarrassing!
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Old Jun 22nd, 2005, 10:22 AM
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I like to bring a small amount of euros with me from my bank as an emergency back up and very few dollars. Once I land, I find an ATM and withdraw euros.
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Old Jun 22nd, 2005, 11:02 AM
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beanweb24, the rest of your advice is sound, but most regular travelers will not recomend travlers checks.

Keith
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Old Jun 22nd, 2005, 11:35 AM
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Here's my best suggestion, read your own post over on the Europe board with this same question. This topic comes up daily. I'll summarize popular opinion there...

1) Use an ATM to withdraw pounds, euro, swiss franc, whatever after arrival - best method.

2) Take 100-200 euro you purchased at your bank or departure airport - optional depending on your comfort level arriving with no local currency.

3) Take 100-200 USD for emergencies, plan to change at a bank or exchange bureau if needed or use on the trip home.

4) Use credit card(s) when possible and/or for major expenses like hotel bills.

5) Travelers checks - optional but not generally recommended because of fees incurred and difficulty in use.
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Old Jun 22nd, 2005, 11:36 AM
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You deon;t take cash - exccept a small amount as a back-up. I just take about $100. If you want a few euros get them at the bureaue de change in the departure ariport.

The most economical, safe and convenient means of handling money is to pay for everything possible with your CC and pull walking around money as needed for small puchases with your ATM card. It should have a 4-digit code and must be linked to a checking rather than savings account. to play it safe - take at least 2 CC and 2 ATM cards.
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Old Jun 22nd, 2005, 11:48 AM
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It must be a slow day on the boards when a question that should be on the Europe forum get this much play on the USA. So, I'll pile on too!

Some recommend not exhanging any currency until the ATM at the arrival airport. I prefer to have at least enough euro in my pocket for the cab fare from the arrival airport to my destination for the evening. Whether you do that exchange at your bank or your departure airport is probably insignificant.
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Old Jun 22nd, 2005, 01:24 PM
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If it were me, I'd exchange some before leaving the country.

The likelihood of this is not good, but what if you have no euros on arrival, and all the ATMs are nonfunctional and you need to get a cab from the airport or something. Like I said, not very likely, but you never know. Stranger things have happened.

I had about $100 USD in euros when I left for Paris, and it made me feel better, knowing it was there just in case.

The bank will probably charge you a service fee to order currency, unless you go to a large branch which happens to have some on hand.
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Old Jun 22nd, 2005, 02:37 PM
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< ... most regular travelers will not recomend travlers checks ... >

I agree. They recommend Metamucil.
Hope this helps!
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Old Jun 22nd, 2005, 03:19 PM
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<but what if you have no euros on arrival, and all the ATMs are nonfunctional and you need to get a cab from the airport or something>

Then I would change $50USD at the arrival airport at an currency exchange booth.
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Old Jun 22nd, 2005, 03:49 PM
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I had 100 Sfr on me arriving in Zurich. Was I glad not to pay attention to the exchange rate! The ATM line was a dozen backpackers long, and I was too jetlagged and didn't speak anything but English.

I would never leave USA without enough money at least to get to the hotel and last through a meal or 2.

I've lost about $6 on that 100 transaction, but don't think of it as a loss, just the price paid for the piece of mind. Spent 19 Sfr on shuttle, 2.60 on my first ice-cream (yummy!!!!) and had lunch. Then got more cash at the train station.
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Old Jun 22nd, 2005, 03:58 PM
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I agree with FainaAgain that sometimes it is a good thing to not get Euros in the U.S.
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Old Jun 22nd, 2005, 04:15 PM
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For 'mrwunrfl'... Faina said just the opposite of that.

For Faina... the official abbreviation for Swiss Franc is CHF.
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Old Jun 22nd, 2005, 04:33 PM
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I never get traveler's checks or euro before I go.

Usually I'll have a few (twenty or thirty)left over from the previous trip,but I mostly rely on the ATM's.

I usually also have 50-100 in US dollars as a backup,but I've never had to use it.
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Old Jun 22nd, 2005, 05:15 PM
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<I've lost about $6 on that 100 transaction>

That would get you a good bottle of wine in Europe. Where are your priorities?
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Old Jun 22nd, 2005, 05:55 PM
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For 'suze', I've got some Swiss coins and it has Sfr right on them, so Faina was right, just like she was right to not get Euros for her trip to Switzerland.
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Old Jun 23rd, 2005, 06:48 AM
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Look at what is used on any currency exchange chart (a website or a bank). The official abbreviation for Swiss Franc is CHF.

If you are trying to say that you need Swiss Franc not euro for Switzerland, obviously that is correct.
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