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Traveling Abroad and Money

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Traveling Abroad and Money

Old 03-11-06, 08:42 PM
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Traveling Abroad and Money

So, after pretty much no travel outside of Canada, I have decided to venture to Ireland this summer. I have never been on a plane nor traveled internationally and was wondering what the best options for carrying money over seas was, where to change currency, etc. I do not have a credit card and want to avoid carrying LARGE sums of money on me (most of my tour there and such has been booked online with a friends credit card). Will my debit card work there? Are their crazy fees when you use your card overseas? Traveler's cheques a good option?

Any info would be most apprecited.
Old 03-11-06, 08:45 PM
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Does your debit card have a Visa or Mastercard symbol on it? Can you use it at any ATM in Canada?

Traveler's checks are good too, for insurance purposes and easy of carrying. Can still be stolen like cash, but you can report it.
Old 03-11-06, 08:45 PM
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Traveller's Checks
Old 03-11-06, 08:54 PM
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Originally Posted by criptik28
Does your debit card have a Visa or Mastercard symbol on it? Can you use it at any ATM in Canada?

Traveler's checks are good too, for insurance purposes and easy of carrying. Can still be stolen like cash, but you can report it.
My card does not but it has the PLUS logo on it which I am told is popular over there but I have no proof as of yet.
Old 03-11-06, 09:21 PM
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PLUS Logo is in fact pretty popular over in Europe although I can't attest for Ireland yet. When I used my Wells Fargo ATM over in Holland and Germany, I got a $3 ATM charge each time I used it but I would withdraw 200 Euro each time so it wasn't really a problem.

But for paying for hotels and stuff, I would get a Visa card that doesn't charge a transaction fee when you use it overseas.
Old 03-11-06, 09:41 PM
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living in Europe but not having an account here, i withdraw using my ATM card - but i make sure to withdraw the maximum at any time just so the charge is a little smaller on average.
Old 03-11-06, 11:55 PM
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Buy a neck pouch. Besides cash, carry your passport in it, and keep it around your neck and under your shirt at all times.


This one is $12 through this site:
http://www.thesavvytraveller.com/too...neck_pouch.htm
The only concern I'd have on the one pictured above is the strap, it doesn't look too strong but maybe it really is.


Here's a link to google's images of neck pouches, there's all sorts of them out there.
http://images.google.com/images?hl=e...ch&sa=N&tab=wi
I recommend that you avoid the one made of chain mail, would give you trouble going through a metal detector.

I bought mine in a ski supply store (I guess it was meant to hold ski passes).

Don't carry a wallet, or if you do don't keep anything really important in it. And don't take anything you don't need (driver's license, credit cards you won't use, video club card, whatever).

Last edited by Heat; 03-11-06 at 11:59 PM.
Old 03-12-06, 12:02 AM
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You don't need money. Just find some cute guys and let them foot the bill for most of your expenses.
Old 03-13-06, 09:12 AM
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I have used my ATM card all over the world with no problem. However, I also carry some traveler's checks as well.
Old 03-13-06, 09:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Thor Simpson
You don't need money. Just find some cute guys and let them foot the bill for most of your expenses.
This explains all your trips to Italy and such.
Old 03-13-06, 05:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Y2K Falcon
This explains all your trips to Greece and such.
Fixededed...
Old 03-13-06, 05:30 PM
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Your ATM card is your best bet. You will get the best exchange rate by using it and you will only have to pay your own bank's ATM fee- ATMs in Europe do not charge an adiditional fee. So for only your bank's ATM fee you can get a couple of hundred euros. If you don't want to carry much cash, just get 100 at a time and you'll only pay your bank's fee each time.

Almost all ATMs in Ireland will take Plus cards (and Cirrus, Visa, Mastercard, and Star)- just check the machine to make sure it is compatible before you use it. There are ATMs at both Dublin and Shannon airports so you can get money after you pass through immigration and customs. I have been to Ireland 3 times and never had any trouble getting money. The airport also has a currency exchange where you can exchange cash for euros, but again the fees will be high.

If you're really worried, drop by a bank in your town and get some euros before you leave. Be aware you'll get a poor rate and have to pay a fee on top of that, but you will be absolutely sure you have cash when you arrive.

One additional point: if you head to Northern Ireland, remember that they use pounds and not euros so you'll have to hit an ATM there. Although in my experience most places will gladly take your euros at a horrible rate...
Old 03-13-06, 09:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Dr. D
Your ATM card is your best bet. You will get the best exchange rate by using it and you will only have to pay your own bank's ATM fee- ATMs in Europe do not charge an adiditional fee. So for only your bank's ATM fee you can get a couple of hundred euros. If you don't want to carry much cash, just get 100 at a time and you'll only pay your bank's fee each time.

Almost all ATMs in Ireland will take Plus cards (and Cirrus, Visa, Mastercard, and Star)- just check the machine to make sure it is compatible before you use it. There are ATMs at both Dublin and Shannon airports so you can get money after you pass through immigration and customs. I have been to Ireland 3 times and never had any trouble getting money. The airport also has a currency exchange where you can exchange cash for euros, but again the fees will be high.

If you're really worried, drop by a bank in your town and get some euros before you leave. Be aware you'll get a poor rate and have to pay a fee on top of that, but you will be absolutely sure you have cash when you arrive.

One additional point: if you head to Northern Ireland, remember that they use pounds and not euros so you'll have to hit an ATM there. Although in my experience most places will gladly take your euros at a horrible rate...
Thanks Dr. D. I will be heading to Belfast and Derry so I will need pounds. Glad to know the ATM card will work out there. I think I will pick up a credit card just for the trip and maybe a few travlers checks. My plan, currently, is to do a currency change in London Gatwick (where we are flying into). You find the rates higher in airports then say local (meaning where I live) Western Unions and banks?
Old 03-14-06, 01:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Vibiana
I have used my ATM card all over the world with no problem. However, I also carry some traveler's checks as well.
Where have you been? I've had problems with my ATM even in Canada.
Old 03-14-06, 10:17 AM
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Originally Posted by ViewAskewbian
Thanks Dr. D. I will be heading to Belfast and Derry so I will need pounds. Glad to know the ATM card will work out there. I think I will pick up a credit card just for the trip and maybe a few travlers checks. My plan, currently, is to do a currency change in London Gatwick (where we are flying into). You find the rates higher in airports then say local (meaning where I live) Western Unions and banks?
Here's an important question: are you transiting in Gatwick or will you be entering the UK? I know there are several ATMs in Gatwick after you clear customs but I am not sure if there any if you are just connecting to an onward flight. If you're transitting, then just wait until you get to "The North" to get pounds. If you're going to enter the UK, you will surely find an ATM landside so you can get a few pounds-whatever you'll need in England and N. Irleland.

One thing to note: while the pounds are different in England and Northern Irleand, they are equivalent and interchangeable. This means that you can use pound notes that say "Bank of England" in Scotland, Northern Ireland, etc. and vice versa. The coins are all the same but the bills will be different.

A credit card (Visa or Mastercard) would be very handy to have. On my first trip to England I ran myself down on pounds so I wouldn't bring any home, and then while sitting in Heathrow my flight was delayed for several hours. I didn't have a pound left to buy food, but then I noticed that even McDonald's took Visa, so I could buy a 3 lunch and charge it without having to get more pounds from the ATM or currency exchange. Plus almost everyone in Ireland takes credit cards nowadays so it makes it easier to carry less cash.

As for rates, here is an example of what I saw the last time I went:
Rate listed in newspaper: 1 = $1.22
Rate I got from ATM: 1 = $1.23
Rate at airport or in-town bureau de change: 1 = $1.30 plus service charge
Rate at local banks in NYC: 1 = $1.30 plus service charge

While it may only seem like a few cents, when you get 100, that means it's a $7 difference. Using your ATM card you only pay your bank's ATM fee, usually $2 or $3. There is no ATM fee applied by the Irish bank, so you only pay your bank's ATM charge for the exchange. I only suggested using a local bank to get some euros if you're not going to carry a credit card and are very worried about it. They will rip you off just like the exchange in the airport but it may be worth peace of mind to you in order to have the cash in hand before you leave. But if you have a credit card and an ATM card I would have zero doubts about being able to easily get money abroad.

I usually get 200 to cover me and my wife for a few days and then find another ATM once I get below 50 so I don't run out. While ATMs are very common in Ireland, be aware that it is still very rural and if you leave a town it may be a while before you find another machine- many small towns will not have a machine at all. And don't forget that your Irish euros will work in any of the other EU countries so if you have some left at the end of your trip, you can save them and use them the next time you're in France, Italy, Germany, etc.

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