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Couple of international travel questions ...

Old 07-05-06, 10:08 AM
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Couple of international travel questions ...

Pretty soon, I'll be taking my first trip to Europe, and I just have a couple of questions. First of all, what's the best way to get money converted? If I go to my bank, will they charge some ungodly surcharge? Also, does anyone know of any decent international calling card options? I don't need anything major - probably 180 minutes or something. Thanks in advance .
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Old 07-05-06, 10:18 AM
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-withdraw cash from ATMs there.
-avoid cash exchanges both at the airport, and in the cities.
-use credit cards when possible.
-buy a calling card here, and bring with you. If you run out, finding one there wont be hard.
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Old 07-05-06, 10:24 AM
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I agree with grrrah. Change your money there. Make sure you do it at a bank, too -- not just with some clown on the street.
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Old 07-05-06, 10:31 AM
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I've converted money and I've used ATM's. I think having done both, that the ATM's are by far easier even if you get whacked with charges. You can expect the same or higher charges from the money changers in the airport or at a bank. You can also get money exchanged at an American Express location. I did that when I was in Florence. I'd advise the ATM choice. A) ease of use. B) You're not carrying around a ton of cash in any denomination when you leave the country. Europe is easy now with the Euro. You don't need different currency in each country.
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Old 07-05-06, 10:34 AM
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iUsually if you use your bank card to get money out of country, you will only get charged the wholesale cost of the foreign money plus 1%. If you exchange iit at a bank or at an airport kiosk you will get charged the retail cost plus an exchange fee.
Most businesses will take creditcardsso there's not much need to carry an excessive amount of cash with you.

P.S. Tipping in some places in Europe is not as expected as it is here in the U.S. Google a search for standard tipping and the countries you are going to to see what is the norm where you are visiting.
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Old 07-05-06, 10:53 AM
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Originally Posted by movieguru
P.S. Tipping in some places in Europe is not as expected as it is here in the U.S. Google a search for standard tipping and the countries you are going to to see what is the norm where you are visiting.
Yeah, a few people in the group I was in tried to tip some people who served us and they were insulted at even the thought that they didn't make a decent enough living to need tips/handouts. It was rather interesting to watch the drama.
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