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Carrying Money in Europe
- 5 responses so far
I would like to know there answer to this one too… bump
I personally just used an ATM card. It was easy to carry around and worked everywhere. Just so you know I’m with HSBC, and, being worldwide, they had ATMs in every country I went to. I found that they were the most convenient and would recommend it no matter which bank you are with. Just to minimise fees, take out a fair chunk of money each time, and keep that money in a safe place.
In terms of pickpockets, just use common sense, and do what you would do in your home country. I seriously just put my wallet in my front pocket of my jeans/shorts and had no issues-in saying that DO NOT put anything in back pockets. I don’t think there is a need for a money belt. When you go to clubs/bars they may ask for ID and a driver’s licence etc suffices. I’ve found if they ask for a passport they’re generally dodgy places so don’t bother going in the first place. There is no need to take around your passport when around the streets of a country. Most of the time my passport and extra money was locked in a small bag at the top of my suitcase, which was also locked. Said suitcase was in the hotel/backpackers we were staying at.
Just on a side note traveler’s checks are just a way for banks and other financial institutions to make more money off travelers, in my opinion.
Another tip for converting money would be avoid cash exchange places, especially in high tourist areas because you will get awful rates. Better to use an ATM because you will likely get a better rate although you have to factor in the fee your bank will charge for a foreign ATM transaction. However, I have always found this to be the better deal. Search for banks if you need to change cash or get a good rate. Not all banks will change money, but these are better to try than many of the cash exchange places which have poor rates and high fees. Make sure to put a travel alert on all the credit cards you plan to use so you do not have any issues while traveling.
I’d also recommend if you use ATMs, try and use ATM’s inside or right outside actual banks instead of just stand alone ones. the stand alone ones are more likely to have skimming stuff on them, I travelled with a girl who got her money swipped because she used a dodgy ATM near the Trevi fountain in Rome. I met her on the next Contiki she was doing and she was still trying to get it sorted with insurance and the bank and that was about 3 weeks later. I wouldn’t bother with travellers cheques at all! Have a look at what banks in your country offer as far as international transactions go and get a card with the one most suitable!! :D
a pre-paid travelex card is the way to go as its the most cost effective way against your own bank card and safer than carrying cash on you in large sums. its already coverted into local currency and its just 2.20 euro per withdrawal. your own bank card can charge high currency conversion rates and fee even before you have the money in you hand not really worth the cost.
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