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Getting Money While Traveling
cwo3ward @ 03/ 07/ 2010

We went to Europe in 2006 and weren't sure how to get Euros for the trip. We went to our bank and ordered 1,500 Euros to take along with us. At the time, the cost of one Euro was about $1.22 U.S. On top of that, we paid the bank an extra $0.10 per Euro as part of the currency transaction. The extra charges for the bank amounted to about $240.00. While we weren't happy about this, we were glad to have enough Euros to get us by for a while.

In 2008, we went to Europe again. The exchange rate was much higher and we exchanged 1,000 Euros. At that time, the Euro cost about $1.39 each, so the rate had gotten a lot worse. With fees and everything else, the exchange cost about $1,620.00 U.S. Wow, that was getting really expensive! We wondered if we should just stay home, but decided to go anyway, since our tickets were non-refundable.

In 2009, we had had enough of the expensive currency exchanges. We went to Italy and Greece, but this time, we only purchased 300 Euros to get us started on the trip. I got smart and went to my bank to find out what ATM machines we could use in Europe without having to pay ridiculous fees. They provided me with a list and when we needed money, we planned ahead to find the right banks to withdraw from. The added advantage to doing this is that you don't need to carry around as much cash!

OK, so I'm a slow learner! But I did finally figure out the best way to do things. I avoid paying for things with my credit cards so I don't have to worry about someone getting the number and using it while we're traveling. I definitely don't use my ATM card to pay for anything. The ATM card should be kept safe in your money belt. Only use a credit card if you need to make a big purchase or pay the hotel bill. Guard your cards!

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