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buy pounds now? are we limited?

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buy pounds now? are we limited?

We are traveling to England for two weeks and then to Italy for two in May. How much money can we take in Pounds and Euros (cash) - I was thinking of buying it now before the dollar dips more. Any suggestions?

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London, UK
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1. Re: buy pounds now? are we limited?

Recent dollar weakness has really been against the Euro rather than the pound, the last few days the dollar has actually strengthened against the pound by about 2.5%. You may regret buying now.

Edinburgh, United...
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2. Re: buy pounds now? are we limited?

10,000 euros or the equivelent in any other currency is the maxium cash allowed to be carried between EU countries.

Detroit, Michigan
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3. Re: buy pounds now? are we limited?

It may also go down - we mere mortals can't predict if it will be better or worse in May. I wouldn't let it drive you crazy. Rather than trying to get foriegn currency here in the US, we just wait till we get there and use the ATM machines. You'll get the best rate that way and (in England, anyway) you'll only be charge whatever transaction fee your home bank charges for out of network transactions (usually $2-$5 per transaction.)

Getting foriegn currency here at home is a hassle, you'll get an inflated exchange rate and then you're carrying around large amounts of cash with you.

Rothesay, United...
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4. Re: buy pounds now? are we limited?

Hi red; Whatever you do, you won't win! We've tried for years and always seem to lose out on foreign exchange speculation. $ and £ are now very bad against the Euro and may well get worse. As said it looks as if £ / $ may stay around the same to each other......but ......????

There is of course the safety issue re carrying too much cash. The TA forums are full of US folk fearing UK and European towns, hotels, hotel safes, and locals; just look back a bit esp on the London forum.

We were terrified by guide books re LA; had no problems (or indeed in touring Az - even Tombstone!). BUT a lot of cash is a risk, even of "just" losing it. Insurance policies usually only cover quite a small amount of cash.

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Los Angeles
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West London
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5. Re: buy pounds now? are we limited?

The British pound and the US dollar are falling at about the same rate (a little like 2 people holding hands and jumping off a building at the same time), so it probably won't make much difference whey you buy them.

It might be a good idea to buy euros now, but I'm no expert (I don't think anyone is).

Jackson, MS
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6. Re: buy pounds now? are we limited?

I usually get a minimal amount of pounds (say, $100 worth or enough to pay my 1st night hotel) just in case there is a problem with my bank card.

Regarding Euros, I would just wait until i got to Italy. When I went to prague in November, I just used a cash machine there. That's the easiest way.

Another bit of (unsolicited) advice. I always call my banks and credit cards to let them know where I'll be so they'll notate it on the card. I also email myself a list of the credit/bank card overseas phone numbers in case i lose them.

Vancouver, Canada
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7. Re: buy pounds now? are we limited?

I too take a bit of cash with me before going outside Canada, as I like to hit the ground running and dislike paying cash machine fees.

If you can find a good rate right now, buy a bit of cash and put it with your passport - done. Others' views may vary, of course.

San Francisco...
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8. Re: buy pounds now? are we limited?

I too get a minimal amount of cash to bring with me. I think we obtained about 200 Pounds to bring with us to London. The rest of the time we used our ATM or Credit Card. I would be too nervous to go overseas and not bring any local currency whatsoever. :)

Tampa, Florida
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9. Re: buy pounds now? are we limited?

Use your ATM card -- with smaller quantities of currency like someone spends on vacation (as opposed to the massive amounts transferred internationally by banks and multi-national corporations) -- the moves in currency won't be enough to make a significant different.

Destination Expert
for Nile River Valley
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10. Re: buy pounds now? are we limited?

Yes, it is worth notifying your credit card companies you will be abroad. We actually had our card stopped once because of this and had to make lots of tedious phone calls back home.