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How much cash to bring??

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St. Augustine, FL
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110 posts
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How much cash to bring??

We are leaving on Wednesday for London (5 days) then Paris (5 days). I need to go into the bank to get some currency, but I dont know how much to get!

We have called the cc companies and our bank (with our debit card) and they know we're traveling and can use them overseas, no trouble - for credit purchase or ATMs.

We prefer not to travel with too much cash on hand for obvious reasons, but I know we need some. I just dont know how much!

Can anybody give us some recommendations on what you have done or would do? Should we get just pounds or get some Euros too for Paris?

Also - I have an over the shoulder purse (its a messenger style purse) thats not huge, I can wear it under my coat and its big enough to carry my 'stuff' but not so big... will that suffice for safety purposes?

Thanks for your input!!


New York, NY
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1. Re: How much cash to bring??

Hi Oduamy!

I am leaving on Friday -- and I was just planning to hit an ATM as soon as I got to Heathrow. I too, would just prefer to use credit cards, debit cards, etc. Most places that charge admission, can accept credit cards and you can use credit cards for tube tickets, etc. I was just planning to have the equivalent of $100 USD on me - for any time I may have to use cash for any reason....I mean, there are ATMs everywhere - you can always get more cash when you need it.

Same goes for Paris -- I am sure there are ATMS right in the train station - so you can get all of the money there. I wouldn't bother getting any currency while still in the US, since you will have to deal with service fees and exchange rates -- Ugh. Maybe a local TALFer can chime in If I am wrong...but I am pretty sure they will agree.

As for your purse - that will be just fine. That is what I am bringing, and its what I use for NYC (where I live) -- and if it can make it there -it can make it anywhere! HAHAHA.

Have fun!!!

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2. Re: How much cash to bring??

get 100 of each and then get more if you need it from an ATM, but you can minimise that by using plastic almost everywhere, you will get a better exchange rate on plastic than cash as well and the only main thing you'll need cash for are incidental purchases, under say £5, and possibly taxis (many London taxis will take credit cards dunno about Paris).

For the UK at least, unless you are eating very downmarket or say Mcdonalds, all restrarants will take a credit or debit card,as will all attractions and I dont recall it being any different in paris.

Use your checking account not your credit card to get cash out of ATMs to minimise interest charges.

Make sure you have a second credit card and leave that at your hotel in the room safe along with your passport.

FInally dont get more pounds than you need thinking you'll change them into euros because you'll lose out on the currency exchange.

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3. Re: How much cash to bring??

I can't argue with the advice above. Rick Steves recommends a money belt. I use one. www.ricksteves.com/plan/tips/moneybelt.htm

If you need more reading about money: www.ricksteves.com/plan/tips/moneytip.htm

I carry enough no fee US dollar travelers checks to cover all my foreign expenses. I haven't needed them and just redeposit them after my trip. I am being a little too cautious in case of disasters with ATM's and credit cards.

Stirling, United...
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4. Re: How much cash to bring??

I'd suggest getting $100 / £50 cash for London, just so you have some to spend immediately (yes I know ATMs are everywhere but ...).

Wait until you get to London to get Euros for Paris and do the same.

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5. Re: How much cash to bring??

Amy: I agree with Bobelinks that you should at least get some pounds ($50 worth or so) before you leave on your trip. Definitely take some American dollars too, just to be on the safe side, plus two credit cards, along with your debit/atm card.

Stanley, Falkland...
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6. Re: How much cash to bring??

How much cash have you got? Bring it all. Its easy to spend here.

It sort of depends on your lifstyle - eg taxi or metro? You can get from the airport to the centre of London for 5 pounds or 55 pounds depending on how you travel.

London, UK
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7. Re: How much cash to bring??

This is one thing that many people have different ideas on.

Personally I tend not to bother exchanging money before I travel. This is especially true if the rates of exchange are penal for small amounts.

Then, when I arrive, I withdraw cash from an ATM and then use that for smaller purchases and use my credit card for all larger purchases.

I assume you are arriving to LHR or LGW in which case there are plenty of ATMs around to use when you arrive. I don't buy the argument that it's hassle to do this after a flight (to me, it's a great deal more time consuming to bother exchanging some money beforehand).

That's why I said people do this differently as I know many people here wouldn't consider leaving home without some currency.

I can't imagine what use dollars would be to you but the chance is you'll have some in your purse/wallet anyway if for some reason you needed these.

Similarly, just withdraw some Euros from an ATM in your arrival in Paris.

Have a great trip!

Stirling, United...
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8. Re: How much cash to bring??

I suppose bringing some dollars with you makes sense - you can take them back home with you and have some money to hand immediately you touch down in the US.

Greenwich (London)
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9. Re: How much cash to bring??

>>> Definitely take some American dollars too, just to be on the safe side <<<

What's your reasoning for that, Lee? I'm finding it hard to see why US$ would be of more use than sterling.

Glenlyon, Australia
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10. Re: How much cash to bring??