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Med Cruise How Many Euros in Cash


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I know ATMs are available etc etc.  But, on average, how many Euros do people take with them in cash when they leave home (assuming the Euro is not your regular currency).

 

Thanks

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It totally depends on your spending habits, and specifically whether you like to use cash or cards.

 

Personally, I usually just make sure I have a small amount of cash for when you need it (around 10 euros) and put everything else on cards.

 

Other people use cash predominately and take hundreds of euros.

 

You should consider is whether you have any specific expenditure that needs to be in cash. I believe that some tour companies prefer cash, for example.

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We take zero euros unless we have some left over from a previous trip...I'll have to check with the boss.

From the time you leave the plane until you exit, with your bags, you will pass one or more ATMs that will enable you to get up to the daily limit (usually $400) in foreign currency.  And this is true in most if not all countries in the world.

Europe seems more advanced in this matter than the US. ATMs are everywhere, but especially at travel points like the airport, bus and train stations.  If you take a taxi or uber you can ask the driver to stop at an ATM.

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Besides your personal spending habits, another factor in your decision is if you plan on exploring the ports on your own or taking ship-sponsored excursions.  We typically take ship-sponsored excursions, and we have found that access to ATM's may be limited or non-existent at some stops.  Our personal preference is to have enough currency that we don't have to use valuable port time looking for an ATM. 

   

Contrary to many on these boards, we get our currency before leaving home.   For the small quantity we get from our local bank, whatever difference in the exchange rate compared to using ATM's after arrival is not significant to us.   Again, it's just our  personal preference to know that we can purchase a cup of coffee upon landing and get a cab without needing to stop at an ATM in the airport.    Yes, I know I could use a credit card for a cab and probably the coffee, too.   But I feel more comfortable having some currency, even though we do use a credit card for most purchases.    

 

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Typically you just need enough to buy a coffee/drink.  If you are going to buy anything more substantial you would normally plan to pay by card.  A coffee in a cafe in Spain/Italy is typically around 1.5€ to 2€ but we have paid up to 5€ a cup in Monte Carlo and some seafront cafes that are taking the mickey because of the sea view.

 

Similarly if you want to buy souvenirs from the market type stands you may want to take a little more, perhaps 12€-18€ for a guide book or a couple of €s for a magnet.

 

We tend to take about 30€ in cash with us per port but normally don't spend it all.  Like a previous poster said, you can always go to an ATM to get a bit more if you need it

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We (used to) travel internationally a few times a year, and always just stop at an ATM upon arrival to get local currency. US airports are really weird, in that they don't really offer many ATMs. European/Asian transit hubs and airports are packed with them.

Your local bank will offer foreign currency at a horrible exchange rate, and any sort of "money exchange" will be even worse. As someone who would rather spend that money rather than throwing it away, I've never found the perceived convenience of having cash on hand when I can walk up to an ATM while waiting for my baggage to arrive and get money at a much better rate. 

One note re credit/debit cards in Europe: make sure they have a chip, or else it's likely they won't work. The US has caught up to Europe on this, but for years Americans would have issues with chip/pin because we were still using magnetic strips for payments. 
 

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Posted (edited)

 

5 hours ago, Cobra1365 said:

I know ATMs are available etc etc.  But, on average, how many Euros do people take with them in cash when they leave home (assuming the Euro is not your regular currency).

 

Thanks

No one has mentioned that it is probably sensible to take enough Euros to be able to tip the tour guide on any excursions that you plan to take.

Edited by 230462
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As others have said, it does depend on habits and plans.  Europe is  more advanced than the US with regard to the number of places that are cashless.   In general, if you DYI, or form/join private tours from your roll call,  you may need some local currency to pay for things. This includes tipping as one poster mentioned.  Coffee, water.etc.  

We always take €s and other currency if we need it.  We have had to spend time looking for an ATM before, not fun.  That was not because we didn’t get any, it was because we had spent what we had.   LOL. We usually come home with only a few €s.  
 

 Credit Cards:  Be sure you have a “chip and pin”  credit card.  Most places do not accept the common US “chip and sign”.  
 

Boy it seems like so long since we’ve had to think about/ discuss this kind of issue.  We are scheduled for a land trip, Ireland and  Scotland.  Not sure that will happen this year either.  But we have both €s and £s in the safe.  Got those from someone who did not spend them all.  

 

 

 

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Getting Euros in Europe (or Pounds in Britain) is easy.  Getting small denominations is hard.  Tipping cruise-ship tour guides requires a supply of 1-2 Euro coins, which are not available from ATMs (or US banks before the trip, AFAIK).  The ship's customer service counter will usually make change from Euro bills to coins.

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Most people under 30 never carry cash in the U.K. Everything is chip and pin and Apple Pay, from coffees to pints of beer, the limit from £45 to £100 on chip and pin, smaller companies don’t like taking Amex, it costs a fortune to merchandise.

We don’t take many euros to Europe, and we normally bring some home...

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We usually bring around 500 in euros.  We do not (and never have - even in the U.S.) used an ATM, and do not want to start in a foreign country.  We put our tips in separate envelopes before we leave the U.S.  If we are in a small shop that we do not feel comfortable using our credit card in, we pay in euro.

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We have gotten used to using our ATM card or credit card very nearly full-time here in the US.

 

Reports are that ALL US currency has a trace amount of cocaine (and covid??) on it.  So I cannot get a grip on using cash money for much of anything...either in the US or any other place that might have Covid contamination.

 

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5 hours ago, 230462 said:

 

No one has mentioned that it is probably sensible to take enough Euros to be able to tip the tour guide on any excursions that you plan to take.

 

Good point.   Though I chuckled at the memory of a tour guide in Denmark who told us he was a retired banker.   His pension was probably more than my salary LOL!   I was less concerned about tipping in Northern Europe than I am in the Caribbean.   But, tipping is generally appreciated, and small bills or euro coins are about the only way to do that.

 

To the OP, you can see that people have different habits and preferences.   No right or wrong way to do it.  Ultimately, decide what you are comfortable doing.   Have a great cruise!

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We normally order $1000 US in euros from AAA prior to a Med cruise. (Free delivery at

the best exchange rate). We pay for pre-/post-trip hotels, taxis, land food and some excursions. There is normally a little left over that we change back at the airport (at airport exchange rates) prior to departure. 
 

If you are in port 5-6 days, we could not live on a hundred bucks. 

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Always have coins or small local currency bills with you when heading ashore....many WCs are not free!  We tip tour guides, bag handlers & buy small souvenirs with cash, but we mainly use our travel card when ashore.  On board, if in Europe, we generally tip our room steward, favorite bar tender, etc. at the end of the cruise with the currency of the home port of the ship.  Just our preferences.......

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I think the OP is from the US.  Not all US credit cards have the “chip and pin” technology.  We are behind many other countries with this.  “Chip and sign” (common in the US) will work in many places, but you could have trouble at self service kiosks such as train or metro stations. I think that is one reason some US travelers take local currency. 
 

 If you do not know, You would need to call your credi card company to determine if your card has that technology and then request a pin. The pin may come by the way of snail mail. 
 

 

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16 hours ago, pe4all said:

We do not (and never have - even in the U.S.) used an ATM, and do not want to start in a foreign country.


You millennials and your Venmo and ApplePay... you're going to put the ATM and debit card companies out of business!

 

15 hours ago, hernando52 said:

Always have coins or small local currency bills with you when heading ashore....many WCs are not free!

 

Translation for Americans: you have to pay a euro or two to use public bathrooms in lots of places in Europe, take coins!

Each time we head out for the day in an EU port/city, we usually stick around  €100 in a money belt with another €15 or so in a more easily accessible (secure) location (not a wallet in a pocket!!!). For most purchases, we use a travel credit with no foreign transaction fees, and save the accessible euros for smaller transactions. If we need to, we can always pull out extra cash from the money belt in a secure location. 

A worst case scenario for me is having too much cash at the end of a cruise in Europe, hence the regular ATM use as needed. I abhor airport money exchangers with their awful rates and fees, so it usually turns into a "let's see what the duty free in this airport terminal offers" situation. The fewer euros I can have on hand, the better.

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1 hour ago, AstoriaPreppy said:


You millennials and your Venmo and ApplePay... you're going to put the ATM and debit card companies out of business!

 

Thanks for the compliment, but I am 63 years old - today!!  Not a millennial.  Don't have Venmo or Applepay or zell either - lol!

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Posted (edited)
20 hours ago, thinfool said:

 

 

Reports are that ALL US currency has a trace amount of cocaine (and covid??) on it.  So I cannot get a grip on using cash money for much of anything...either in the US or any other place that might have Covid contamination.

 

I've read it all now.  

Edited by PTC DAWG
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On 3/15/2021 at 10:52 AM, AstoriaPreppy said:

Your local bank will offer foreign currency at a horrible exchange rate, and any sort of "money exchange" will be even worse. As someone who would rather spend that money rather than throwing it away, I've never found the perceived convenience of having cash on hand when I can walk up to an ATM while waiting for my baggage to arrive and get money at a much better rate. 
 

I've never had a problem getting money ahead of time from my bank at a decent rate. I would much rather do that from home than to need cash and not be able to find it. 

 

FYI - the airport in Inverness Scotland does NOT have an ATM or any sort of money exchange. When we flew in there from Dublin we were hoping to exchange some of our euros for pounds and there was nothing to be found. We asked one of the security guys and he laughed at us and said "we only just recently stopped accepting ducks as forms of payment". Had to find a taxi that was willing to call in a credit card to their main office in order to get from the airport to our hotel. 

21 hours ago, Host Jazzbeau said:

Getting Euros in Europe (or Pounds in Britain) is easy.  Getting small denominations is hard.  Tipping cruise-ship tour guides requires a supply of 1-2 Euro coins, which are not available from ATMs (or US banks before the trip, AFAIK).  The ship's customer service counter will usually make change from Euro bills to coins.

Tipping a tour guide only 1-2 euros? Wow... they must love me when I'm there. Similar to what someone else mentioned, I split out my cash into envelopes prior to sailing for everyone who needs to be tipped, and then a bonus envelope for 'whatever'. 

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41 minutes ago, Sailing12Away said:

Tipping a tour guide only 1-2 euros? Wow... they must love me when I'm there. Similar to what someone else mentioned, I split out my cash into envelopes prior to sailing for everyone who needs to be tipped, and then a bonus envelope for 'whatever'. 

On ship's tours.  They have a whole busful of people chipping in.

 

Inverness would rarely be a first stop for an American tourist.  We have never had a problem finding bank ATMs [as opposed to those owned by Travelex] at the airport when we land.

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35 minutes ago, Host Jazzbeau said:

On ship's tours.  They have a whole busful of people chipping in.

 

I have taken many ship tours in different countries.   I have never once had a bus "chip in" for a tip!  We usually tip 5-10 euros pp, and give them the good old "handshake" as we walk off to transfer $$.  On private tours they sometimes "recommend" how much to tip pp, and we always follow those guidelines.

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Since merchandising took over from cash, it’s very rare to get a cash tip in the U.K. We never allow it on merchant services in our company (health and beauty) we would have to class it as income, therefore 20% vat for the company to pay.

Some modern corporate restaurants have a split terminal where you are able to choose the percentage of gratitudes.

During the lockdown and reopening cash was discouraged by the government.

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48 minutes ago, pe4all said:

We usually tip 5-10 euros pp, and give them the good old "handshake" as we walk off to transfer $$.

We usually do the same on all cruise ship tours... unless we're in Japan. There, tipping is generally frowned upon and is considered awkward at best, an insult at worst (unless you're in an intimate walking tour sort of situation).

At one port stop, we had a stellar guide on a big bus tour to a waterfall in the foothills of Mt. Fuji, who stopped to buy the entire bus satsuma mandarins the area was known for. She looked almost nauseous when many of the passengers insisted on tipping her cash at the end of the tour.

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