|Subject: Re: Euro vs Dollar|
For Americans coming to Europe, simply coming with a few extra
greenbacks for instant exchange in the host country and then
credit card and ATM is the way to pay for the rest of the trip.
(Don't forget to keep a few greenback for the return trip to the US). One you land, just head over to any ATM in the airport and withdraw your Euros with an ATM card.
Where people can get stuck - sometimes - is when they don't tell their credit card company that they'll be travelling in Europe.
Call them and tell them! Otherwise they may deem foreign purchases
as suspicious and lock your card until you actually do call them and tell them what's going on. Call the credit card company before you leave and tell them to allow purchases from Europe (or where ever).
Some banks still have very low daily withdraw limits on their ATM cards. Get it raised before you leave. If the daily limit is $200, you'll only get Eur 160 per day which means you have to plan scouting ATM and withdrawing cash into your daily plans.
Have the bank raise it so you can withdraw enough at one time to last you for several days.
Also, it is common for ATM at the foreign bank to be inside the foyer or front entrance. There will be a slot thingy to insert your card for entry (if the bank is closed). Your US ATM card will work to unlock the door and gain access.
BTW, in Germany, the general practice at restaurants is to tip the waiter/waitress when they present the bill (e.g. not to leave it on the table) and the tip is usually about %5 which seems low to most Americans. To simplify the need to figure out a tip while the person s standing there, simply look at the bill, shift the decimal place to the left and then halve that amount (e.g. figure up what 10% would be and then halve that). A little rounding up keeps everybodys life easier too. For example, the waiter lays down a bill for 12.20 - so 10% would be 1.22 and half of that about 0.60 - so simply tell him 13 Euros, bitte. You'll get a smile and a danke schoen in return :-)
A book that our visitors to Germany enjoy and find very true is the one by Hyde Flippo When in Germany, do as the Germans do
Viel Spass Brian