Subject: first night/jetlag / ATM & debit cards
Dear Ziners, three for the price of one... First night for me is the best time to wander around the hotel and the immediate environment; keeps you awake and prevents confusion when you wake up the next day and haven't a clue where you are, how to get to breakfast etc. The very first thing, even before unpacking is to walk to the fire exits, check the stairwells, extinguishers etc.

Jetlag is wierd - I think excitement has a lot to do with it, I've had it either way to Australia/NZ & back. The US doesn't seem too bad for it for me. Watch what you're eating though - I got posted to Oz for 4 months & it took me a fortnight to work out that my little naps after breakfast were due to stuffing my face with goodies, not jetlag....

Debit cards are good for paying small amounts in smaller stores and you can sometimes request 'cashback' in pubs, newsagents, most large supermarkets (the amount of cash you get is simply added to your bill as a transaction on the card). At the moment, you sign a receipt in the UK, but this will change to the European/world system of PIN numbers. The good thing about debit cards is the cash goes straight out of your account, no fees or bills later.

Me? I take 40 for UK travel , local currency for a couple of days (usually about 80 worth), couple of travellers cheques that I've had since about 2001(!!)& cards. Usually get cash from ATM's - all part of the fun - end up bringing half the cash back, but that's the great thing about the Euro! It's always worth asking neighbours, friends & work colleagues if they've got any spare currency to 'sell'; you might get coins, but make sure they're current notes..... I've still got a 50Ff note that I found in an old jacket of mine....any offers?!?!

best to you all; Avanti! stewart, london, uk