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Forints, Euros, ATMs, oh my

Money: We took about $125 worth of forints with us from the get-go so we would have it when we arrived. We are so glad we did. We didn’t end up needing to get any more from an ATM while in Budapest since we used our credit card the rest of the time for restaurants and tickets for transportation and sights. We were there for two days. We used inside ATMs at Raiffeisen Banks for Euros in Vienna and Salzburg and felt quite secure since they were not outside. We used our credit card more than anything. We never felt insecure anywhere as far as pick-pocket or theft threats.

Every place that we used our credit card automatically charged us in the local currency or asked us which way we wanted except one place, a restaurant in Vienna. I think the server intentionally screwed us over on our bill but when I checked after we returned home, it was a matter of $9 so I am not going to lose sleep over that! I would say just pay attention if you are using a credit card and don't sign the bill until you confirm that you are paying in the local currency. But most places are honest.

Posted by
20634 posts

Our biggest concern is that we sometimes (not frequently) find that our waiter has problems with simple addition. Tend to be in small place where they use a paper/pencil bill and not a cash register printed invoice. Worse situation was in Prague a couple of years ago. Several waiters were math challenged with regard to addition.

Posted by
3318 posts

And I'm sure the errors were all in their favor. Funny how that works. :-)

Posted by
20634 posts

You how addition works. You add 7.53 and 8.50 and carry two or three and get 18.03. Doesn't seem to be much but a euro here and couple of there, and pretty soon it adds up.

Posted by
10836 posts

I guess i am not observant enough. I only noticed one example of bad math, in Moscow. Otherwise nothing. I did once leave my credit card on a table and walked away. Two hours later i returned to find it. The desk had it. No problems, no charges. Thats my life. Wait, recently i did catch a waiter combining a bar tab with a dinner tab and trying to pocket the tip for both. Of course that was in the US. I stopped it and made them split the ticket.

Posted by
3951 posts

Travelled extensively throughout Europe, never been overcharged or ripped off or been deceived once. Am I just lucky or perhaps I'm not paranoid enough to think that almost every restaurant, store, marketplace is out to rip me off.

Posted by
440 posts

Most of the time it is the patron who doesnt understand the local currency so automatically assume they are being fleeced

Posted by
169 posts

Yes, I realize it could happen anywhere not just in another country. The Austrian group sitting right next to us, said that what he did was not right when my husband got upset. I would have liked to just let it go from the get-go! It was just a fluke and we had not even thought about anything like that happening up to that point.

Posted by
20634 posts

JC You have been either lucky or just didn't notice. We have traveled nearly a year in Europe over the past 20+ years. We have had a half dozen or so incidents of questionable additional or subtraction (change) that needed a little extra attention. Some American cabbies are not any better. Never questioned if it was intentional or accidental but just counted to make sure. Nothing wrong with giving a little extra attention to the money.

Posted by
3318 posts

jayhamps,

Back in the day of pound,shilling,pence I would agree that it would most often be the customer who was confused. I know I could never keep it straight! But now with nearly every currency in decimal, that is no longer an excuse for most travelers.