Money for two weeks trip cover few countries

I will be visiting Czech Republic ( two days), Germany, Austria,(8 days with river cruise ) and Hungary ( 2 days) coming fall. I booked a package with a travel company. All hotels and excursions will be pay before the trip. I only need small amount for lunches, dinners, bus, and taxi fee. What will be the best way to pay these. Take USD and exchange to local money in each country. Take local money from ATM.( for such small amount? I have no transaction fee debit card ) Use credit cards.( I have no foreign exchange fee card)
Thank you for you advice

Posted by Agnes
Alexandria, VA, USA
805 posts

The key to minimize fees, so inventory what you have and rank it from best to worst in terms of penalties. For example, I have a Cap One credit card with no foreign transaction fees so I use it as much as I can. If I could use it exclusively, I would (but unfortunately, that's not the case in some places). If I need to get cash, I use my credit union debit card at a local ATM (credit union charges me 1% of total amount per transaction; no limit on number of transactions that I know of). Don't try to bring USD and have the $ exchanged; you'll get ripped off on the exchange rate. Just stick to ATMs and get a bank debit card that doesn't punish you with excessive fees for withdrawing. In some countries, I nearly always have to "break" big bills from the ATM, so I go into any bank with the big bills and ask them for smaller bills or coins (at no charge).

Posted by Chani
Tel Aviv
4915 posts

I didn't understand if you have no-fee cards or not. Since your expenditures will be small, you will probably need just cash and for many of them you probably won't be able to use a credit card. If you don't pay fees, just take out what you need from ATMs - they are easy to find all over - as you go.

Posted by James E.
3221 posts

Personally I would carry a minimum of $500 cash per person in a money belt or similar for emergencies and then travel on credit cards and ATM cards. At the low end $50 per person per day is a decent food and metro budget. Maybe a little less in Hungary and a little more in Austria. But unless you travel a lot this could be your one big chance do not travel too tight. Again, personally I would plan on $100 a day and feel lucky if I do better.