My niece is traveling to London for 2 days and then on to Ireland for 8 days. How much money should she need and would it be best for her to have a debit card or ATM?
She should definitely have an ATM card (2 preferably, linked to different accounts in case one card does not work). She is not going to want to carry 10 days worth of cash, and if you are thinking travelers checks, forget it...not many places want to accept them. More info would be helpful to even take a stab at this question. Is she travelling with a school group? Staying with friends or relatives while in Europe? Going on her own? Is her lodging already paid for? If its a group trip, are any of the meals already paid for? Are you trying to give her an idea of how much she will need for admission fees to different sights (if so, go online to look up the cost for whatever it is she wants to visit and see if they offer her any sort of discount with a current student ID.)? Does she plan to eat out for all her meals, or will she be staying in a hostel with access to a kitchen so she can cook some of her own? When she does eat out, is she going to be eating mostly fast food or takeaway, or does she expect to eat in restaurants a lot which have waiter service? Where is she going to be in Ireland? Restaurants and other things just cost more in a larger city like Dublin, Cork or Galway than they do in a small town or village.
Ann would help if we knew a little more about your niece.
College age? On a tour? Traveling with friends? Solo? Will room and board already been paid for? London is expensive BUT museums are free, pub grub and places like Wagamama, Pret a Managers can provide cheaper meals and it's an easy city to explore on foot. ATM's dominate London. A simple rule of thumb for me is to always use one attached to a bank, like Barclay's. There are fees from the bank that issued the card so check to see what they are and always take a back up. Anyway, back to her budget. Really depends on whether she intends to shop while she travels. In my humble opinion that's what screws up a budget, especially clothes shopping. Souvenirs sure, a new coat and boots, yikes. A little advance planning can help the budget. Instead of paying the 16 pound entrance fee to Westminster Abbey opt instead to attend evensong for free. Yes, she'll have sit down for a program but...same with St. Paul's. Again, her budget will depend on what she wants to do and see.