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Dollars to Euros for Ireland trip

Hi, We've been worried about the plummeting dollar and have decided to bring a bunch from the USA. Our bank doesn't charge a fee, so we can get as much as we want.

How much do we want? And in what denominations?

The 3 of us will be there for 2 weeks, staying at B&Bs and driving everywhere. Do we need E3000, E4000, E5000?
And I know what the denominations are, but what do most people use? I know that around here, people really don't like to deal with Benjamins ($100 bills).



Posted by
506 posts

The "no fee" thing from you bank is only good if you get a good exchange rate on the money.

Posted by
15 posts

Thanks for the tip. I'll check the posted exchange rate online in the morning before I head to the bank.

From our rough calculations, E5000 should cover almost everything we would need to spend in Ireland (except airfare and car rental). I suppose we can bring less and use a credit card more.

Posted by
10344 posts

Edward: They say free advice is sometimes worth what you pay for it, and this is free advice from someone/me who isn't an expert and isn't a financial consultant. Walking around on a trip with $8000 cash isn't something we've seen proposed here in the last year. If you do this, see Rick's why to wear a money-belt writeup Money Belt 101Note that the $ actually improved against the € in the last few days, from $1.59 to $1.564 interbank rate on Friday. If you'd bought €5000 a few days ago at the higher rate, under the assumption the dollar was going to keep falling between now and the time you go, you'd have already lost about $150. If you decide to carry $8000 around with you, what Mike said is important to think about. A bank may say they don't charge a "fee"--but the bottom line is, if the bank "buys" €5000 at the interbank rate of $1.564, they pay $7820, and if they turn around and sell the €5000 to you for more than $7820, the "spread" or difference is their profit. Now, they won't sell them to you for the interbank rate because that's the bank rate for $1 million transactions and you can't get that rate (assuming you don't have huge financial resources). You can't get the $1.564 rate, but by using your ATM card to get say €300 cash as you go, or your credit card to pay a hotel bill, you can today, if you were in Europe now, get the $1.564 rate + roughly 2% or 3%, let's say 3%, that would be $1.61. €5000 x 1.61 = $8050. Bottom line: If your bank buys currency at $7820 and sells to you for more than about $8050, you could get that rate yourself from ATM's when you're there--and you wouldn't have to carry $8000 cash around with you. (Note: this discussion excludes changes in the exchange rate between now and then to simplify the discussion).

Posted by
934 posts

I also feel its not smart to carry that kind of cash.ATMs are everywhere and the little you might save isnt worth the risks of carrying a lot of cash.If the dollar gets stronger which it has the past few days you would end up losing money.

Posted by
61 posts

Kent, thanks to your sage advice when I posted the same question on the General forum a few days ago, I looked into the trend for the dollar. We've been gaining at a very low rate, but gaining none the less - against the Canadian dollar, the British Pond and the Euro.
So I'm going to sit and watch to see if the trend will continue upward and as long as it continues upward before I head for the bank... The credit union only exchanges for Canadian dollars.
Thanks again -

Posted by
606 posts

I'll be more blunt than the others above. Carrying 5000 Euros cash from America to Ireland is the craziest thing I've ever heard of.

An experienced traveler would never do that.

Posted by
484 posts

Not in my wildest dreams would I consider carrying that amount of cash. Get enough Euros, 200-300, to get you into Dublin from the airport and then use ATM's to get what money you need. In the grand scheme of things if you are spending 5,000 Euros the extra 100 or so you MAY save is not worth the risk of losing that amount of cash.

My bank just charges a flat $1.50 fee regardless of the amount withdrawn if yours charges what you consider to be an excessive amount talk to them and it is possible they will lower it.

Posted by
2788 posts

I (we) spent 3 week in Ireland last summer (2007) and went completely around the country. We got all of our local currency from ATM machines, starting at the Dublin airport. We had no problems whatsoever in getting the amount we needed, even if we had to go to an ATM more than once - with different debit cards.
We go to Europe every summer and I would never consider carrying that amount of money you are talking about - foolish in my opinion. Good luck

Posted by
15 posts

Okay, I'm sensing a trend here...

See, this is why I post here. Good advice.



Posted by
11 posts

ATM's ("cashpoints") are definitely the way to go ... but be aware that in Ireland they still aren't as plentiful as in some other countries. This is true especially in the smaller towns, so just be sure to plan ahead. As an example, in September 2007 when a member of our travel group inquired about a cashpoint in Glengarriff, she was told that the nearest one was in Bantry (which we had already driven through).

Posted by
484 posts

There is an article by Arthur Frommer in the travel section of todays paper concerning getting cash in Europe. What it basically says is to avoid the kiosks that exchange money,especially in rail stations and airports and now even the banks are charging big commissions. Get your money from an ATM and "you will receive an honest exchange rate".

Posted by
67 posts

When I was there in 2006 I took about 200 in Euros and used ATM's for cash for the rest of my trip. i used my credit card at most B&B's and cash for all other stuff. I notified my credit card company of my trip and possible uses in Ireland before I went.
Everything worked fine and I had no trouble finding ATM's on our trip.
Have a great time!

Posted by
158 posts

Yes, do notify your bank and credit card company as to which countries you are going to be traveling to and how long you will be gone.

Posted by
22 posts

Hi Edward, it's been a few years since I was in Ireland, but you may not need to bring a lot of currency from home (depending on when you're leaving of course)
First to answer your question, tens and twenties are probably your best bet. Fives are okay but they tend to wear out more quickly then the higher denomiations. As for money, a little more is always better but it depends on your spending habits...

If you use credit/debit cards abroad you'll get the best exchange rate of the day. That may or may not work depending on how the rates go, but it's something to think about. That way you're not taking the chance of carrying a lot of cash. If you choose to use a debit card, it's important to keep your money in checking because at least the ATMs I dealt with didn't give you an option.
Either way have a grand adventure!

Posted by
5 posts

I am wondering if you all are talking about E7000 being enough total for three people or for each???



Posted by
9363 posts

For a two week trip, that much would be way more than enough for me and a companion, but everyone's spending habits are different.

Posted by
3580 posts

Regarding how much money you will need, I suggest pricing out the individual expenses of your trip using books and websites: plane fares, car rental, B&B costs, charges for museums or other venues, meals other than breakfast, money for gifts and souvenirs. Add it all up and add maybe 10% (there will be unexpected expenses no matter how well you plan). That should give you some idea how much your trip will cost.

Your B&Bs will provide a generous breakfast, probably. You may get E100 bills whether you want to or not; these can be spent for the larger ticket items such as car rental or lodgings. I wouldn't want to carry as much as E7000, but have carried E1000. Spread the money around the three of you in money belts and be very careful with it. What I do is pre-pay for as much as possible of my trip; that way I need less cash while there. If you have too many large bills, plan to stop at a bank to get smaller denominations.

Posted by
20 posts

Here's my two cents, or, euros. Don't carry so much cash that you are constantly worried about how to hide the bulk of it. Credit/Debit cards will give you up to the minute exchange rates. Having a little cash from ATM machines helps make things run more smoothly.

Posted by
8 posts

Do the ATM machines in Europe require a Visa or MC logo on the ATM cards we use? Ours do not have the logo, but are accepted at many of the stores in the US as debit cards. Is a plain old vanilla ATM card ok in Italy, France and Switzerland in summer, 2008? I hope so or we will be in a let me know please very fast!

Barbara, GA