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Changes in post-COVID European Travel.

Just returned from a 28 day auto trip through Netherlands, Belgium, France, Germany and Austria. I'll highlight some major changes.
1. Everything is more expensive! The typical small hotel or B and B will have a 15 per person Euro charge for even a small breakfast.
2. Some B & B have kept the nightly price the same BUT have eliminated breakfast. 3. Just about every hotel/B and B charge 15 Euro for daily parking. 4. While many areas had lots of tourists, some areas in Bavaria seemed empty. 5. Prior reservations are
necessary for some of the major sites such as the Louvre, Neuschwanstein etc. 6. We found that many B & B and restaurants
no longer accept a credit card! 7. The biggest surprise = TIPPING is now a reality in many restaurants ! (What has the world come to?)
None of these changes will keep us from Europe. We are already talking about a trip to Europe next summer. !

Posted by
302 posts

Thank you! Question: all the advice is to use only credit cards- can you clarify ( maybe extra fees for smaller businesses?) that they would only take cash?

Posted by
44 posts

We found that many B & B and restaurants no longer accept a credit card!

Not surprised that smaller hotels or B & Bs do not take credit cards, given the increased costs that businesses incur. Some hotels offer guests a discounted rate if paying cash for exactly that reason, even if they are still willing to accept credit card payment. This is why it's generally a good idea to diversify one's payment options while traveling: local currency, credit and debit cards.

I noticed much higher surcharges for cash at ATMs while traveling in France in May, so I limited the amount of cash I withdrew. (I don't mean the foreign transaction fee, but a surcharge, sometimes as much as 8%, depending on the bank! Be sure to read the fine-print beforehand.) Much more cost-effective to pay with credit or debit, of course. But, it's not always possible to know ahead of time which restaurants take cash only. Fortunately, you know in advance if that's the case for your accommodations; but if staying many nights at a cash only place, that can turn into a big wad of cash.

On the flip side (and to Karen's point), many vendors are credit/debit card only, now that we are in the era of contactless payment. That was true at a few pharmacies I visited recently in France, even for small purchases of 10-20 euro.

Posted by
274 posts

For ATM withdrawals. Make sure you are using an ATM from a real bank. ATM´s at hotels, convenient store, etc are private and you will pay higher rates.

Posted by
531 posts

Isn't a bed and breakfast without breakfast just....a bed?