Should I bring cash to Europe?
Key Takeaways. European travelers should always have some cash on hand; getting it from an ATM abroad is usually the easiest, most advantageous way. If you need cash from an ATM, it's usually better to use a debit card, because credit cards often charge a high interest rate for a cash advance.
If you prefer dealing in cash, then by all means get some euros out before your trip. But actually, you'll find that debit and credit cards are widely accepted in most European cities. Paying by card can be easier and more convenient, without the potential security risk of carrying cash around you.
A good rule of thumb, though, is that, on average, you should plan to carry between $50 and $100 per day in the currency of the country in which you're travelling. As with all things, research is your friend here. Understand where you're travelling and what the local customs regarding cash are.
Take Europe, where the majority of people still use cash. Prepaid and debit cards are very popular in countries like France, but credit cards are far less common across Europe than in countries like Canada and the United States.
Here is an overview of what two weeks in Europe on a high budget may look like: Accommodation: 200 Euros per night for 14 nights = 2,800 Euros. Food: 80 Euros per day for 14 days = 1,120 Euros. Transportation: 30 Euros per day for 14 days = 420 Euros.
Visa and Mastercard are widely accepted in most European cities. American Express is too, but perhaps less widely. Paying by card can be easier and more convenient. You don't need to worry about changing money at a foreign exchange counter, or worry about security when carrying cash around with you.
US dollars: I carry $100–200 as a backup. While you won't use it for day-to-day purchases, American cash in your money belt comes in handy for emergencies, such as when banks go on strike or your ATM card stops working. I've been in Greece and Ireland when every bank went on strike, shutting down without warning.
Though there may be a small fee if you exchange less than a certain amount, your bank or credit union will almost always be the cheapest place to exchange currency. You may be able to order currency at a branch location, by phone, or online to have it delivered to you or to pick up at a branch.
Should You Use Cash or Credit When Traveling to Europe? Most international travelers will end up using a combination of cash and cards when visiting Europe. While credit cards are accepted in most situations, currency can be more convenient for public transportation and small vendors.
So, how much money do you really need for 3 weeks in Europe? While it varies depending on your travel style and destination, a budget of around $2,000 - $5,000 USD should cover your expenses. Of course, this is just a rough estimate - the more you can save, the better!
How many euros should I take to Europe?
To quickly recap, if you are traveling to Europe, you are looking at spending around 120 euros per day on average. However, once you have your itinerary in place (try using our convenient tour builder), you will have a tailored and accurate answer to the ever-relevant question - how much to budget per day in Europe.
More than half of all day-to-day transactions in shops, restaurants, etc. are made using coins and banknotes. Many languages in Europe have expressions such as “cash is king” or “nur Bares ist Wahres” and our survey shows that 60% of citizens want to have the option of using cash.
How Much Spending Money for One Week in Europe? This is so entirely dependent on your own travel preferences that it's tough to estimate but we recommend putting aside roughly €700 to €1700 for spending money for one week in Europe.
|$0 to $30 per day, depending on whether you walk, drive, or use public transportation
|Food & drink
|$25 to $100 per day, depending on whether you are cooking or eating out
|$0 to $100 per day
|$0 to $100 per day
Switzerland is the most expensive country in Europe, and its cost of living is 88.4% higher than the United Kingdom.
Deciding where to go and what to pack is stressful enough, let alone trying to determine how much money you need to bring. The general consensus is that you should have $50 to $100 in cash per day for each traveler. However, this amount could vary considerably depending on where you are vacationing.
What is the cheapest way to get euros in the US? You'll need to compare exchange rates and fees for your bank with currency exchange services such as CXI. But a travel card such as the Wise international debit card can be a cheaper option, offering low fees and fairer, margin-free exchange rates.
Analysts at Bank of America (BoA) are more optimistic and believe that the euro will strengthen against the greenback in 2023. Economists expected EURUSD to strengthen to 1.10 by the end of 2023.
When you are traveling to another country, you can exchange some of your money before you leave home. Doing so gives you time to shop around for the best rate. Plus, when you arrive, you won't have to immediately find a bank or currency exchange.
Debit cards from any major US bank will work in any standard European bank's ATM (ideally, use a debit card with a Visa or MasterCard logo). As for credit cards, Visa and MasterCard are universal, American Express is less common, and Discover is unknown in Europe. Check your cards' expiration dates.
Is it better to exchange money in US or abroad?
Using local banks and exchange offices abroad can be a viable option for currency exchange. Local establishments often offer competitive rates and lower fees compared to airport and hotel services.
What you do need cash for will be: most taxis, markets, cafés, and small convenience stores. Bear in mind that many of these outlets have problems in breaking large bills (€50s or even sometimes €20s), so preferably carry as many small notes (€10s and €5s) and as much loose change with you as you can.
It is cheaper to exchange money at the bank (or by using an ATM) than the airport. That's because currency exchange stores and kiosks at the airports mark up the exchange rate to make a profit.
We'll ask for a valid identification, as part of our verification process. The minimum value of the currency must be $20 USD. Foreign coins are not accepted. You need to have a U.S. Bank deposit account to order foreign currency using mobile or online banking.
Head to your bank or credit union before you leave to avoid paying ATM transaction costs. You may even receive a better exchange rate. Credit unions and banks will exchange your dollars into a foreign currency before and after your trip when you have a checking or savings account with them.