Friday, February 19, 2010

Travel Tips: Money Matters

Money is a delicate subject. The exchange rate at the moment is not the best as it changes continiously for the last few weeks(1 Euro= $1.35 to $1.59). And yes, it is possible to travel in Europe on a small budget. The best way to use your money is to have a debit card; this allows you to withdraw money from any ATM machine with only being charged a small withdrawal fee. The fee differs between banks. Be sure to call your bank before your departure to tell them where you are going and for how long so they won't freeze your account. The debit cards given by the bank has the compatibility of Visa, MasterCard, however, Visa is the most widely accepted worldwide. If you bring cash, you can exchange it but you will lose more money as they charge for their services. Most places in Europe won't accept traveler's checks anymore. Also, be prepared to pay for water and a fee for restroom use (between 30 to 70 Euro cent). Last not least, there are no free refills on soft drinks in Europe which is why most Europeans ask for little to no ice in their drinks.
Remember that two meals daily are covered as part of the WRA Incantato Tour - breakfast and usually dinner, sometimes a lunch instead. In addition, we suggest you have some spending money available and our recommendation is around 12 to 15 Euro per day for the meal not included, snacks, drinks, postcards, some souvenirs. It is not imperative that you have this amount of money. There are many ways to lower your expenses such as:
· Most restaurants have menus outside so you can check their price range.
· Venture off the main roads to find a restaurant. These usually have more character, better food, and better prices.
· Bring your own water bottle. Most places have good and safe tap water to fill up with.
· Buy food from the "convenient" stores. You don't have to sit down in the restaurant for every meal.
· Shop around for souvenirs; many stores have the same things on sale for very different prices. Sometimes you may even be able to use your haggling skills for a real bargain. This is particularly true when buying from street vendors. But be careful, if it is too much of a bargain, you may not be buying a real fancy bag, but just a knock-off - Versaze instead of Versace ; )

Last not least, remember that your Incantato Tour Manager Stefania is with you pretty much 24/7 and as a native of Italy and also a highly skilled professional, she is there to help you make the right choices.

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