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In the past I usually have taken several hundred Euros with us and rely on draining my Paypal account to finance our trip and bring home a nest egg for our next vacation. I have a Paypal account because of my ebay activity. When a trip is approaching, I let the funds build up & withdraw the daily maximum (approx. € 300) at an ATM each time I need to get some cash. The transaction cost is minimal - only € 1, and since I am withdrawing my own money, there are no interest charges as with a credit card. However, this time my Paypal account won't be sufficient to finance our expenses over 24 days, especially when there will be 4 of us for 2 weeks. So I've been trying to decide the most efficient way of funding our vacation when we're in France and Italy.

I have contacted two credit card companies to let them know when & where we will be travelling so our cards will not be cut off because of suspicious activity. However, I plan to use the credit cards sparingly, and never as a source of cash.

Several years ago we established a line of credit at a local bank. We have not used it for several years, but it is still an active account. The other day I asked at the bank if there was any way I could tap into my line of credit when I am in Europe. The answer, not surprisingly, was "yes'". And so I acquired a card with a $1000/day & $2,000/week limit with a $3.00 transaction fee. The interest will be approximately 5%, rather than the credit card rate on cash advances.

The other source of Euros will be some $US money that I will convert at a post office in France - the best place to change money in my experience. The value of my $US funds (also from my ebay activity) has declined by approximately 13% over the past year against our Canadian currency - but greenbacks still come in handy in the south of France.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on August 14, 2007 11:11 AM.

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