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Avoid Hidden Extras in Europe

29th May 2018
Europe is full of hidden gems, like the incredible Colosseum in Rome and the soaring Eiffel Tower in Paris! .....OK, so those sites aren’t exactly hidden, but they’re there, and so are unexpected extras on your finances.

We’ve put together a few tips to shine some light on the extras you may come across in Europe. This means you can see the continent in all its enriching beauty and also spot the concealed credit card transaction fee in the glovebox of the taxi you just entered.
Tip 1: There are 28 currencies used in Europe... find out what you'll need

Or even better... you keep planning all the pastries you're going to eat and we can sort this for you! We want you to avoid getting stung with a heap of ATM withdrawal fees as you jump countries, therefore our experts can help you figure out whether you need to carry  Great British pound, Hungarian forint, or Norwegian krone (and we don’t mean piggybacking an old lady).
Tip 1: Lock in a favourable exchange rate
You heard that right. With a pre-paid Travel Money card, like the Multi-currency Cash Passport you load up to 9 currencies, lock in your exchange rate the day you load currency* and it's accepted everywhere you see the Mastercard sign (so, millions of locations!). 
By locking in your exchange rate when you load, you can avoid unfavourable exchange rates and get more spending money up your sleeve to pay for those 5 extra croissants you know you'll want! Plus a pre-paid travel money card gives you more flexibility and security when travelling, cash for the markets and smaller transcations and your card for larger items - easy!
Tip 3: Check for a service fee on your bill before you tip
Good news is, you don't have to tip everyone, this isn't the US! There are cases however when it's polite to give a 5-10% tip if you've received good service.
But before you dive into your wallet, check if there's a service fee already included on your bill. You don't want to tip twice now, do you? 
Tip 4: Happy Hagglin’
Haggling is as foreign to Kiwis as berets and wooden shoes. But it’s quite common in Europe. So much so that some merchants will display a higher price than they expect to receive. This can be an unfortunate trick for tourists. Not every European country is the same however, nor is each market you'll come across.

Generally, we'd recommend the below..

1. Don't be afraid to ask -  if you don't ask, you don't get!
2. Aim for a win-win. Haggling should leave both parties feeling like winners. 
3. Learn a couple of local phrases. Not only will this add to the fun, but will show the vendor that you mean business!

Read more of our haggling tips here!
Tip 5. Book your transport in advance 
Although it’s exciting to not know your next destination, try to figure it out before you get stuck paying for an overpriced train ticket.
In Europe it's common for tickets to be much cheaper in advance and reasonably inflated the day of departure. 

Pick up your Cash Passport or European currencies and heaps more travel money tips in any of our 20+ stores. Or, buy your cash online today and collect locally when it suits!

This blog is provided for information only and does not take into consideration your objectives, financial situation or needs.  You should consider whether the information and suggestions contained in any blog entry are appropriate for you, having regard to your own objectives, financial situation and needs.  While we take reasonable care in providing the blog, we give no warranties or representations that it is complete or accurate, or is appropriate for you.  We are not liable for any loss caused, whether due to negligence or otherwise, arising from use of, or reliance on, the information and/or suggestions contained in this blog.  The Multi-currency Cash Passport is an unsecured debt security issued by Travelex Card Services Limited, a member of the Travelex Group. Multi-currency Cash Passport is not guaranteed by any member of the Travelex Group or any other entity. Before you make a decision to acquire a Multi-currency Cash Passport card, we recommend you to read the Multi-currency Cash Passport prospectus which is available free of charge from MasterCard® and the MasterCard Brand Mark are registered trademarks of MasterCard International Incorporated. Before you load or reload foreign currencies onto the MCCP, please check for the latest currencies supported. Any advice does not take into account your personal needs, financial circumstances or objectives and you should consider if it is appropriate for you. +The prevailing exchange rate is locked in for the initial load value only. Subsequent card reloads will be processed at the then prevailing exchange rate on the day of the reload transaction.