I Need Advice About Kids Handling Cash While in Europe

11 02 2009

Anybody? We’re having a teachable moment and need to make arrangements very soon for two young female backpackers with a Eurail pass visiting several different countries, without credit cards or bank accounts of their own.

When I went back in the 80s, it was all travelers checks plus my credit card, but I was an adult. Before the Euro (does that make it better or worse now?) and there were no online service models then, are there now? They won’t be taking laptops but can access internet cafes in some places, if that matters. So does anyone know from experience, or at least know of a forum or something where we can get some recommendations, about what works and what doesn’t, pros and cons of different methods, etc?

Unschooling Europe tag

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11 responses

11 02 2009
writestuff444

JJ, Last summer, on Em’s away trip, we purchased a debit card for Em from our bank. I was able to add to it when she called for more funds. We intentionally did not keep a large balance on it. just what she needed for a few days. And then I’d add more funds to it via the bank. I think we could have added funds up to 25 times? or something like that. We added funds about 6 times in the three weeks she was gone. It worked great. However there is a fee for each time she used it..so what she did was do a cash withdrawal every two days or so instead of using it for purchases. It worked great for us.

11 02 2009
JJ

Exactly what I was wondering Betty, thanks! So I need to see if my big corporate bank has that capability — probably does. Any chance my local credit union would though, do you think?

11 02 2009
Meg

When Boy went with his grandmother to England, we were told to get a VISA check card for him.

You get the best exchange rates, they can pull out cash at any time, they can use it like a charge card.

And we could reload it over the web if he’d had an emergency and needed cash.

I believe it also has VISA’s $50 liability coverage if it’s lost.

11 02 2009
writestuff444

That’s what Em’s card was, a VISA check card that we would reload when she needed it.

11 02 2009
JJ

`Ooh, excellent Meg, thanks!

11 02 2009
JJ

How long does it take from the first application, to actually get a Visa check card? And for that matter, how does one apply?

11 02 2009
JJ

We (DH and I) already have a Visa credit card, if that matters?

12 02 2009
writestuff444

No this is different. It’s a VISA Check card designed to be reloaded as needed with specific amount of money to limit liability. and to keep her on the budget that you guys set with her. Em knew she had specific amount each day..and that she had to work within those parameters. But we definitely don’t recommend she use it as a debit or credit in restaurants, stores because each time it is used, there is a fee and those fees can add up fast. Em would just withdraw about 50.00 every few days and used cash as she needed it, unless it was a larger purchase, but I doubt that backpacking girls would need that much..How cool. Em has talked about doing this..but she has to work this summer!

12 02 2009
Meg

We just went to our local bank and left with it.

12 02 2009
JJ

Gee, and I thought I needed to start now for summer. 🙂

20 03 2009
Favorite Daughter Blogs Again, Almost in French! « Cocking A Snook!

[…] you know, FavD is spending a month backpacking in Europe this summer for real, mainly among the French-speaking parts (France and Belgium) so we’ll see what she has to say […]

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