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Avoid Hidden Extras in Europe

11th February 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.
Thanks to the European Union bringing the euro to dozens of countries, you won’t have countless currencies to sift through when you purchase a soft German pretzel. However, with 28 currencies used in Europe, you’ll have to plan in advance whether you need to carry a Great British pound, Hungarian forint, or Norwegian krone (and we don’t mean piggybacking an old lady). You’ll have to watch out for ATM withdrawal fees; you can never be sure what areas will charge super high rates. Be smart with the amount of cash you take over and how much money you withdraw each time. This keeps you from paying a fee each day.
It’s important to have the security of card for all your big spends.Travel Money Oz Currency Pass is an easy and reliable option that allows you to load up to 10 separate currencies, giving you a seamless financial transition between European countries. If you need more funds on your bank card for a quick transaction, you could be caught with a surprisingly high exchange rate. Our Currency Pass lets you lock in your exchange rate+ when you load money on it. The app also lets you reload funds on the go, review your balance, and make transfers. Pretty nifty, no?
3. Tipping
Yes, you’re in a fancy new country, but that doesn’t mean every waiter will expect you to hand over some loose change after a spicy meat’a’ball. Don’t get into a habit of tipping everyone and everything, because the tipping culture isn’t really that big in Europe. This ain’t the US. There are cases, however, when it’s polite to give a 5-10% tip if you’ve received pleasant table service. But before you dive into your travel wallet, check if there’s a service fee already included on your bill. You don’t want to tip twice now, do you?
4. Happy Hagglin’
Haggling is as foreign to Aussies 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. Save yourself from getting ripped off by deciding how much you value something in your mind (that includes profit for the seller – they may have a family of 12 to look after). Then you reach a fair compromise. It helps to research haggling for the specific countries you intend to visit. For accommodation, don’t be afraid to suggest a lower price if you plan to stay in a hostel for a long time. Try negotiating a weekly rate to lower your costs and avoid the higher per-night rate.
5. Transport
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. Do your research on where you’re going and what transport you’ll need to take. That way you can book in advance, get the right tickets and passes ready, and not get surprisingly inflated fares when you’re there.
For more information on spotting hidden extras and how you can make the most out of your money overseas, contact our travel money experts today.

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. +For more info click here. MasterCard Prepaid Management Services Australia Pty Ltd (ABN 47 145 452 044, AFSL 386 837) arranges for the issue of the Travel Money Oz Currency Pass in conjunction with the issuer, Heritage Bank Limited (ABN 32 087 652 024, AFSL 240 984). You should consider the Product Disclosure Statement for the relevant product available at www. before deciding to acquire the product. Any advice does not take into account your personal needs, financial circumstances or objectives and you should consider if it is appropriate for you. MasterCard® and the MasterCard Brand Mark are registered trademarks of MasterCard International Incorporated.