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currency

#1
Is there a need to obtain Euros before getting to Bordeaux? I hate to think of traveling with US dollars to get me out of the States, a few pounds to get through 6 hours at Gatwick and then Euros that I'll finally need from Bordeaux on. Since I don't have a place to obtain Euros locally, I hoped they'd be readily available in Bordeaux or that I could get by on a few dollars until I found a money exchange. Any suggestions??? Thanks.
 

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Deirdre

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés (2007), Camino Francés (2008), Camino Portugués (2010), Camino Aragonés - from Lourdes (2012)
#2
ATM machines are readily available throughout Spain - although I can't speak for rural France, I suspect you will have no problem obtaining Euros once you arrive. I would suggest, however, letting your bank know that you will be using the card in Europe. If they spot unusual European withdrawals they will flag the card and not allow it's use - you have to call the bank to get it released and that is much more of a problem. Just let your bank know and they will note on your account to expect European ATM use during your travel dates.
Buen Camino
 

ivar

Administrator
Staff member
#3
marniedent said:
Is there a need to obtain Euros before getting to Bordeaux? I hate to think of traveling with US dollars to get me out of the States, a few pounds to get through 6 hours at Gatwick and then Euros that I'll finally need from Bordeaux on. Since I don't have a place to obtain Euros locally, I hoped they'd be readily available in Bordeaux or that I could get by on a few dollars until I found a money exchange. Any suggestions??? Thanks.
I think I would just skip getting pounds if you are just staying at the airport. "All" places at the airport accept a VISA card... just use that to pay for your lunch/food/etc.

Buen camino,
Ivar
 
#4
Thanks for the info on London, Ivar. I am guessing that there is an ATM machine at Bordeaux airpot and if not I could use dollars until I find one???
 

ivar

Administrator
Staff member
#5
I have never been to the Bordeaux airport, but I am 99% sure they have an ATM there. You will most likely not be able to use dollars (cash) in europe. But at the airports (London and Bordeaux) they most likely have an exchange office if you need to change your dollars into pounds/euro. I would still try to use the card as much as possible, since they charge you quite a bit to exchange money at these exchange offices.

Also a tip would be to check with your bank how much they charge you for taking out money in europe. That would give you an idea of how often you feel comfortable going to take out money in the ATM.

So if you bring a few dollars and one (or two, one for backup) debit/credit cards (Visa or Master card are best) you should be just fine.

Buen camino,
Ivar
 

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Artemis

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2006, Camino Portuguese 2009
#7
We flew into Bordeaux and were able to get some euros at the airport. There is a bus at the airport that will take you into Bordeaux. We missed the bus so a man at the airport arranged for a van to take us and two other couples to our hotels. I think it was 6 euro each.
 

vinotinto

Active Member
#8
marniedent said:
Is there a need to obtain Euros before getting to Bordeaux?
I sort of began my trek in Bordeaux (stayed there for 3 nights, got my credencial and first stamp at the tourist office in the train station, and did some last-minute shopping). It's a decent-sized city with plenty of ATMs & banks, so there's no issue w/getting cash there. And there's lots of pilgrim history in Bordeaux as well - check out the main square with the big archway, and at least one of the cathedrals to find the scallop shell & info on how the site relates to the Camino. Since I didn't have a good map of the Way from Bordeaux to SJPDP, I aborted my plan of starting there & instead began in SJPDP. By the way, Bayonne is a nice town as well - I spent a day/night there and also got Euros at a local ATM.

As Deirdre mentioned, before leaving the US you should inform your bank & credit card companies of 1) what countries you'll be visiting, and 2) how long you'll be there. You should also keep a copy of your credit card numbers and credit card phone contact numbers just in case they are lost/stolen and you have to report them. Buen Camino! :arrow:
 

oursonpolaire

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002, Toulouse/Aragon 2005, Cami S Jaume/Aragon 2007/9, Mont Saint Michel/Norte/Vadiniense 2011, Norte/Primitivo 2013, Norte/Primitivo 2014. Norte 2015, Cami S Jaume/Castellano-Aragonese 2016
#9
I can confirm that there is an ATM at Bordeaux airport (or at least there was in 2005)-- my practice (flying out of Canada) is to get euros at an airport ATM when I land in Europe, and use them as I go along. Canadian banks have lately imposed a piratical foreign exchange surcharge for foreign currency credit card transactions, and so I lean toward using cash for many expenses rather than charging them. Either way, Marniedent will have no trouble as almost every pueblo has an ATM machine. Do note, however, that there are no ATMs between Astorga and Ponferrada-- in 2005, the Casa de Reloj in Molinaseca kindly took my IOU and I was able to deposit the sum owing in their account in Ponferrada a day later.
 
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