FAQ : How much

 

                                                               What does it cost ?

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  Confraternity of Saint James of South Africa

  http://www.csjofsa.za.org/

  

  What does it cost to walk the Camino?

 

- If you plan to sleep at refugios and eat budget meals or cook for yourself, you can easily survive on 15 - 20 € per day.

- An average of 25 € would allow you to eat reasonably at the bars, and over 35 € per day would be necessary to live in the hostals or more comfortable accommodation.

- This does not include any transport costs.

- Prices in the villages are generally a lot lower than cities, so if you are on a limited budget, try to stay out of the larger centres.

 

- Most of the small café-bars, village shops, side-of-the-road sellers etc don't accept credit (visa) cards or travellers cheques, so you will need to carry a certain amount of cash with you.

- There are ATM's in many villages, towns and cities along the way, so having your credit card activated for this is ideal.

- Just remember that they mostly use a four pin number, so if you have a five pin number, use the first four digits.

- The other reason why credit cards are useful is that banks are often closed in the afternoons, making it difficult to arrive in a suitable place at the right time to change money.

- Just a word of advice - certain banks will not let you access cash on your card (even in an emergency such as losing your traveller's cheques etc) unless you have deposited money into your account, even if you have not overdrawn your credit rating - check this out before leaving home!

- Credit (visa) cards can usually be used in hotels and upmarket restaurants, but confirm before ordering/booking in!

- Traveller's cheques can be a problem for small banks that do not have foreign exchange.

 

- caminodesantiago.consumer.es - estimates that approximately €1 for every 1km walked. For example, to walk from St Jean to Santiago - 750 km you would need €750

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  American Pilgrims FAQs          

  http://www.americanpilgrims.com/camino/faqs.html

 

  How much is it likely to cost me on the Camino?

- Obviously the answer to this question will depend on numerous personal choices.

- Will you be staying in albergues most of the time or will you be looking for hotels and hostales? Maybe you've had your eye on the five-star paradores along the route. Do you plan on using cooking facilities in the albergues when they present themselves or will you be eating out every meal?

- We will here assume that you will be staying in albergues and will be eating out for your main meal of the day.

- Private albergues will be set-price and you might expect 6 to 10 euros; you should try to leave a nice donation at those that are donativo.

- The menú del día will run you maybe 12 euros +/-. The mid-morning café con leche and a pastry about 4. Find a tienda for some lunch to be eaten sitting on the side of the road - another 4.

- Odds and ends arbitrarily 5. That makes roughly 32 euros.

- Can you do it for less? Absolutely! More? Absolutely! (Want to know how many U.S. greenbacks it will take to buy one of those euros? See the graphic in the next entry.)

 

  How can I obtain cash while I'm on the Camino?

- You will be using cash (euros) for the most part, not your credit cards. ATMs, where you can use a debit card to obtain cash, can be found at airports, in cities and in larger towns. Be sure that you have registered a PIN before you go and you should be aware that some systems will accept a four-digit PIN but not a six-digit one.

- Also you should notify your card-issuing companies of your travels before leaving.

The current exchange rate (cost of a euro in dollars) is displayed below :

http://finance.ua/cgi-bin/fip.cgi?currency=eur/usd&source=nbu&lang=en

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  Confraternity of St James : Planning your pilgrimage: some practical tips

  http://www.csj.org.uk/planning.htm

  

  How much should I allow each day ?

- Obviously this depends on where you choose to stay, and how well you choose to eat.  

- As a minimum - assuming you stay in the gites d'étape in France and the refugios in Spain, picnic at lunchtime, and cook your own evening meal in the gite or refugio kitchen - allow €25/£22 per head per day in France, and €20/£17 in Spain.

- Another calculation suggests that you should allow, overall, €1 for every 1km. We'd welcome improvements on these figures, based on up-to-date experience.

- John and Elizabeth Hungerford sent us this account, based on their experience of the Camino Francés in early summer 2009:

Albergue  €5.98 We always stayed in an albergue - and we always made a donation at the religious ones.

Dinner  €8.32 We ate the pilgrims menu/menu del dia every night (except for two occasions when we cooked in the albergue).

Other food and drink  €7.25 Breakfast and lunch.  Most days we had a coffee/cool drink for morning tea - and often had a drink at a bar before dinner.

Other items  €3.87 This included internet, chemist (some innersoles etc), entrance fees, and a poncho as well as miscellaneous items.

Total   €25.42  per person per day.

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  Confraternity of St James : Frequently Asked Questions  

  http://www.csj.org.uk/faqs.htm

       

  How much does it cost, and how do I get money ?

- Difficult to say how much it will cost, because needs/expectations vary so much, but we have included some guidance on our Planning your Pilgrimage page: http://www.csj.org.uk/planning.htm#cost

- Hole-in-the-wall cash dispensers, accepting all the standard credit and debit cards, are widely available in both France and Spain, generally giving you the choice of addressing them in English. You shouldn't ever need to carry more than a few days' worth of euros.

- The chip-and-PIN system is spreading: remember your PIN for your credit as well as your debit cards.

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                                                        Money (Banking)

                                                Richard W. Tripp, Jr. 2011

 

   http://www.aromasysabores.com/camino/planning_your_trip.html   

 

- There are two aspects to money for planning a trip - How much should I plan to spend and How do I safely carry that with me?

 

  Estimated Costs

- All expenses will be paid for with euros, symbol €. As of July 2011, the exchange rate is 1 € costs 1.42 US dollars.

- Albergue costs range from donations to 5 to 12 euros per person per night. The higher fees were for private albergues but were also for smaller, and thus less crowded, dormitories. Small hotels with private rooms ran from 30 to 60 euros and up.

- Pilgrim menus (three courses, bread, water and wine) ranged from 8 to 10 euros. There are often fancier menus available for more. Breakfasts, consisting of coffee and toast or sweet breads ran from 3 to 6 euros. Water, cokes, and beer are the same - running from 1.20 to 1.50 euros. Fresh squeezed orange juice was 1.50 to 2 euros.

- Prices for food and albergues increased closer to Santiago, particularly those within the last 100 kilometers.

 

  Estimated Daily Expenses

- The daily expenses shown above can be cut somewhat but will easily increase for those who decide to sleep in places other than refugios or eat more lavish meals. A room in a modest pension will range from 30 to 60 € and up; one in a four star hotel could run 300 € or more. Dinner in a modest restaurant can cost 18 to 25 €, while an outstanding meal in a very good restaurant, with wine, could run 100 €.

 

  Carrying and Replenishing Money

- As you can see above, most of your expenses are small and will be made under circumstances where you will pay in cash. I have travelled in Europe and elsewhere since 1984 and find that travelers checks are more trouble than they are worth. Automated Teller Machines (ATM) are available in all but the smallest towns. Most are part of the Cirrus and PLUS networks and will accept your U.S. bank card (also known as check card, ATM card or debit card) and provide local currency with a favorable exchange rate. Most machines offer a variety of languages, including English, to use during the transaction. However, recent changes within the banking and credit card industry may result in additional fees. This is dependent on the bank. You should check with the bank issuing your card as to what fees are involved with your use of it overseas.

- There is an additional complication that I recently (March 2011) became aware of. For increased security, European Banks now issue debit and credit cards that carry an embedded chip. Businesses have switched over to using machines that use these. As part of their anti-fraud measures, you are seldom asked to give an employee your card for them to swipe. If you are at a restaurant, your waiter will bring a portable card reader to your table with the amount of your bill already entered. You cannot add a tip to the total. Your card is swiped and you will be asked to OK the total and enter a PIN. Note: The PIN for this is not the Cash Back PIN. If you have a normal US credit/debit card without a chip, you do not have a PIN. Since I did not have a PIN, I just hit the OK with no PIN entered. It usually worked. In other places that did not work and I had to switch to cash. Here are links to more information about this issue.

* Smart Card

  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smart_card

* Chip and PIN  

  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chip_and_PIN

* JP Morgan & Wells Fargo Announcement

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1377730/

Credit-cards-security-boost-big-U-S-banks-announce-introduction-chip-pin.html

- If you have any questions about your ATM card, check with your bank in advance of your departure from home. Ensure you know how to contact them if you encounter problems using your card. Use your card before you leave home and again shortly after arrival, even if you do not need the money, solely to verify that everything works as advertised. In this way, if there is a problem, you can correct it before you find yourself in financial extremis.

- For credit cards, it is important to let your bank know that you will be traveling in Spain, especially if you do don't often leave the country. They may assume the card is being used fraudulently and block further use until you call. This can present serious problems and cause unnecessary worry.

- If you encounter problems, do not panic. Over the years in traveling overseas, I have occasionally encountered problems with one ATM only to find that another had no problems or the next day the same machine would work fine. In one instance when I could not wait, my problem was resolved when I entered the bank and talked to a teller. He was able to use my card to withdraw funds for me. There was no additional fee involved.

- You do not need to exchange money before you leave the US. Currency exchange counters exist at the airport and in city centers. There are ATM machines in the airports, train stations, and all shopping centers and shopping areas. They are safe to use as long as you do not place yourself in a vulnerable position while you are withdrawing money from the ATM. i.e., do not make a withdrawal from a sidewalk machine without having someone else to see who is watching you.

- If you use an alphabetic PIN, translate the letters into numbers before you go. ATM key pads will only display numbers, and few European telephone keypads include letters to help you remember how to convert ANNE to 2663. If you are used to remembering the PIN by the physical positions of the number buttons, there is another problem. In some instances, the key pads are rearranged more like those on a computer than a telephone, i.e., the top row is 789 vice 123.

- In addition, “plastic money” works very well in Europe. American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard, and Visa credit cards are widely accepted. As far as hotels, stores and shops and other retail businesses go, you can expect to encounter only a few places that work on a cash only basis. However, hostals, restaurants and small businesses in small towns and villages may be used to working on a cash basis and will not accept credit cards.

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                                                                       20/01/2013

delhommeb at wanadoo.fr