Re: Cash and Taxis and Smart Phones
From: Dan Oren (dorenaya.yale.edu)
Date: Fri, 23 Mar 2018 04:07:08 -0700 (PDT)
Elaine Allen and others have asked me to follow-up on my post yesterday specifically regarding Cash and Taxis and Smart Phones.

Without repeating all the questions, I’ll give a few short answers:

1) If you arrive at Warsaw airport without cash, you should be able to find a SUPER or SAWA taxi at the taxi stand that will accept a credit card to get you to your hotel. You should also be able to withdraw cash at a fair rate from your home bank via the Bank PEKAO ATM in Warsaw’s airport. Your hotel can direct you to the nearest “KANTOR” (change) shop to exchange currency for Polish Zlotys at a fair exchange rate or to the nearest Bank with an ATM to withdraw cash from your home bank at a fair exchange rate.

2) Some people prefer to exchange currency via their home bank before leaving home. It is all a matter of your own comfort in traveling.

3) For phone use on short international stays, it is often convenient and not so expensive to use whatever international plan your telephone carrier offers. Check directly with them. (AT&T for example has an excellent $10 a day plan for its US customers, but I’m sure other carriers have similar deals.) You might save some money by getting a replacement SIM card for your phone (if it is “unlocked”) but the hassle of not understanding the Polish-language instructions and finding someone to help you with that process and understanding the plan might not be worth the savings, especially for a short trip and especially if you are not competent in the Polish language. Another option is to use the free or low cost Skype service in areas with Wi-Fi. The advantage these days of regular smartphone cell service anywhere these days is that you can easily make phone calls, call an Uber or taxi, find the time and location of the bus or Metro or tram that will take you to your desired destination using the “Moovit” application with great ease and low cost.

4) I have no expertise in Ukraine travel. But if you are not a Ukrainian-speaker (or fluent in a language such as Polish or Ukrainian), I would strongly suggest arranging a Ukrainian-fluent guide to assist you on your travels there. Others surely know more. Our IAJGS facebook group
https://www.facebook.com/groups/IAJGS/ has a number people who have joined who are talking about Ukraine-travel and that might be a resource to find others to share a Ukraine (or Poland) adventure and company.

Sincerely,
Dan Oren, M.D.
Woodbridge, Connecticut USA

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