Some of the most frequently questions I get asked is: How should I get cash? Should I purchase the local currency prior to departure? How should I purchase and pay? What are the surcharges?
Money… No matter how much you have prepaid you will still need some local cash. The best way is to use your bank machine with an ATM card. Use ATM machines wherever possible to get cash. Remember that the bank machine will be dispersing cash in the local currency, not US dollars if you are over seas. While there are some transactions fees involved, invariably you will get the best currency conversion rate.
Currently, there is either a 3% or a $5 – $10 surcharge. This may apply when using your ATM card or a debit card. Your regular credit cards may also have similar charges. Some banks waive the fees if you withdraw from their global alliance. Call your bank before you travel to learn more and your bank can give you all these details.
A couple safety suggestions:
– Photo copy your credit cards and take in a separate location. (It is also a good idea to photo copy your passport.)
– Make sure you know the bank telephone numbers to call from where ever you are going.
– Let the bank and your credit card companies know where you will be traveling to and when.
– Carry more than one copy of your bank/ATM card. Request a duplicate from the bank if you do not have two now.
– Carry two credit cards and keep in two separate places.
And lastly carry all money and credit cards as close to your skin as you can! Forget the belly packs, back packs and other external baggage.
Try to purchase a little something while you are away so you can display it on a table or mantle to remind you of your fantastic holiday!
What’s the coolest or most treasured souvenir that you have from your travels?