Dollars and Cents

How much money and what currency should you take?

One of the most asked question I receive is about money. How much do I take? What funds do I take? Can I use ATM? Can I use credit cards?



Cash….I take $500.00 (for myself and my husband…we split the amount to carry between us) in the currency of country I am visiting. In Europe the Euro is used in most of the countries I visit. Most B&B’s and similar establishments want cash. Many places will only take cash. Some offer discount if you pay cash.

SNAP EASY TIP: Get a receipt if paying for your room or large item in cash. You don’t want to be accused later of not paying. If they are too busy to give you a receipt wait to hand over the money.

ATM…..these are plentiful in most places in the world. Notify bank you are traveling. Make sure you have a 4 number pin. Be careful to use well lighted and well traveled ATM’s. If traveling with a partner let your partner watch for potential thieves as you withdraw. Safest looking spots I have found is inside a bank foyer.Your bank will charge you a fee for every withdrawal. However, I feel that the fees charged are a small price to pay for the insurance of not having a large amount of money stolen or lost. You only need to take out a few days cash at a time. Less worry about losing it.

SNAP EASY TIP: Don’t wait until you are completely out of cash to try and locate a ATM. You will run into situations where you can’t locate one or the one you locate won’t work. In Honduras three ATM’s in a row were out of order! Have a foreign amount equivalent to $100.00 US back up on hand at all times. Adjust this as you get close to departure so that you don’t take home foreign currency. If you have a special item that will need to be paid such as a room, make sure you get the funds in plenty of time before it is due.

Credit Cards….Visa and Mastercard are more accepted than AMEX. Notify company you are traveling. Make sure you have a 4 number pin. I use these in restaurants. It is to your advantage for the establishment to charge you in their currency. Your bank will give you a better exchange rate than the establishment.

SNAP EASY TIP: In most situations deals are made better with cash. It is hard to turn away your $10.00 Euro bill you are holding out when they are asking $12.00 Euros. Some accommodations I have stayed at gave me a cash price and a credit card price. Up to 10 Euros discount per night for cash.

Where do I carry all this?

Money Belt….I like the one that is meant to wear attached by its loops to a belt then flipped over inside a skirt or pants. I don’t wear belts so I pin the loop securely to the underside of my waist band.

You can keep your cash (except for a small portion) in this pouch. After you are in your destination country you can also carry your passport there as well. Only access this pouch in a private place so that thieves do not see you.

Put your day’s or half day’s cash in your shoulder bag or wallet for easy access without showing all your cash at once. If your bag is stolen you still have your main store of cash safe. Replenish from the money belt in a private place such as your room or a restroom if out and about.

The ones that hang from your neck and go under your top are awkward to me. The strap shows and it is a big bulge in the front of your top.