Boulder City Magazine® March 2007 Issue
by Ihla Crowley
Let's Talk Money
One of the concerns we have about travel is what to do about money. Short answers to some frequently asked questions follow. More advice and details can be found on my website, www.driftersister.com.
Boulder City Magazine®
|Will I need foreign currency before I leave? In most cases, the answer is no. However, you might like to arrive with a little in your pocket for cab fare to your hotel. Options include getting some delivered right to your door by www.oanda.com (free delivery, but exchange fees apply), or from your bank there will be a fee charged, and you should give them at least a week’s notice.
The best way to get foreign currency is from an ATM machine in your destination country. The most common networks are Cirrus (800-424-7787, www.mastercard.com), and Plus (800-843-7587, www.visa.com). Check the back of your card to find your network and then call or check on-line for locations at your destination. NOTE: Foreign ATM machines accept 4-number PINs only. If your PIN is longer, you will need to change it before you go.
Will I need foreign money in airports? As you depart, the answer is no, because you can use your credit card to pay for meals, etc. As you return, however, it is a good place to get rid of your leftover foreign currency. In addition to meals or snacks, you might want to buy little souvenirs.
What is the best way to pay for things? Credit cards are the best for hotels, meals, and more costly souvenirs. You will have a record of all your expenses, and they usually give you the best exchange rates. Be aware that most now charge a 1% to 2% fee. To avoid rejections, notify your credit card company of your impending trip abroad. NOTE: Credit cards are NOT the best way to get your foreign currency. For currency conversion, most banks charge an additional 2% fee above the fee charged by the credit card company.
Traveler’s checks offer a measure of safety, but have become less necessary because of ATM machines. They are best used to pay directly for things. If you use them to exchange for currency, stiff fees might be involved.
Bottom line. There is no free ride. Be ready to add the cost of obtaining money into your travel budget.
Learn more at www.driftersister.com.
Catch the wind…
Taste the rain…
And touch all of your tomorrows…
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