Subscribe Now

travelers today

Home » News

Traveling 101: How To Spend And Get Money While In A Foreign Country

Travelers Today       By    Antranig Dereyan

Updated: Feb 26, 2013 01:17 PM EST

Text Size: A A A

Snow-covered Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris
A tourist boat travels along the River Seine near the snow-covered Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.(Photo : Reuters)

When preparing to travel overseas, money is a big problem.

Many inexperienced travelers take cash with them, and though that is good to spend at the local airport, it issues arise once in the foreign country.

Using exchange centers is only advisable if one wants to lose a large sum of money, due to outrageous fees and/or poor currency exchange value.

The best course of action is to use credit cards or bank ATM cards.

Though, many websites suggest that not everyone accepts credit cards, for example, small shops, most do. 

Share This Story

However, please remember to inform the credit company of the excursion or the card will be decline--if a company knows the card holder lives in the U.S., but then notices the card is being used in Paris, France, it would bring up a flag of fraudulent use. 

 

The statue
The statue "l'Homme" (Man), 1937, by sculptor Pierre Traverse, is seen at the Trocadero gardens across from the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

ATM cards are much easier to use, with machines practically around every corner, sometimes, even two on one street, but, the same rule of telling the bank where you are going still applies. 

Trip Advisor claims that the exchange rates you get at ATMs are, in most cases, pretty much the best/same rate as you would get anywhere (that is, when in doubt, use your ATM card to withdraw cash vs. the hassle of doing a "manual" exchange at one of the thousands of such places that do this and they would be correct.

Their other piece of advise of only going to to ATMs of either large foreign institutions like Citibank, or major national banks is also true because some smaller local banks will not allow U.S. card holders to use their machines.

Another thing to keep in mind is the country visited, some have a reputation of being "suspicious" and even with the credit card company or bank knowing your whereabouts, they still won't allow the usage of the card.

According to Trip Advisor, Russia is one of those "suspicious" countries and for those planning to go to the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, be warned that in July, 2011, due to Russia being on that list financial institution (FI) may "block" usage of cards. You many be able to temporarily unblock the injunction. But, at the present time, be forewarned that you will likely find debit card usage to be limited to (PIN-based) ATM withdrawals only, i.e. not good at merchants, or for cash advances. So, for sure, call your FI before you go so you do not encounter any unpleasant surprises! 

As for the type of card, Visa and MasterCard are widely accepted, while the use of American Express and/or Discover might cause migraines. 

© 2015 Traverlers Today, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.
Join Our Conversation

Travel Tips

Lima, Peru

A Travel Guide to Peru: Things to Know

Peru is a cultural hub filled with unique sights to see, amazing cuisine, a plethora of activities, and is definitely somewhere worth putting on your travel bucket list, but there are a few things to know before planning your trip.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Receive the latest travel news, reviews, and more..

Want more Travel?

Most Popular

Six Thais, one Italian injured in car bomb blast on Thailand's Samui island

Thailand Car Bomb Explosion: Injures 7 In Popular Resort Island, Act Of Islamic Insurgency?

Thailand Car Bomb Explosion – On Friday, a bomb exploded at the Central Festival shopping mall in Samui Island in Surat Thani province, one of the country’s popular resort islands. The Thailand car bomb explosion, which went off in the basement of the mall after a fashion show at 11:30 p.m., injured seven people, according to authorities.

7 died in a plane crash near Bloomington, IL while returning home from NCAA championship game

Bloomington, Il Plane Crash: 7 Dead While Returning From NCAA Tournament, NTSB Investigating

Bloomington, Il Plane Crash – Seven people died after a small plane crash in McLean County, Illinois, near the Bloomington airport Tuesday while on its way home from the NCAA basketball tournament in Indianapolis. Authorities said that two members of Illinois State University's athletic department were amongst those killed in the Bloomington, Il plane crash.

Dozens arrested as violence erupts at Kentucky's basketball celebration

Lexington Fans Arrested: Wildcat Fans Rampage Over Loss, 31 Arrests Made

Lexington Fans Arrested – Following the loss of Wildcats to the Badgers, a number of Wildcat fans were left bewildered over the loss. However, some fans were quite enraged that they took their rage literally with a number of fires spread in the University of Kentucky’s Lexington Campus.

Caribbean Beach

Delaware Family Pesticide: Family In Critical Condition Following Alleged Pesticide Poisoning At Caribbean Resort

Delaware Family Pesticide – What should have been a safe and enjoyable Caribbean getaway turned out to be a deadly one. A family from Delaware is in serious condition following an alleged pesticide poisoning at the Sirenusa Resort on St. John in the US Virgin Islands.

75,000 Solar Workers To Be Trained By 2020, Says Obama

75,000 Solar Workers: To Be Trained By 2020, Says Obama

75,000 solar workers will now be trained due to a new initiative to expand the nation’s solar industry workforce. The launch of the 75,000 solar workers initiative was made by President Obama during a visit to Utah’s Hill Air Force Base on Friday, according to the Washington Post.

Hundreds of fishermen rescued following Indonesian slavery probe

Hundreds Of Fishermen: Rescued From Slavery In Indonesia, Tasered, Beaten, Whipped With Stingray Tails, Forced To Catch Fish For Western Restaurants?

Hundreds of fishermen rescued Friday from an isolated Indonesian island occurred after an investigation by the Associated Press investigation revealed the workers were enslaved to catch seafood possibly ending up in Western restaurants.

U.S. Navy alarmed at Beijing’s ‘Great Wall of sand’ in South China Sea

China’s Great Wall Of Sand In South China Sea, Why Is U.S. Navy Alarmed?

Great Wall Of Sand – China has been building a “Great Wall of sand” with the use of an unparalleled program of land reclamation in the South China Sea. Because of this great wall of sand, many are having "serious questions" about the country’s intentions for it, according to the BBC.

Viktor Leonov docked on a Cuban wharf.

Kamchatka 43 Dead Trawler: Russian Trawler Sinks Off Kamchatka, 54 Confirmed Dead, What Cased Trawler To Sink?

Kamchatka 43 Dead Trawler – A Russian Trawler off the Kamchatka peninsula has reportedly sunk. The trawler reportedly had 132 people on board. 54 of the sailors are confirmed to have died. While 63 of the people have been rescued, 15 people are still missing.

Nepal Rhino Attacks Town in southern Nepal

Viral Video: Giant Rhino Chases Motorcycles, Injures 6 And Kills 1 In Nepal

Viral Video - Giant Rhino Chases Motorcycles – In Nepal, it is not surprising to see rhinoceros in and around the area. However, one surprising event was when one rhinoceros decided to stray from its natural habitat and started chasing motorcycles.

Find Us on Facebook

travelers today

© Copyright 2015 Travelers Today All Rights Reserved.

Subscribe to our newsletter
Real Time Analytics