Money and Travel - How to Get and Exchange Money When Traveling
have to have money to travel. The question is what is the best way of
carrying it while minimizing the risk of losing it or having it stolen.
The tips below will help you understand the different means of taking
or accessing money while traveling abroad.
It is wise not
to carry large amounts of cash. You should take most
of your money in traveler's checks and remember to record the serial number,
denomination and the date and location of the issuing bank or agency. Keep this
information in a safe and separate place so, if you lose your traveler's checks,
you can quickly get replacements.
Some credit cards can be used worldwide, even for cash advances. Keep track
of your credit card purchases so that you do not exceed your limit. Travelers
have been arrested overseas for mistakenly exceeding their credit limit! Leave
all unnecessary credit cards at home. Record the numbers of the credit cards
that you do bring, and keep the list separately from the cards.
You should immediately report the loss or theft of your credit cards or traveler's
checks to the credit card companies and to the local police. If you plan to
stay in one place for some time, you might consider opening an account for check
cashing and other transactions at a U.S. bank that has an overseas affiliate.
U.S. embassies and consulates cannot
cash checks for you.
Before leaving on your trip, you may wish to check with your bank to see if
the country or countries that you plan to visit have Automated Teller Machine
(ATM) service. The bank should be able to tell you if you can use your ATM card
during your trip abroad.
Prepare for Emergency Funds
It is a good idea to keep the telephone number of your bank in the United
States with you, in case you run out of cash and need to transfer money. In
some countries, major banks and certain travel agencies can help arrange a transfer
of funds from your account to a foreign bank. If you do not have a bank account
from which you can obtain emergency funds, you should make arrangements in advance
with a relative or friend to send you emergency funds should it become necessary.
If you find yourself destitute, contact the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate
for assistance in arranging a money wire transfer from a relative or friend
in the United States.
Before departing, you may wish to purchase small amounts of foreign currency
to use for buses, taxis, phones, or tips when you first arrive. Foreign exchange
facilities at airports may be closed when your flight arrives. You can purchase
foreign currency at some U.S. banks, at foreign exchange firms, at foreign exchange
windows, or even at vending machines in many international airports in the United
Some countries regulate the amount of local currency that you can bring into
or take out of the country; others require that you exchange a minimum amount
of currency. For currency regulations, check with a bank, a foreign exchange
firm, your travel agent, or the embassy or consulate of the countries that you
plan to visit.
If you leave or enter the United States with more than $10,000 in monetary
instruments of any kind, you must file a report, Customs Form 4790
U.S. Customs at the time. Failure to comply can result in civil and criminal
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