money matters - RTW
Hey All.
I`m off on a RTW trip in November for 6 months (yee-haa!), and wanted to ask...
what's best to do with money... i.e. pay most things by credit card and keep track on the net and pay month bills from bank account over net?? Or... get a load of cash in travellers cheques and pay that way?? I`m obviously taking some amount in travellers cheques, but should I be taking lots to cover all costs when on hols??
These days, travellers cheques are pretty good for security if they are lost or stolen aren`t they?? They get replaced quick and easy don`t they?

Anyway, if anyone has any advice on how they travelled RTW and delt with money matters, that would be an ace help.
Thanks in advance.
Ray in bonnie scotland.
a load of travellers cheques would be a good way - if you lose them they replace them and you can pick them up at local offices. Of course taking a credit card as backup is a good idea (but not everywhere excepts credit cards so you can't rely on them totally). You can always get more travellers cheques qhilst you are abroad if you dont have enough.Many countries (you dont say where you are going) have atms also so you can always just with draw cash if you have a switch/maestro card too (you get charged for this). As a backup I always keep at least a 50$ note inside my belt (one of those belts with a concealed zip on the back.

Enjoy your trip!
I just want to emphasize: They do not accept traveller checks everywhere!!! I am in Argentina at the moment and traveller checks are perfectly useless here. They donīt accept them nowhere!
So far my ATM card with the Maestro sign was really useful on the road. Yes, you pay a little fee, but you also get the currency you want and don`t need change money (and pay for this...).

travelers checks are a pain. in many places they are not accepted or there is a huge fee to change them to local currency.

Suggest you carry two cards at a minimum in case one is lost, stolen or eaten by an ATM machine. Consider on card as a preloaded card and the other a debit or check card which you can use to transfer money to the preloaded card.

ATMs can give you local currency or in some cases euros or USdollars which is nice when leaving a country.

#2 Maestro should be the same as Mastercard.

The two big cards are VISA and Mastercard. Both have ATM locaters online. I suggest that you carry one card of each or check for locations in the countries that you intend to visit.


Go for the plastic money! One Visa and one Mastercard should do the trick in most places. Just bring a moderate amount of money in travelers checks just in case. And maybe a couple of hundred US dollars in cash. On my RTW-trip last year (Thailand, OZ, NZ, Cook-Isl, USA,Mexico, Venezuela, Peru and Bolivia) I did not use a single travelers check.

Good Luck!

Oslo Norway
Yeah I'd rely mainly on VISA or Mastercard and pay the bills off online. But also keep some travellers cheques handy. Take 2 cards for the same account and keep them seperate so if one gets stolen or lost you can cancel that card but have the second one to use straight away. ATM's are found most places and travel guides tend to warn you if a place you are going has no ATM's.
You say your from Scotland!! Not sure if its the same as in England but you will normally get charged for withdrawing money from ATM's on credit cards and get charged for using debit card's to buy stuff over the counter (in both casses the charges are from your bank) To help reduce the charges from your bank and therefore only get charged once, from the foreign bank get two cards. When we went travelling in Oz on of the only debit cards that didn't charge withdrawls from foreign ATM's was Allience & Leister. Used Barclay card for over the counter purchasses.
Just thought this info may help cut some of the bank charges that are likely to mount up over your travells.

open a nationwide flexi account - they don't charge. my lloyds account charge me 1.5% min. 1 pound 50 for EVERY transaction.
also take T/C for countries which don't have ATMs (laos, cambodia,myanmar, etc.)
nationwide gives good exchange rates too.
have fun

The Music

Travelling Again!
Hi Ray,

Me and my Girlfriend are off on a RTW trip, we leave a week on sat (cannot wait), I would advise rather than carrying Travllers cheques around with you, that u opena Nationwide Flex account, they do not charge u for withdrawals overseas. It is very simple to get one, and they have Internet Banking (also very easy to set up), so u can keep tabs on your money. We are just putting all our xcash in this account, taking a couple of credit cards, and that's it. Any probs mate, email me @ Hope this info helps, I have done a great deal of research on this site, and it has been invaluable so only too willing to give some back.....

You don't say where you are going, and you really need to consider each region/country separately.

In Africa it's better to have TCs than ATM/Visa cards (and better still to have cash). You cannot use your Visa in most of Africa for everyday purchases - you can only use it for staying in five star hotels, and sometimes you can get a cash advance in some capital cities. Within Africa there is also a considerable difference - in Ghana you can only take out the equivalent of around $US50 per day, but in Kenya you can take out around $US400 or more per day.

In the Middle East you can't rely solely on ATM/Visa cards either. There are no ATMs in Syria. You can get by no problems using ATMs in Turkey and Egypt, but in Jordan you will only find a few ATMs and you can't rely on them.

So methinks it's better to look at each country that you are going to separately and work it out from there.
There is also a card called a Smart Card which you can load up with money and use like a credit card until the money runs out. I'm not sure where you'd apply for one - maybe someone else here would know?

A Fast Swimmer Keeps No Pets
Someone posted before about a cash passport ? I think may be same as a smart card they said it came from Thomas Cooks travel agents and a couple of other people had used it with no problem one of them all over South America so far I havnt seen any other mention of this the post only got a few replies tried searches just out of curiosity but couldnt get any info from the review sites I use .
I think you need to use every single way to take money with you. So that will mean a mixture of:

credit card (Visa or Mastercard) Some countries are easier with Visa (central america) or Master (South America, Europe)

Cash is a major currency, which will mean US Dollars. Take small bills, like 10's and 20's, some 50's. Larger ones are not accepted mostly. If you go to the Middle East, Turkey, then Euro is accepted widely.

Debit ATM card. Most major cities have ATM's plenty, so that is when to stock up with local cash. Most likely, there will be one on the airport of your destination, otherwise you won't even be able to catch the bus or taxi to the city centre.

Traveller Cheques, some would be useful, but it really depends on the situation and the country. It is too bad you did not mention the countries you intend to go, so i could tailor my advise.

Have fun travelling

Those who know, cannot explain.
Those who don't know, cannot understand.
Agree with #4 and others.

Take a couple of cards, some Tcs (investigate whether VISA or Mastercard ones are best for your destinations), and an emergency stash of US dollars.

VISA Bucks is preloaded, like debit cards. Contact VISA or look at their webpage.

SMART CARDS are not the same - here in Washington, DC you can get a Smart Card for the metro. It is a metro card that you can add money to and if lost, you can get reissued. It is not a debit card, at least not here in the US. For more about smartcards, check their webpage:

You really need to indicate where you are going to get good advice.

Cash Passport Site
You can load it up on line, see statement on line as well as get a printout from ATM and the other people who were using it said there was no charge for currancy exchange just a set amount they reckoned it was cheaper than c/cards by far and you also get Two cards and a pin no so you still have access to funds if one is lost or stolen.
Thomas cook cash services is run/owned ? by Travelex and they appear to run this service indirectly you have to contact one of their retailers and get it from them apparently they can set different charges so what you pay depends on who you go to for the service, talk about making things difficult or what. They have an email address on the site suggest you ask for a list of retailers.
you can withdraw your cash in local currency anywhere you see a Visa ATM.
Hey All
I just wanted to say thanks to everyone for their input - It is much appreciated. I leave in 2 weeks now - damn exciting. For those who wanted to know, I`m off the Hong Kong, Veitnam, Bankok, Oz, NZ, Fiji, Cook Islands, States, Costa Del Aberdeen (scotland)
Thankls again folks.
Hi Ray.

Have a fantastic time, and keep coming back here!

Check with credit card company about prepaying. That way you don't have to worry about getting online and paying it. Make sure it is covered if its los t or stolen.

"The difference between history's boldest accomplishments, and its most staggering failures is often, simply, the diligent will to persevere." - Abraham Lincoln

Accessing Cash

The key with cash is to have multiple sources:

I suggest

2 credit cards - one on you and one in your pack
Some hard currency USD or Euros are best and Euros are too new for any developing country
Hide cash in multiple places
Some Travellers Cheques
Leave some money on your credit card so it is always in Credit, this eliminates the need to organise payments

Internet Baniking is not safe in a cafe!

Exchange Rates will fluctuate

You might win
You might lose
No-one can tell you with any certainty what will happen to your exchange rate while you are away
You will spread the risk if you buy some travellers cheques and keep some money in your account in your local currency.

all around me are familiar faces