Have ‘Cash on Hand’ When Travelling Abroad!
In recent months there have been major complaints lodged against banks that charge exorbitant rates for using cards when traveling abroad.
Also, in December of 2011, a major complaint was leveled against banks for the high cost of purchasing foreign currency. The OFT announced that six of the major UK banks had agreed to drop debit card fees for transactions abroad but there is still a great deal of discontent over the fees associated with purchasing foreign currency prior to taking a holiday overseas.
As a result, there has been a rebirth in the practice of purchasing Travellers Cheques when planning a holiday to certain countries. Although there was a time in the not so distant past when cheques were the safest way to take money whilst traveling, the advent of bank cards and credit cards pushed cheques far into the background. In fact, for a time it appeared as though Travellers Cheques would be done away with completely.
However, there are still many developing countries where holidaymakers are hard-pressed to find ATMs and banks are few and far between.
Without an adequate supply of local currency, there isn’t much which can be done. Since the currency exchange rate can be quite high in many cases, a great number of travelers still find that Travellers Cheques provide a less expensive means of bringing money with them and a safer way as well.
As long as the serial numbers are written down and kept in a safe place, most companies issuing worldwide cheques have a 24 hour replacement guarantee in case they should become lost or stolen.
Even so, unless traveling to remote regions of Africa on a Safari or to the mountains of Tibet to visit Buddhist monasteries, most developed countries do have an abundance of ATMs and local restaurants and accommodations accept major credit cards. American Express suggests that when traveling abroad, it is wisest to have cash, cards and cheques on hand to be prepared for any eventuality.