Money To Live

January 7, 2009

Who needs cash in a foreign country?

Filed under: Uncategorized — by moneytolive @ 5:00 am

On a recent six-day vacation abroad, I used absolutely no foreign cash. Not only did I not have any foreign currency, but none of the four friends I traveled with did either.

A few weeks before the trip, we emailed back and forth about all the details – who would sign for the rental car, how to find each other at the airport, and how to pay for everything. The general consensus was to use credit cards as much as possible. I knew from previous trips that is is very easy to use ATMs in a pinch, so I recommended that no one exchange money before the trip.

Only half way through the trip, did I realize what a big deal it is to not need currency in a foreign country.

We all returned back home without making any cash transactions. This was possible in large part because we rented a car and did not need to pay for taxis. While it is possible to pay for cabs with a credit card, it tends to be a hassle because only some cabs are equipped with the necessary technology.

The one time I used US currency on the trip: to tip the valet at the hotel

The one time I wished I had some foreign currency on the trip
: To pay a bus fare when it snowed 25 cm (10 in) and we walked more than 1 km to the liquor store because the store by our condo was closed on Sundays

Question for the readers:
Which foreign country uses the USD as its standard currency?

A few years ago I took a trip to this country and used cash but did not have to use a foreign currency because the USD is *essentially* the foreign currency. Technically, the official currency is something else, but the bills of this currency have not been printed for over 60 years.



  1. You are now bound to this story of hardship: “We had to walk through 10 inches of snow to the liquor store.” A boomer never would have said that. A boomer would have lied. ~ from your mother

    Comment by Mary Bold — January 7, 2009 @ 11:13 am |Reply

  2. It really depends on the country and your plans whether or not this would work! Outside of big cities, even in Europe I have had trouble using credit cards. I have been to small towns in Germany where none of the “hotels” (more like bed and breakfasts) took credit cards. And in China, cash was required at non-touristy restaurants and attractions even in Beijing!

    Comment by Melanie — January 20, 2009 @ 9:38 am |Reply

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