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Travel Advice - Carry cash for convenience and emergencies

You never know when you will be in a spot that requires cash. While some travelers prefer to use cash equivalents (credit cards, debit cards or ATM cards), you should always carry a modest amount of currency (you know, the stuff called “cash money”).

When traveling in Europe, hold Euros in reserve for situations where there is no alternative to paying with cash. Keep ten to twenty Euros in your pocket. Then, just reach in and grab a Euro or two rather than removing your wallet and exposing the "mother lode" of big bills and credit cards to potential thieves.

In Europe, the dollar used to be a preferred currency and many vendors accepted or preferred being paid in dollars. Today, the Euro has replaced the dollar.  Most vendors will suggest you convert dollars to Euros.  Although some merchants will accept dollars in a pinch, the exchange rate will likely be close to robbery.


During a trip to Spain, we noticed a measly, dollar bill “rescuing” a group of women from an unexpected situation. The women were standing in line to enter a public toilet (now you know why it was a "group" of women).  When they finally reached the front of the line, the attendant told them, politely, “no pay, no pee”. None of the women had any local currency. The women belonged to a cruise group, it was their first shore excursion, and they had not yet exchanged money. Finally, someone thought to offer the attendant a dollar bill, and just like magic, the entire group danced their way into the restroom.   Many restrooms are converting to bill changers that accept Euros, but not dollars.

Be prudent when considering using dollars in countries viewed as "anti-American”. In these countries is it best to exchange dollars for the local currency as soon as possible. Anytime you are traveling in a country where the press refers to Uncle Sam as the "Great Satan", keep those dollars hidden!


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