2-3 times in my world travels, I have loaned U.S $50-100 to tourists who did not have any United States dollars on them.
The regular use of debit and credit cards has become universally accepted by Americans. It is how we buy and sell in the USA; it is our custom now, part of the American Way. And whether we admit it or not, habits are extremely difficult to stop. We are an accumulation of habits; we are set in our ways. This makes world travel complicated.
Then why have I needed to loan money to Americans traveling abroad?
1. They do not know how to use an ATM machine.
2. They did not bring any U.S. dollars.
3. They believe the advertisements about travelers’ checks, which are quickly becoming obsolete (except in Europe).
The After-Europe Traveler
I often say to travel friends, “So, you are now an after-Europe traveler.”
This means that they have not been introduced to the real world, the world that does not protect Americans. I am willing to guess that 1 in 5 Americans does not carry cash, and 1 in 50 probably have never used an ATM bank cash machine.
How many U.S. dollars should you carry on you?
Answer: five times the price of one night in the hotel or your choice. That way, you have five days with a place to stay to recover from almost any money problem.
And learn how Western Union works, so you can bypass “banks are closed because of the weekend” problems.
And you do realize that Europe is 5-8 hours ahead of the USA in different in time zone?
Andy Graham … normally on the other side of the planet from you.