Prepaid Debit Cards – Excellent!

I was perusing my daily travel briefings and came across something that is just wonderful.

A lot of people who come over to visit me get nervous about money – not about not having enough, but about the ability to retrieve it when they need it. I give them the following tips:

1. NO TRAVELLER’S CHECKS! The last time these were popular, my mother was the proud owner of an avocado-hued fondue pot. No one takes them anymore.

2. You can exchange a bit of cash before you get here, but the best thing to do is to hit an ATM in the airport immediately upon arriving. BUT:

3. Call your bank and any credit cards you’re going to use and tell them you’re going to Europe before you leave the States. Otherwise, they can get panicky and block your card and it’s a hassle.

3A. While you’re on the phone with them, ask them for non-800 phone numbers should you need to call them from over here.

And now I am going to add a fourth piece of advice for the particularly budget-conscious, thanks to AAA – the Visa TravelMoney Card! You just load it up with the amount of money you’ll be spending on your trip – up to nine grand – and then you use it like an ATM or credit card wherever you travel!

You can order it right online, and check your balance there, too. Seriously excellent idea.

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