ATM card plus cash

Concerning the “ideal travel wallet,” I agree with Jeanine Healey (Jan. ’07, pg. 2). I have heard too many stories about travelers not being able to cash travelers’ checks or receiving a poor rate of exchange when they can cash them. I have always received the best exchange rate by using my ATM card.

Ms. Healey recommended taking a small amount of cash. This depends on what countries are to be visited. I usually take $700-$1,000 in cash, depending on the length of the trip.

I was fortunate to have taken plenty of cash on a trip my wife, Harriet, and I took to the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary in May ’06, as my ATM card was not accepted anywhere. I have visited many countries, and this was the first time that my Visa card was not accepted in either the ATM machine or the bank.

On my return home, I inquired at my local bank why this was so. I was told that if I had gone to a bank that had the Visa logo in the window, I could have used the card to receive some cash. In the bank in Budapest where they refused to honor my Visa card, there was no Visa sticker in the window.


Milford, DE