Spending $ Abroad

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The advent of ATMs worldwide has made getting cash on the road easier. But you may still want to bring along those traveler’s checks to cover you in case of loss or theft.

Hang on to the receipts for the checks and keep a list of check numbers. Pack them separately from the originals. Lost checks will be replaced within 24 hours. Also, get some of your travelers checks in the currency of your destination; that way you won’t have to worry about fluctuating exchange rates. Any remaining checks in American dollars can be used back home.

“We recommend travelers take along a variety of payment mediums with them,” says Melissa Abernathy, an American Express Travel spokesperson. Purchase major items in credit or charge cards. “When the charge gets settled you will generally be charged at a rate closer to the wholesale exchange rate [of a foreign purchase],” she says, Also carry pocket money in local currency.