Go Back   Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB > 4 wheels > 4WD Overland TRAVEL

4WD Overland TRAVEL NON-technical 4WD TRAVEL forum, for subjects specific to TRAVEL with FOUR wheeled vehicles.
Contact Overland Solutions for all your custom modifications and setup for overland travel.

Calendar Contest Voting is now CLOSED. Results to be posted shortly.


Overlanders Handbook - everything you need to know, available NOW!

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 23 Apr 2008
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: London
Posts: 34
Money/Currency/Credit Cards

Hi Everyone
We are planning a three year trip starting in Africa and are hoping for some advice/tales on this subject.
Most of the websites I've found don't seem to give too much detail on what they did or how they did it so I am guessing it's not worth the worry or if they thought too much about it they wouldn't travel!
Anyway, here are a few things to toss around amongst those who are planning and those who have done an extended trip.
Cash is probably king in Africa so is the USD good to take as a universal currency to get yourself by? Anyway I've made a list of some things but if there is anything you would like to point out or add please let us know as I am sure we're not the only ones thinking about this subject.
1. Is it a good idea to take from the UK a large amount of USD, stash it in safe places around the vehicle and use it along the way or is it easy to get your hands on USD in Africa? I just thought it might be an easy currency to use for some transactions when you don't have any local currency to hand.
2. UK bank charges for withdrawals. We will probably be making lots of small withdrawals because there are lots of countries and we trying not to end up with a whole lot of useless currency. Do these charges become quite an issue?
3. We know that in many countries (except the big cities) that an ATM might be as rare as a UFO but is that still something that has a big impact on cashflow.
4. Do very many places take credit/debit cards in larger cities?
I'm sure there are lots of other things I need to ask but this might be a good start.
Thanks
Barbara
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 23 Apr 2008
Vaufi's Avatar
Contributing Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Munich, the beer capital
Posts: 804
I'd be careful with too much cash on me. Personally I prefer to make use of ATMs. But then be careful NOT to go to an ATM at that place where you"re staying overnight.

Besides that, the "muggers' wallet" is always a good idea.

Although I'm South African and know the country I was robbed recently on a guarded and fenced in campsite. I had made the mistake to withdraw some cash at the local ATM and stay right in town. The people weren't interested in my credit cards, passport etc., but the cash was gone


Besides that, I always have a small note of the local currency easily accessible in my pocket for bad situations. So far I had only made use of this once - and I was glad to hand over the cash and buzz off!
__________________
Only when we pause to wonder
do we go beyond the limits of our little lives.
(Rod McKuen)
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 3 May 2008
mailking's Avatar
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: travelling
Posts: 184
I don't know things about Africa, but in our 5 years on the road. We have never ever had large amounts of money in our car. Only in Iran, where there are no ATM's [2003], and credit-cards are not to be used.

Our Dutch bank [Rabobank] never charged for withdraws until jan 2008. We send an email and now we have an special account in which we pay a fixed yearly payment of 25 euro's and don't have withdraw costs... Maybe you can talk to your bank?

Good luck
__________________
--------------------------------------------------
- On the road since 2003 in an antique Land Cruiser
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 3 May 2008
Sime66's Avatar
Gold Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Wild West (of Crete)
Posts: 284
No probs getting cash out of machines on this route -
Mor, mauri, sen, mali, burkina, ghana, togo, benin, niger, nigeria, chad, ethio, kenya, ug, tan, malawi, moz, swaz, SA.

Except!
Mauri - no cash machines in 2005 or trav cheques. Bring Euros!
Togo - dodgy cash machines in Lome.
Ethiopia - had to go to bank in Addis.

Euros definitely better than $ in the west. I never carried more than about 100 GBP worth of local currency. No muggers in 16 months, even with inadvisable consumption of lager/back street walks home. Your experience may differ.
__________________
Simon

London-Cape Town 2004-06
Buenos Aires-Vancouver 2008-10:
http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/tstories/fitzpatrick
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 3 May 2008
roamingyak.org's Avatar
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Portugal
Posts: 1,049
A few thoughts - Euro's only in West Africa - nobody wants dollar's and you will lose at least 25% trying to change them. There is a (one!) cash machine in Mori now, and a few in Mali, but expect them not to work so have some cash.

Stash your cash in separate places around the vehicle. You will never need more than 500 Euro's at once so stash it separately in small plastic wrapped places around the vehicle. Watch out for water getting into where you put it. Anything that needs a screwdriver to get it out again is a good place ;-)

Buy a waterproof box or two for your bugger stashes.

Take mainly 50 Euro's notes, with a few 10 and 20's. Take a stash of 5 euro bills and stash them in the cab. Then have a few hundred euro's in small notes in a wallet stashed in the cab. In the event of being robbed when your with the vehicle then you can easily cough up loads of notes in a hurry and look like that was your entire stash.

Use a Nationwide account to help avoid the hefty withdrawal fee's. Martin Lewis has many good articles on his website at moneysavingexpert.com
Spending Overseas: The cheapest way to pay...

Also, don't tell people where you are going or why. Even to other travellers as they might comment to others without you knowing. I always say I am going somewhere that I have no intention of going to. Obviously this sounds a little paranoid, but get to know people over a day or two and don't reveal too much to ultra friendly and helpful people in cities especially. In the age of mobile phones you can be tracked and setup quite easily. Especially if you obviously have nice camera's, laptops etc

Update your website as you go, but keep it a few months out of date and don't announce where you are to next!

And most importantly, watch out on the drive down through Europe. With an expedition vehicle heading south it will be assumed that you have thousands in cash and a pile of goodies in your expensive vehicle.

Last edited by roamingyak.org; 3 May 2008 at 20:20.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 3 May 2008
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Dorset, UK
Posts: 143
Take the international phone number of your bank with you for when they stop your card.
Just been to Tunisia, decided a bit of extra cash would be useful, I used an ATM, got message of "transaction type not available". I assumed that this bank would not allow my debit card, I tried another later, after 5 attempts I gave up. Used the credit card, that worked first time. On return to UK tried to pay the leccy bill, that was refused too, phoned the bank, they had stopped the card because of "unusual activity". I thanked them very much for making me short of cash 1500 miles from home.
Ha ha,
Kevin
__________________
www.4x4-travel.co.uk
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 2 Aug 2008
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Vanderbijl Park, South Africa
Posts: 76
Money on the road

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sime66 View Post
Ethiopia - had to go to bank in Addis.
Just came through Ethiopia 2 months ago, VISA ATM's in Addis, Awassa and most major centres, for the rest you take your VISA into the bank and they will process the transaction for you. ATM's in all other countries south to north except Sudan, have a few $100 bills ready, they don't like $10 and $5 bills, also make sure the currency you take is post 2000 series bills.

We have a cash stash well hidden that we needed here and there but mostly you can use your ATM card, try to withdraw the max allowable amount at a time because the bank charges you per transaction.
__________________
__________________
Jean Visser

http://ons4.reproroom.com
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 5 Aug 2008
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 12
Ethiopia's obviously got more advanced - when I went through in 2006 they had a few cash machines but they weren't hooked up to any international network.

The one advantage of USD in some places (in East Africa, and I am guessing EUR in West Africa) was you sometimes got a better deal than using the local banana currency. Everyone wants hard currency, most of all the government. So for example paying for national park entrance fees in Kenya, I seem to remember they loaded the shilling exchange rate against you so it was a good few % cheaper to pay in dollars.

Of course now the USD is worth about as much as the Zim Dollar that may all have changed...

Mike

Last edited by MikeyBee; 5 Aug 2008 at 19:47. Reason: correction
Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 Registered Users and/or Members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
What currency to use? Pumbaa Travellers' questions that don't fit anywhere else 5 14 Mar 2008 17:35
Cancelling Credit cards to use as duds schiannini Trip Paperwork 3 21 Nov 2007 13:37
ATM,Credit cards,commissions? hekoheko Southern Asia 4 23 Sep 2007 07:43
Where to store Travel Docs/Credit Cards Vicks7 TRAVEL Hints and Tips 6 1 Jun 2007 15:31
Credit Cards and ATM's in S. America AndyT South America 5 11 Aug 2005 09:32

 
 



HU DVD Spring Special!

Buy the Achievable Dream Collectors Set and get Road Heroes Part 1 FREE!

Achievable Dream - The Whole Enchilada!

Cooped up indoors in crap weather? Binge watch over 20 hours of inspiring, informative and entertaining stories and tips from 150 travellers! Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to order them both and use Coupon Code 'BoxSet+' on your order when you checkout.


What others say about HU...

"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada

"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia

"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders


contest pic

10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!


What turns you on to motorcycle travel?


Global Rescue, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!




New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.



Books & DVDs

amazon

All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.


Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!






All times are GMT +1. The time now is 14:26.