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Sahara Travel Forum Topics specific to North Africa and the Sahara down to the 17th parallel (excludes Morocco)
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  #1  
Old 7 Jun 2010
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Libya - money

Hi all

Not strictly an overlanding question, but I figured there would be enough people on this site who will probably know the answer.

I am asking this on behalf of a friend who is just about to start a TEFL job in Libya. He's getting paid in GBP, to a UK bank account. He's been told to take GBP in cash to Libya and change it into Libyan Dinars locally as required. I went to Libya in 2007 and carried USD cash and travellers' cheques. However, that was 2007 and I was travelling, for 1 month. So - for someone working there for a period of time:-

1) Is it better to take USD than GBP?

2) Cash or travellers cheques?

3) If he runs out of ££/$$ while in Libya, how to get more transferred to him from the UK?

Thanks

Mark
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  #2  
Old 7 Jun 2010
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I have never been to Libya, but I would suggest that he takes USD cash in new note series (the color ones)(without annotations and/or tears on the banknotes).
Actually worldwide the only nearly universally accepted currencies are USD and, sometimes, EUR.
GBP, swiss francs or yens are not widely accepted (only at some major banks and the exchange rate is poor).

Maybe Western Union is a good option if he runs out of money (if there are no working ATM's, of course).
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  #3  
Old 7 Jun 2010
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Libya has been on my radar for a while (not visited yet) and I have the latest "blue book" and according to that ATMs (visa/mastercard) are available, if not going into bank in person is no problem to draw cash!
Only what I just read, so don't blame me if it goes t*ts up

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  #4  
Old 7 Jun 2010
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Don't rely only on ATM's! They work until they stop working, especially when abroad.
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  #5  
Old 7 Jun 2010
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Hmm. Libya did have ATMs when I was there (just like Iran and Burma) but (just like Iran and Burma) they didn't work with any out-of-country bank cards because they weren't linked into the international banking system.

But that was 2007 and things change fast when you have become the New Best Friend of the West!

The Western Union suggestion is a good one - I didn't think WU would do business in Libya, but having looked at its website I can see that it does. Thanks.

Mark
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  #6  
Old 10 Jun 2010
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Take EUR, not USD.

There are several ATMs in Tripoli, and if one is not working, another will be.

It's not a problem.

Safe travels, Sam.
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  #7  
Old 13 Jun 2010
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Confirm, I was there a year ago and no problem with euro or USD. ATM's mostly in the coast. In Tripoli no problems with taking out cash from the mashine. South is a different story, need to have cash in hand or trade in something.

Cheers

Jarek
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  #8  
Old 15 Jun 2010
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Travellers cheques are pretty much old now and are becoming more of a problem than a solution. Cash, plastic and a dummy wallet are all you need.
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  #9  
Old 28 Jun 2010
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2) Cash or travellers cheques?

Hi, I am in Tripoli, It is best to bring cash GBP is ok.
Some ATM's work but the UK banks have a habit of cancelling them due to suspected theft. Not to many people come here.

Don't bring travellers cheques.
The current rate is about 1.92LD to the pound.
There is a bank in "The Grand" hotel near Green Square that are helpful.
Try to avoid "Western Union" they are not to be trusted.
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Old 30 Jun 2010
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You're not going to believe this, but yesterday I had an email from my friend in Tripoli saying he'd been attacked and mugged on a taxi/bus.

He lost about £300 that he hadn't been able to change as the bank was closed, + phone and MP3 player, got dropped off penniless in the middle of nowhere but managed to get away with passport and glasses intact and persuaded some Libyan geezers to drive him home.

Having been to Libya myself, I was amazed to hear this.
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Old 10 Jul 2010
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USD were the best bet in 2007 but my Nationwide card worked in a Tripoi atm so take both.
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Old 30 Jul 2010
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We swapped Euros in 2008 no problem
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