Bringing USD cash - Mexico

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Bringing USD cash - Mexico

Postby kiem » Wed Jun 23, 2010 6:38 am

Hi everyone, within a couple of weeks i'll be doing the Mayan Adventure tour (CAM) and i'm very excited about it but I was also wondering how much USD cash to bring along? I noticed that all the GAP trips and meals are calculated in USD so is it necessary to take that amount of money with you or do they accept the local currency? Since it won't be possible to get USD from an ATM and I don't know if they prefer USD over pesos? It's just that I don't really feel comfortable carrying large amounts of cash with me. I know this is probably a very rookie question but I was just wondering...
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Re: Bringing USD cash - Mexico

Postby eric » Wed Jun 23, 2010 8:00 am

Hi,

I recently did this tour.

GAP quote prices for meals etc in US D so you know roughly what the spend will be.
But you will usually pay in the local currency.

On my tour most of us took money out from ATMs as & when needed.

1) In Guatamala the banks etc would NOT change any Mexican notes into Guatamala currency
(You can change a small amount with the money changers at the boarder)
2) Belize: Everywhere you could pay in USD. Found that the money changers going into Belize gave a slightly better rate for US D than you got elsewhere.

Regards

Eric / London / England
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Re: Bringing USD cash - Mexico

Postby ballu » Wed Jun 23, 2010 5:04 pm

I imagine Gap Adventures uses USD to quote prices because it's the currency most people can relate to...I live in Canada, but I know roughly what the conversion rate is to USD.

It's generally easier to pay for things in the local currency, even in countries that widely accept USD.

When I travel, I usually take a few $100 USD bills in case I can't find a working ATM...this way I have back up cash I can exchange into local currency (in most places worldwide, USD is the easiest currency to exchange).

Other than that, I withdraw a few days worth of local currency from ATMs at a time. When I run out, I hit the ATM again. If you're going to be in a rural place with no access to cash, your leader should warn you ahead of time so you can prepare.
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Re: Bringing USD cash - Mexico

Postby eric » Wed Jun 23, 2010 6:56 pm

er..yes.. But make it a slightly bigger handfull of 50 USDs.

The 100's can be difficult to change. Ok at airports, big banks, but elsewhere can be problems.
20 USDs are even more widely accepted.

& as always, ALL your USDs MUST be in 1st class condition. NO marks, tears, etc etc.

Regards

Eric / London / England
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Re: Bringing USD cash - Mexico

Postby wavewet » Wed Jun 23, 2010 9:00 pm

I would suggest taking a couple hundred in 20 US dollar bills as they would be the easiest and more hassle free to use or change.

50s and 100s are tougher. Lots of places even in Canada or the US refuse to take bills larger than 20s of their own currency let alone a foreign currency.

PS. Eric, do you have pics posted somewhere of this trip. I was looking to do this trip next myself :P
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