9 useful tips to avoid ATM and Cash problems while traveling


During my trips I had lots of problems due to ATMs and exchange offices, mainly in islands. In some countries you can never rely on ATMs, and you can find yourself in the middle of nowhere with no cash, an out of service terminal in front of you, and trying to find coins in your pockets to buy a package of noodles (true story). So, in this post I’m gonna share with you my 9 commandments that I always try to follow when I am abroad. Hit it!


1. Withdraw money from an inside branch ATM so you can easily file a complaint if necessary. If a problem occurs, always remember to write down or take a photo of the ATM’s ID.

2. Check that the withdrawal amount matches the money that the ATM gives you, and also the amount that is deducted from the card (you need to download your bank’s app).

travel tips about atm and cash

3. You should always ask for the receipt at the ATM in case you need to solve any problem later. The receipt contains important information such as the transaction date and time, and the terminal ID.

4. Avoid exchanging money at the airport, rates are a ripoff. When you arrive in the city where you are staying, compare the rates from the different currency exchange stores.

5. ATMs on the islands are a joke (obviously, it depends on the country), but in many islands there is no ATM, it’s always out of service, or there’s suddenly no signal and you never know when the terminal will work. Bring cash!

6. If you bring cash to an island, remember to exchange a large amount into the country’s currency before you arrive. Sometimes there is only one exchange office and, since you have no other options, the exchange rates will be very bad.

travel tips about atm and cash

7. It is better to travel with two cards: a credit and a debit card. Some ATMs don’t accept credit cards, and other don’t accept debit cards. Or you can bring one of each brand: Visa, Mastercard, AX….

8. If you cannot withdraw money from an ATM using a credit card, try it again and select the option “withdraw money from the savings account”.

9. You can take two wallets with you, the regular one and a second wallet with little money in case you are robbed or the police try to fine you (they usually ask for a higher amount if you are a foreigner).

I hope you found this tips helpful! If you want to read more travel tips and hacks, you only have to follow this link.