Travel Guide to Countries Where Cash is King

At First Eastern FX, we know that travel planning is stressful, exciting yes, but alsooh so stressful. That’s why we help lighten the load by offering the best foreign currency exchange rates delivered right to your door. Yes, you read that correctly. Right. To. Your. Door. We’ve also conducted some research into cash-dependant countries and some hot tips to help your travel money stretch further!

Cash Tips

Let me set a little scene for you. You’re in a foreign country, not an ATM in sight, a disgruntled restaurant owner is demanding cash, beads of sweat are dripping down your forehead as you jangle your pockets in the hopes of hearing the sweet sound of metal clanging or paper rustling. Feeling uncomfortable? Unsettled? Let’s avoid this becoming your reality by reading the following guide to countries where cash is king. Followed quickly by checking out our foreign exchange rates to secure yourself a great deal, subsequently avoiding a great deal of hassle.

Italy

This captivating country is endlessly alluring, the picturesque panorama, the art, history, culture, and most importantly the countless culinary delights. Don’t miss out on these quintessential experiences by being unprepared in the wondrous land of carbs and exchange with First Eastern FX today.

CASH TIPS

– Currency used is Euro (EUR)
– Small vendors (e.g. gelato stores) only accept cash
– ATMs are scarce in rural areas
– Pay with cash for a better price
– Stand at the bar to drink coffee for cheaper prices
– Entry to some beaches and pay for taxis, ferries and buses are cash-only
– Street markets (i.e. the best produce and artisanal products) do not accept cards
– Keep 50c handy for toilet attendants

Greece

Home to stunning views and breathtaking blue hues, 88% of in-person purchases are made with cash in this enchanting escape. Don’t do yourself a disservice by neglecting to exchange foreign currency.

CASH TIPS

– Currency used is Euro (EUR)
– Small vendors (e.g. gyros stores) are cash-only
– ATMs frequently run out of cash (especially on islands) or limit how much you can withdraw
– Carry small denominations with you for smaller purchases as vendors seemingly never have change.

SOUTH AMERICA

Land of the world’s largest rainforest and river, breathtaking beaches, enchanting islands, expansive deserts, icy landscapes, and alluring ancient ruins. This dynamic environment is top on everyone’s bucket list. Don’t get caught out without the correct currency and miss out on experiencing these world wonders.

CASH TIPS

– There are 12 different currencies but most accept US Dollars (USD)
– Tipping is not standard, but definitely welcomed
– Watch out for pickpockets and avoid any political protests
– Beware of credit card skimmers
– Some states charge a value-added tax
– Radio taxis are cheaper and safer
– Taxis try scamming tourists in peak seasons
– ATMs are scarce in some countries and non-existent in others (those in the Amazon).

SPAIN

The contagious energy of the music, the infective dancing, the tantalising tapas and salivate-inciting sangria in this colourful city is enough to make me book a flight right here and now. Exchange your Euros today with First Eastern FX to ensure full immersion in the culture!

CASH TIPS

– Currency used is Euro (EUR)
– Tipping is not mandatory, but definitely appreciated
– Cheap in comparison to neighbouring countries so bring small notes
– Low season is optimal for savings
– Use the metro system in major cities to save on transport
– Order that extra pitcher of Sangria, as wine here is cheaper than most places

GERMANY

Prepare yourself for endless feasts, treats and temptations whilst surrounded by this country’s soul-staggering scenery. Be uplifted by this invigorating realm by securing cash for currywurst with First Eastern FX rates.

CASH TIPS

– Currency used is Euro (EUR)
– For tipping, it is best to round up or tip 5-10% (for porters €2 per bag)
– Keep cash handy for those tasty street sweets, pretzels, and bratwurst
– Locals prefer cash to cards
– Take the free local tours, just be sure to tip your tour guide
– Book your train tickets a week in advance to save up to 40-50%

GERMANY

The ever-seductive streets of France, it’s iconic structures, palatable pastries and bewitching tongue will have you ready to sell your soul for one more bite of a croissant. Luckily your fate is not sealed, be prepared with extra euros on-hand by exchanging with First Eastern FX.

CASH TIPS

– Currency used is Euro (EUR)
– Tipping is not required in cafes or restaurants, but welcomed in hotels and taxis
– Prices are higher in bigger cities (surprise surprise, Sydneysiders are well accustomed)
– Museums are free on the first Sunday of each month
– Summer hotel prices are raised as high as the temps, try for the shoulder season to save
– Restaurants charge a service fee
– Keep 50c handy for toilet attendants (yes you pay to pee, wild notion)
– Save on train tickets by purchasing in packs

PORTUGAL

From medieval castles, to captivating cobblestone villages, this alluring country and it’s gorgeous golden beaches will charm you to no end. Please be sure to have some cash in your pocket for a delectable portugese tart! You’ll thank us later!

CASH TIPS

– Currency used is Euro (EUR)
– Don’t feel obliged to tip as it is not customary
– Some places won’t take card if you spend less than €10-€20, others refuse card completely
– There are no limits on foreign currency brought into the country, but visitors are advised to declare the amount
– To avoid credit card fraud, some establishments won’t accept cards without an embedded computer chip
– Ensure your notes are clean and undamaged by exchanging with First Eastern FX, as some places refuse to accept notes in bad condition.

MEXICO

Hola! Home to tantalising tacos, vibrant colours and culture alike. This wondrous country and it’s chili cuisine will be sure to spice up your life. Be sure not to not let it get too spicy for your wallet by avoiding credit card fees and exchanging travel cash before you land!

CASH TIPS

– Tipping 10% is standard, though due to poor wages, many service workers depend on tips, so feel free to tip more.
– ATMs sometimes payout counterfeit money. Exchange with First Eastern FX to avoid this problem
– Theft is high surrounding ATMs
– Cash is the most widely accepted means of payment, with card payments not accepted in some places.
– Worth asking for a discount on room rates in low seasons and purchases
– Some haggling is expected in markets
– Able to shave some pesos off unmetered taxis initial asking price

AFRICA

We have no words for this true natural wonder of a continent. Boasting a vast display of enriching culture, wildlife and lands. Prepare to fall in love. Make your money stretch as far as a giraffe’s neck by checking out these savanna hot tips.

CASH TIPS

– The best currencies to bring on your Africa trip are US Dollar (USD) and Euro (EUR).
– The customary tipping rate is 10-15%
– Remember to tip your tour guide (navigating those beautiful beasts on safari is tough work)
– Taxis are cheaper and safer than public transport
– As usual, travelling in low season secures cheaper flights
– Keep that wine flowing, as wine prices are the same as soft drink

THAILAND

Radiating a friendly fun-loving culture, beauty and historical wonders, this country is sure to satisfy all travellers, no matter their budget! But to be sure to get the most bang for your buck, check out the following tips!

CASH TIPS

– Currency used is Thai Baht (THB)
– There isn’t a tipping culture, but Baht is always welcomed
– ATMs are scarce on the islands and in rural areas
– Cash is vital for street food and markets
– Haggling is accepted at markets
– Massages are super cheap
– Having clothing tailored is dirt cheap
– Biggest expenses are the activities
(water sports, tours etc.)
– Store your cash in varied places to avoid theft

VIETNAM

Exotic, tropical and diverse, this country provides an array of captivating landscapes and compelling experiences. To avoid missing out on any, exchange travel cash with First Eastern FX and be just as captivated by their great rates!

CASH TIPS

– Currency used is Vietnamese Dong (VND)
– Tipping isn’t customary but is welcomed for optimal service
– Keep cash handy for street food and market goods
– Often retail will not accept card, keep notes on-hand
– Pick trusted taxi companies
– Haggling is encouraged at shops and markets with cash
– If you’re on a budget, stick to street food as an entire meal costs a mere $1