Bristol 45.5 - AiniA
Join Date: May 2006
Thanked 121 Times in 109 Posts
Rep Power: 11
Re: Canadian Credit cards to travel with
Mike, I agree with you about the US. You would be nuts to be there without health insurance. We have an extended health care policy that includes foreign coverage for 92 days (why that number I have no idea). With the cost of out of Canada health insurance so high (because most Canadians are in the US), it would make sense to hop a flight back to Canada from the US for a few days every three months to reset the clock.
One thing with bank charges is that they will get you one way or another. A real annoyance is that in many countries the amount you can take out of ATM at any given time can be very limited so you need to make many withdrawals - often you can only do one withdrawal a day because there is only one ATM around. You have to plan ahead if you have a big ticket item that must be paid for in cash. In Bali we wanted to pay for the marina charge in cash because they added 5% for credit card payments. I think we had to go to the ATM 4 days in a row to get the money out, millions of rupiah. I think the bill was something like 2.7 million rupiah - you feel really rich when you have millions in your pocket.
Thoughts if you are taking cash. I assume you can figure out where to hide it on the boat, but we lost track of one of our stashes at one point for a week or so. We had it taped inside the face of a locker and the tape gave out so the envelope with a couple of thousand in it fell down into a nook and/or cranny. You only want US bills and in many places they will only take the most recent series of bills (harder to counterfeit?). In some places they will only take bills in very good to new condition. In some places you go to a bank to do exchanges, in other countries it will be a forex office. With the latter, rates can vary incredibly and generally have little to do with official rates except perhaps for US dollars. Most forex places will take Euros, Canadian dollars, Australian dollars, etc but the rates will suck compared to US bucks. Some merchants will take US dollars so check around. We bought a solar panel in Papeete and they quoted a price in local currency and US dollars. The latter was at a rate way better than anything we could have gotten in any other way.
It is also a good idea to have a couple of hundred dollars US in small bills ($1 to $10). Some countries use US currency (Panama and Ecuador come to mind) and $100 bills are useless unless you can find a bank. Ask us how we know.
After the refit we have decided to sell Ainia. We want something smaller that would be could for the light summer winds of Lake Ontario, although we plan to spend at least a couple of winters in the Caribbean before heading north.
Last edited by killarney_sailor; 05-05-2014 at 07:34 AM.