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Traveler's Checks, Cash? Newbie Question!

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Ohio
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Traveler's Checks, Cash? Newbie Question!

We leave Wed. for our first trip to Jamaica with another couple. I've been soaking in all the info here on the forum ~ wow, what GREAT info and insight! It's helped us prepare and really get a feel for Negril before we even go. I talked our traveling companions out of AI so we can try all the fabulous food spoken of here! I have my list of restaurants and it's too long!

There is one issue I'm not sure of: We want to take about $1000 for our five day trip. I feel leary about taking that much in cash, but is using Traveler's Checks a reliable option in Negril? Maybe take 1/2 and 1/2? What do you suggest?

Thanks so much!

Robin in Ohio

Overland Park...
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1. Re: Traveler's Checks, Cash? Newbie Question!

We always bring a hundred dollars in ones for tipping, a hundred or so dollars in cash for the first day and the rest in Travelers checks, ideally 100 dollars each. Then we just cash once a day at a local cambio. Your resort should also be able to cash these but the exchange rate will be a bit higher. Keep in mind the cambios are closed on Sundays.

Long Branch, New...
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2. Re: Traveler's Checks, Cash? Newbie Question!

Bringing cash is no problem, just leave it in your hotel safe.

Traveler's checks seem to be a hassle to use in Negril.

Most hotels change money (Cambios and banks will have a better rate though). I usually bring most of my cash, then exchange as needed and if I need more I go to the ATM.

Toronto, Canada
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3. Re: Traveler's Checks, Cash? Newbie Question!

I agree with lizardbeth.

I take approx $100 in small bills and the rest in travelers checks.

I had my hotel room broken into once (not in Jamaica) and all my money stolen. Thank God it was only mostly checks they took. I had all my money in my hand by the end of the day.

Hotel safes are wonderful things but they are not $100 so I always plan for the worst and hope for the best.

And yes get your checks in larger denominations, $50s and $100s or you will be signing your name all day at the cambio.

As far as travelers checks being a pain to exchange, I have never had a problem. Jamaica is a tourist destination so they banks, stores, cambios, and hotels are very familiar with people using them.

The only places where you may encounter problems is if you get in to the "non touristy" areas.

Enjoy your vacation!

Toronto, Canada
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4. Re: Traveler's Checks, Cash? Newbie Question!

Sorry!

Mu above post should read...

"Hotel safes are wonderful things but they are not 100%"

not $100

Canada
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5. Re: Traveler's Checks, Cash? Newbie Question!

phew, thank Goodness lol

Wisconsin
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6. Re: Traveler's Checks, Cash? Newbie Question!

We also bring a couple hundred in cash, the rest in traveler's checks. If you belong to AAA you can get them without any additional fees. Also, make sure you all clean out your wallets and bring just the essentials. We bring our driver's licenses, passports, one credit card, and one ATM card (hubbie carries one, I carry the other just in case). No need to risk losing all your other stuff by dragging it along.

boston, ma
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7. Re: Traveler's Checks, Cash? Newbie Question!

we don't use travelers checks anymore. we get a AAA visa check card, pre-load it with funds and use it at any of the several ATMs. same loss protections as trav checks, with visa purchase protections... and it's easier to use for us and smaller to carry...

we've also used our bank of america visa atm cards at the scotia bank atms with no additional fees....

typically, we leave american currency at home, but that's merely our personal preference - it is certainly usable nearly anywhere in JA.

Jackson, Michigan
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8. Re: Traveler's Checks, Cash? Newbie Question!

I used to take traveler's checks and didn't have too many problems although occasionally some places wouldn't take them. With the amount of atm's throughout the island now I've found using atms to be the best method for myself. This way I can withdraw cash on an as needed basis.

Rancho Santa...
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9. Re: Traveler's Checks, Cash? Newbie Question!

travelers checks are great.. just know that most hotels will only cash them into JA money!

Kingston, Canada
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10. Re: Traveler's Checks, Cash? Newbie Question!

I bring half & half cash & travellers cheques primarily because the cambio I use accepts them and it's less hassle for me. I haven't used the ATMs yet but the closest one is quite a hike for me so why bother.