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Road Trip

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Busselton
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Road Trip

Hi there

We are visiting from Australia soon. We are travelling around the country from north to south in our own transportation. It is suggested that we bring US dollars to convert in shops/restaurants etc. I don't feel safe carrying lots of cash on me, at the best of times in Australia! Is this the done thing these days with tourists travelling in Argentina? Is no one using credit cards or travel cards anymore because of the rate difference? I imagine that would make them prime targets for an armed robbery/theft??? For a long trip, people would need to carry thousands of dollars..

Thoughts?

San Clemente...
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for Buenos Aires, Argentina
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1. Re: Road Trip

It's not worth the possibility of causing harm to yourself while on vacation in order to leverage the local exchange rates. Since a tourist is only in the country for a short period of time, then use the best procedure of ensuring your safety.

Carry a small amount of US currency as a backup on the road should ATM machines are not operating or credit cards are not accepted. In all other cases, then use local currency obtained from an ATM machine. Utilize credit cards whenever possible. Many of them are waving overseas fees(Capital,Chase,etc).

Have a safe trip and chalk up foreign exchange to the cost of travel anywhere in the world.

If you were a more permanent tourist located in one location, then other procedures for money exchange can be exercised with more security.

Edited: 25 June 2013, 14:52
Busselton
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2. Re: Road Trip

Wow! That was lightning fast!!! Thanks for your knowledgable reply. My main concern is regardless of whether or not we take cash, is there are culture staring where all tourists are carrying lots of cash, whereby we will be targeted and in danger even if we do not carry cash? We are going to be in the regional areas mostly which I assume will be much safer than BA itself. I do realise that the recent problems are not the fault of the people, but government policy.

WDC
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for Buenos Aires
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3. Re: Road Trip

I think you would be more of a target wearing expensive jewlery or bags than just being a tourist - most tourists do not carry huge amounts of cash on their persons. RicardoBA gave excellent advice for your proposed visit....

Enjoy yourselves, and do post back about your travels to Argentina.

Busselton
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4. Re: Road Trip

Thanks - I do agree with Ricardo too. I love that this forum gives such well grounded, wise advice. I can't wait to be one of the first to write a trip report of an Australian Family adventure! Cheers...and chat again soon perhaps : )

San Clemente...
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for Buenos Aires, Argentina
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5. Re: Road Trip

I agree with Marnie about exercising accepted procedures for traveling with an auto; such as not leaving your luggage and valuables unattented in the car.

Tourists are targeted in the large cities when they wear expensive jewelry, carry large sums of cash,etc. There is a much safer feeling in the country, but still keep an eye on the car.

I haven't been reading of theft problems around the country happening this Summer during the high tourist season.

Make sure that your auto is in good operating condition and especially the headlights and tailights are operating legally.

Have a look at www.ruta0.com for some travel planning ideas.

Nice, France
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for Buenos Aires, Nice
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6. Re: Road Trip

Ricardo,

Your advice to the OP was so sensitive, wise and thorough that it should be made a 'sticky'. What a credit you are to this forum. You always have been but this post of yours is even more amazing!

San Clemente...
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for Buenos Aires, Argentina
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7. Re: Road Trip

Thank you Sockhopper for your kind thoughts.

Suerte!!

San Diego...
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for Buenos Aires
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8. Re: Road Trip

I think Ricardo gives some good advice. Still, you didn't mention how long you are traveling for? If it's a shorter trip or an extended longer trip?

I think it DOES make sense to bring in some US dollars as Ricardo mentions. Argentina is NOT the typical country like most of the world where credit cards and ATM cards would be counted on more. In previous times yes but right now are pretty remarkable times in Argentina.

I think it makes sense to bring in some US dollars. For many different reasons including probably getting a good rate with restaurants, hotels, etc. However, you have to also factor in comfort levels. It doesn't make sense to try to save considerable money IF you are the type that will be stressed and worried the entire trip worrying about this.

I do NOT think you will be targeted as a foreigner that has a ton of cash just because you're a foreigner. As Marnie mentioned, you will be more of a target wearing expensive jewelry, etc. But practicing common sense you won't be targeted just because you are foreign.

The truth is that right now in Argentina are NOT normal times. So you have to keep that in mind as well when deciding comfort levels in how much cash you are comfortable bringing in. You can save considerable money bringing in cash vs. using credit cards and ATM machines. But I think the truth is you have to think about what you are comfortable with.

But I would DEFINITELY recommend bringing at least some US dollars. Especially if it's a longer trip.

Punta del Este...
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for Buenos Aires, Punta del Este
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9. Re: Road Trip

Something else relevant to your traveling by car around the country . . . . At least in some of the northern provinces (e.g., Tucuman, Corrientes), where I have personal experience and where others' experiences have matched mine, you may be stopped by the police on the highway for no apparent reason. They are probably looking for a small bribe. If this happens, don't be alarmed. When it happened to us, five pesos were enough to make them happy. With inflation, that's probably about 20 Pesos now. I can't tell you how likely it is this will happen to you, but wanted to mention it so you wouldn't be alarmed if it does.

My own experiences were six years ago, so dated. But I've heard from others more recently that it was still happening. Perhaps some "real" locals have even more up-to-date information, one way or the other.

Also, I have no information, first-hand or otherwise, about what happens in the southern provinces.

Medellin, Colombia
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10. Re: Road Trip

When I was travelling in the smaller towns I was deeply impressed by the fundamental bedrock character of the people and the blessings that the land is endowed with. Present difficulties aside, Argentina's wealth, education and infrastructure are all pretty advanced and not that different from the States; at least that's how I felt.