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Money exchange?

Paola, Ks
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52 posts
95 reviews
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Money exchange?

We arrive in Tobago later this month and are very excited. We have heard a couple things on what to do to exchange our US dollars for TT dollars.

Do we even need to do that or just use or US dollars and credit cards?

Should we exchange our cash US dollars for cash TT dollars? Should we use an ATM card at a bank or ATM to withdraw TT dollars?

Is there another way that you think is better?

Please advise as to what we should do to keep everything going smooth and easy. Thank you.

Ontario, Canada
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787 posts
14 reviews
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1. Re: Money exchange?

As with any trip, I would NOT walk with any large amounts of money. I would however definitely keep some on hand as cash transactions are the norm.(tips/beers/snacks etc). I myself will bring my ATM card and take out as required so I am not walking with loads of cash or leaving behind in my accommodation. I also bring two credit cards (kept in separate places) for some purchases/dinners out etc. Most folk accept either US or TT and in my case have always accepted Can$ as well....especially as they are pretty much at par at the moment. ATM's are available at the airport and surrounding areas. Good luck!

Trinidad
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2. Re: Money exchange?

You can't use US$$ and credit cards but smaller places sometimes don't have credit card facilities. You can get TT$ at the ATM at airport or other places but if you staying in the rural areas most times their ATM are out of service. It would be best to have some TT$ too.

Do not change $$ at the Hotel. They all have terrible exchange rates.

London, United...
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83 posts
6 reviews
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3. Re: Money exchange?

hello from london , i will be in trini and what i advise is you get a pre-paid cash card . with either visa or master card logo. you top it up in you country with the amount you want to spend also as suggested you also bring another card as well. you will be charged for every time you take cash out fro your bank as well and change your money to T&T dollars . the exchange rate changes every day and i advise you to try to use low denomination's T&T dollars . its very easy to start flashing $100's note to try to impresss but after a few drinks you might forget and go home and wake up and reliaze you spent a lot of money.

Ontario, Canada
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787 posts
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4. Re: Money exchange?

Poisonarrow....since when can't you use US$ and credit cards? Has this changed since I was last there?

Ottawa, Canada
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11,076 posts
138 reviews
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5. Re: Money exchange?

Sorry, I disagree about getting a pre-paid cash card - at least for this American poster. If most of your activity is going to be through your resort, find out if they accept credit card, and use it there - but be sure you know if they charge an extra fee for the convenience. When one uses a different currency than US or TT, then it gets a little more complicated, but for lodging or tours, a good number use US$. You will need a good amount of cash, and I have both US and local, but I prefer to use local currency and take out what I think I need in one go from an ATM. The airports have them handy. Know that they don't always work or have cash, but there are often several side by side.

You may have a safe in your room so that you aren't carrying around valuables, including money, all the time. Tobago is a pretty safe and laid back place. I don't sweat the short time I am carrying cash until I can lock it away somewhere. But I am religious about locking up anything 'interesting' in my room.

You may want to determine how much you plan to spend, but I would bank on everything but what your resort provides being in cash - of some kind.

London, United...
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6. Re: Money exchange?

hi from london , just read response from ( ottawa ) i strongly disagree to go on holiday and to take out a one large sum of money and to walk around with it until you can put it somewere safe is not the best idea. and to put it all in a hotel room safe a large sum is not a good idea unless you have travel insurance that will cover the loss of a large amout of money. which insurance would not cover . on holiday you carry small amounts of money in case you loose your money or it is stolen from you. i suggest that you read your own goverments best advice for going on holiday and what is the best thing to do in regards to money. lol

Ottawa, Canada
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138 reviews
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7. Re: Money exchange?

London, I understand different experiences and perspectives and that is what TA is all about, but for me it all depends on the amount of money discussed and the infrustructure of the country. A place like Tanzania - no credit cards or prepaid cards are used. North Americans have to learn to understand the concept of sending wire transfers - which is pretty scary for us. And so money is carried there for short periods of time until they can pay off the last of their safari, or whatever.

As the OP is from the US and will have access to US$, that was the premise of my answer. When I travel, I rarely have more than a few hundred dollars in hand. I pay everything I can beforehand. Perhaps it works for me as I travel solo, and am frugal with my expenses, however, relying on plastic is not always feasible either.

I also understand that there is some risk with safes, as they are not always 100% safe.

Perhaps our impression of the amount of money needed should be defined. Anything over $500, I will withdraw from my debit card in an ATM only when it is required, and I only will keep that much money around if I am unsure whether I can get money at any other time or place - and to reduce the numbers of multiple transaction and exchange fees. In T&T, if charged in US$, then my canadian dollar is converted to US and then into TT$ on my credit card. From an ATM, is is a straight Cdn$ to TT$ conversion.

Also, the expenses in North America for a pre paid cash card, is not economically sound, nor is it accepted widely.

A trip report post here today states that numerous places had malfunctioning ATMs, so if you don't have a car and are out of the way, what are you going to do? He used and exchanged US cash.

We each have different travel experiences and different comfort zones. There are also, different requirements and opportunities coming from different countries and currencies.

The OP may decide.

London, United...
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6 reviews
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8. Re: Money exchange?

hi from london ( ottowa ) you have made a fair comment and hopefully ( paola ) will have all of our comments to decide what is best for them . im looking forward to going back to trini for carnival this will be my ( 7th time ) and hopefully many more . if you see a hansome londoner at smokey and bunty introduce yourself and i will buy a round. cheers. from london.

Trinidad
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1,465 posts
82 reviews
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9. Re: Money exchange?

SO SORRY abt tht typo. Tht was supposed to be you CAN use CC and US$$

I didn't notice it earlier to edit.

Ontario, Canada
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787 posts
14 reviews
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10. Re: Money exchange?

I figured after re reading. ;)

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