Join Angela, Axel, Abel and Asher as they welcome their new sibling home.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Traveling with money

When you travel to adopt from Eastern European countries, you travel with A LOT of money on you. I don't know about other countries and continents, so I'm only going to discuss Europe in this post.

But I didn't.

At the International Airports there are banks and money exchanges. Since we live very close to our international airport, I went a couple days ahead and had all my money put on a Eurocard.
When you do this, you'll be given a receipt which includes on it the exchange rate at the time you put the money on your card. SAVE THAT RECEIPT!!! You'll need it later!

All the money on the Euro card is in Euros, which are accepted all over Europe. And, when you get there, you'll discoverer there are money exchange places e.v.e.r.y.w.h.e.r.e, where you can exchange Euros for local currency.

So here's how it works: You put your money on the Eurocard, and carry with you only what you'll need immediately when you get where you're going. For myself, I carried 500 Euros and $200 USD (us dollars.)

The Euro card allows you to pull out up to 5000 Euros (which is $6500 USD) at one time from an ATM. If you know you're going to need more out than that at one time, do it as soon as you get to the airport in country, then again the next morning at an atm near your apartment, and you'll very quickly have 10,000 euros (or $13,000 USD) in your hand.

When you get home, if you have money left on your card, take it back to the bank at your US International Airport, along with that receipt I told you to save! They will give you back US dollars at the same rate you exchanged them prior.

Now, you can also tell your bank that you'll be traveling and you need your cards opened for Europe. This allows you to use your regular cards at ANY atm within Europe. My bank asks me specifically what countries I'm traveling in that I would use my cards. For me, this would be Germany (the Frankfurt airport if I wanted to purchase something there, which I almost always do) and Serbia. I also have my bank lift my daily ATM and Point of Sale limits significantly.

I keep a contact email address and phone number of a specific contact person at my bank. If I make an unusually large purchase, I email that person and let her know. However, my bank knows me well enough that if there was a large purchase made, they'd be contacting ME to make sure I made it and that someone hadn't stolen my card.

This makes traveling with money so much easier, not to mention safer! Especially now with the body scanners, which do not allow you to keep a money belt on you. If you're travel with more than $10,000 cash you have to claim it at customs, but if you have it on a card you do not.

Hopefully this will be helpful to someone traveling soon.


  1. Thank you.....this is great to know! You are a wealth of info to our family!

  2. Wow, we only took a couple thousand to Estonia.