Dont bring Travellers ChequesWe arrived in Panama with some travellers cheques as we dont like travelling with large amounts of Cash.
We tried cashing them at 5 different banks and were told NO we dont cash travellers cheques. Some people we have met said they discovered on some sites that this was shown as topic....not the ones we looked at. We finally were directed by a wonderful Panamanian construction work who actually took us to the Western Union office in downtown Panama City and sat with us through the whole process and exhorbant 10% charge for cashing them. SO BRING CASH and hopefully your VISA will work at banks.
Also, you can purchase a cheap Cell phone down here for $20.00 and up and get a card to use for local calls....make sure that they switch the phone to English when you buy it as they are all programmed into Spanish and if your like us we are pretty rusty with Spanish.
People we have met are all great and friendly and more obligiing than people home in Canada.
Enjoy the culture, scenery, and the sunshine.
Currently in Gargona.
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Puerto Armuelles - Beach Town
|"ATM cards work!"|
There is no need to bring traveler checks or lots of cash. Simply use your ATM card. I have yet to find an ATM machine where my USA ATM card did not work.
Of course, if you are going somewhere off the grid you will have to be sure get enough money out of the ATM to last until you make it back to a larger place.
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I think Travelers Checks are really outdated... just check with your bank about service charges and look for one with low or no service charges for foreign use of an ATM card.
Also, try to avoid a cash advance from a credit card, that may have higher fees and interest charges.
For security you can setup two accounts are your bank. One linked to the ATM card and the other with the majority of your funds. Then you can use online banking to put what you will need in your ATM account....
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