Hints for International Travelers

It’s been a while since I added a new category here, but a Twitter conversation with @quarridors inspired this. As with much of the rest of Gallyhelp, I’m counting on people with different experience from mine to contribute, and I’ll summarize. Leave a comment if you like, and if your advice is specific to a certain origination country or continent, please note that for other readers’ information.

Getting At Your Money

Banking can be odd in the US, especially with ATM (Automated Teller Machine/Bank Machine/Cash Machine) access. Generally if you use an ATM from any bank other than your own, that ATM operator will charge you a fee (ranging from $1.50-5.99 in my experience, depending on location) to withdraw cash, and sometimes to even get a balance inquiry. The bank that issues your credit/debit card may also charge you a transaction fee and/or a currency exchange fee. Some banks will refund the “foreign ATM” fee or a part of it, but I’m not sure how common that is for international transactions.

There are two ATMs in the lobby of the Marriott (host hotel of Gallifrey One), and as non-bank-owned ATMS they are likely to charge everyone a fee for transactions.

My first year at Gally, the ATMs ran out of money early in the weekend. One of them has broken at least once in the last couple of years during the convention. However, there are a number of other ATMs (at least 10 locations within a mile). If your bank, building society, or other financial institution participates in any international networks, or if you just want to find a nearby ATM, consider checking your financial institution’s “locations” or “find us” web page, MasterCard US, Visa Worldwide, or Co-op ATM (the credit union network in the US).

Other tips

I don’t have any other tips yet, but I’d welcome contributions. Leave a comment here (quickest), or tweet me at @gallifreyan, and I’ll try to get your suggestions added.