Friday, January 4, 2013

Stuck in Mexico with No Pesos to my Name

mexican pesos

Imagine being in a foreign country with $20 to your name.

Pretty scary stuff huh!?

After our arrival, following our little delay, we needed to convert some American currency travelers cheques into Mexican pesos.

No problem. We’ll do what we do every year. Go down to the Scotiabank, show some identification, sign the paperwork and voila… Pesos.

We got ready for our adventure. The kids loaded themselves into their double stroller, rations were packed and suntan lotion applied. We enjoyed our first leisurely stroll down the andador (no cars are permitted) right into the centre of the city. A lovely ten-minute walk in 24 degree weather with a slight breeze. Along the way, we recognized some familiar faces and bought some coffee and milk with our remaining money.

We got to the bank and wouldn’t you know it, there wasn’t a line up! This really was shaping up to be “The Day of The Zoo”.

That was until the clerk told me that they no longer accept travelers cheques.

I beg your pardon (in several different languages)?

To say that I was distraught would be an understatement.

I know what you’re thinking. Don’t get all upset, just go to one of the other banks in the city and get them to cash it.

I mean, it’s not like they’re the only one’s that accept travellers cheques. Right?

Right. I mean, wrong. Scotiabank is the last bank in the city that accepts them.

I put on my thinking cap and went to the Money Exchangers. No luck.

The local tour operators. I mean, people don’t walk around with wads of cash do they? Apparently so.

What to do?

Thankfully, Ed came up with an idea that worked. Use our (Canadian) bank cards and take out money! Luckily we brought them as we usually leave them at home with most of our credit cards.

While we’re limited to $300 a day (that lasts us two-weeks), have to pay $2.50 plus unfavourable conversion rates with every deposit (I’m frugal and dislike paying any fees), WE HAVE MONEY!

All in a days adventure for The Zoo!

12 thoughts on “Stuck in Mexico with No Pesos to my Name

  1. Rene Beaubien

    Wow – that would have sucked if Ed hadn’t come up with a working plan! It would really put your frugality (and friendships) to the test! Looking forward to hearing of the next chapter in your eventful trip…

  2. Anonymous

    I din’t know anyone used travelers checks any more? I guess this is one of the reasons why. Glad you worked it out in the end. That could have been a disaster.

  3. Paula Schuck

    Unbelievable. That is not cool at all especially when travelling with kids. Thank heavens you brought the bank cards! Wishing you safe journeys and cannot wait to hear more. We are at the airport in Las Vegas. Travel is a great gift to all. Glad you are able to see the sunny side, my friend.


  4. Elizabeth Matthiesen

    Wow, that would have ruined everything for me. How can a bank stop taking traveller’s cheques, that is crazy. I hope that you complained when you got back home and that Scotiabank suggested alternatives for next time! I used to put cash onto my Visa so that I could draw that out without paying extra, well conversion fees naturally, but no charges.


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