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!