How much to bring
Posted By: JoeBon
How much to bring - 09/28/05 01:43 PM
My fiancee and I will be heading to AC on Oct 17 until Oct 25. When i travel, i hate bringing cash with me. I try to bring a minimal amount. I always pay by credit card or use ATM machine. But i am worried that in AC this may be a problem. I get conflicting reports that the ATM don't always work and not everyone accepts credit cards. Can someone who actually lives there tell me if international (Canada) cards will work at the ATM.
As well for people that have been there, how much loose cash should i bring (assuming we will probably do 3 or 4 activities while there)?
Posted By: Hon
Re: How much to bring - 09/28/05 02:09 PM
The ATM at Belize Bank works with Canadian bank cards but that's not the issue. On weekends the machine tends to run out of cash and more than occasionally the power goes out and you can't use them at all.
Not all businesses will accept credit cards and those that do may add a service fee of 2% to 4%. Be sure to ask beforehand.
Your best bet, IMO, is to bring about $300USD in $20's and the rest of your 'cash' budget in USD travellers cheques.
Posted By: SimonB
Re: How much to bring - 09/28/05 02:56 PM
In defence of BEL, the power hasn't been out for any length of time during the day for months now.
Posted By: Otteralum
Re: How much to bring - 09/28/05 04:08 PM
Hard to answer since your budget for gifts, meals, alcohol, etc is only known by you. My wife and I tried to pay for everything we could with cash in order to avoid the 3% conversion fee charged by Visa/our bank. For 5 days, we went through $420 but did charge 2 meals and our 1 mainland trip.
Posted By: JeanH
Re: How much to bring - 09/28/05 04:13 PM
On our first trip to San Pedro, I woefully under-estimated how much cash we would need. This was before the banks took international ATM cards. I found myself at the bank getting a cash advance on my credit card. I got the cash, but it was pretty expensive. And sort of a hassle.
Just wondering whether or not the majority of restaurants take Visa? We will be arriving on the 29th of October and staying for two weeks.
I used my Visa all over AC with no problems. But I took the BB suggestion to bring extra cash. Glad I did.
Posted By: Anonymous
Re: How much to bring - 10/05/05 04:37 PM
Belize is not a cheap country, so bring as much as you'd need at home if you were travelling & eating out, etc. Allow plenty for trips you might want to go on. Try to bring all you'll need in US$ cash and US$ travellers cheques. Most businesses won't take American Express, because Amex give them such a poor deal here - bring Visa/Master. But try to keep the credit cards as back-up - any credit card is costly for the business concerned, greatly more so than at home; though some don't charge extra, many do.
Posted By: Anonymous
Re: How much to bring - 10/05/05 05:21 PM
Keep reading responses similar to those above - my experience appears to be a bit different.
I'm a fan of being able to spend, but not a fan of traveling with lots of cash. Travellers checks were accepted everywhere we wanted to use them last year - this year we didn't bother. 2 of us arrived with less than $400.00 us total in cash for a 9 day stay.
Everywhere I wanted to use my AMEX it was accepted (Except the water taxi & they took Visa). I can think of only two places who charged extra & I'm not opposed to the merchant passing the extra fee on to me, the convenience and frequent flyer miles are worth it. (Even offered to pay extra on one occassion, but was turned down and assured it was no big deal.)
The 24 hour ATM worked fine with my american ATM card even on weekends, was never out of cash, and fee was no worse than that charged in the states when I go to a bank other than mine.
Charged the ruins trip & golf cart rental to our room - breakfast each day was included w/ the room - credit card for big dinners and the furniture we bought - cash covered everything else.
Matter of preference - cash or credit seems to get you by.
Posted By: Anonymous
Re: How much to bring - 10/05/05 08:24 PM
I could relate my own experiences with Amex in my business. I used to take it, but after some terrible experiences with monstrous charges and long delays getting any money out of them I stopped. No such problems with Visa/Master, though I still greatly prefer travellers cheques.
Posted By: Phyllis&Ray
Re: How much to bring - 10/05/05 08:54 PM
I vote travellers cheques, have worked best for all of our visits.
Remember the old saw in the travel business: Bring half the clothes you think you'll need, and twice the money.