Taking Cash Abroad

Travel Forums Australia / New Zealand & The Pacific Taking Cash Abroad

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1. Posted by hmaar6 (Budding Member 8 posts) 16y Star this if you like it!

Going to Oz, thinking of taking about $9k.

Is it worth buying travellers cheques, maybe just $2k of it?

Is it better to put them in my case, or all in my wallet? Do i need to declare anything??

Where's best to get best Xchange rate - buy dollars in Oz? Is taking that much cash risky?

Answers appreciated


2. Posted by Erik85 (Respected Member 274 posts) 16y Star this if you like it!

Err just go to Oz with your ATM card Most banks are affiliated internationally so your card should work in most ATMs in Australia. Just clarify with your bank what the exact fees are, and it's usually better to withdraw in decent amounts (ie. few hundred at a time). I think travellers cheques are a bit outdated these days, if you really want the security of having another option I guess you could use a couple hundred (otherwise a credit card is a good backup if something happens to your ATM card).

As for storing cash it depends what you trust more - potentially dodgy people in your hostel/hotel or the risk of losing/getting your wallet stolen (although theft/mugging is pretty rare in Australia). Probably better to split it up in 2-3 different places! And get a lock or something for your pack.

In terms of exchange rates they'd be pretty standard anywhere here. I'd doubt there'd be a huge difference unless you're taking out several thousand in the one go. I personally wouldn't worry much about exchange rates as taking out excess money puts you in risk of losing it anyway.

But either way the Australian dollar has lately been fluctuating between 85-91 US cents for some time I think.


3. Posted by Gavin-D (Budding Member 81 posts) 16y Star this if you like it!

hey, personally my plans are travellers cheques, bit safer if you loose the wallet. i'll be taking a fair sum in travellers cheques, leaving some cash in my bank account that i can access with my atm card for emergencies and a lil amount of aus dollars.

would cash travellers cheques the first few days your over while opening your bank account:)

4. Posted by shane_k (Budding Member 15 posts) 16y Star this if you like it!

Well i'm here at the moment (in sydney) just opened an account here today.

I brought my money over in the form of cash and an international cheque (already converted to AUS$). It was made out to my name only so a stranger couldnt cash it and it was guaranteed by the bank meaning it could be replaced if lost.

5. Posted by snowplain (Budding Member 21 posts) 16y Star this if you like it!

Australia is no more dangerous than the UK in terms of carrying cash around - the primary risk is that you'd lose it rather than have it stolen. Nonetheless, carrying around 9k in cash is fairly silly as there's no reason at all to do so - in fact I'm not even sure if you're joking.

Put it in your bank at home and pull it out of an ATM when you need it (you'll get a better exchange that way anyway, which will offset any fees if you get out decent amounts). Alternatively, bring it and open up an Australian bank account the day you get here, which is also very easy to do and comes with a debit card - just bring your passport into any branch. Don't put it in your case!

6. Posted by shane_k (Budding Member 15 posts) 16y Star this if you like it!

Yeah and as for banks i go with bankwest. theyre the cheapest and most backpacker friendly in my opinion. had verything sorted in under 20 minutes.

7. Posted by snowplain (Budding Member 21 posts) 16y Star this if you like it!

Will second that - I'm with BankWest too and I recommend them to everyone.

Bear in mind banks here generally charge fees for using other bank's ATMs, so a good tip if you opt for BankWest and you're on the east coast, where BankWest branches aren't as common, is 7-Elevens - they have a contract with 7-Eleven so you'll find a BankWest ATM in pretty much every store.

[ Edit: Edited on Feb 7, 2008, at 9:24 PM by snowplain ]

8. Posted by hmaar6 (Budding Member 8 posts) 16y Star this if you like it!

Hi guys

thanks for your replies

however you failed to really answer my question

I can't use an ATM over in the UK for one reason or another. I HAVE to take the cash in other words

However, my question is - Will i get more money bringing £UK to Australia or should i just change it before i go? Basically what is the best exhange rate?


9. Posted by snowplain (Budding Member 21 posts) 16y Star this if you like it!

It doesn't work like that. You get the best exchange rate from banks - any other exchange places offer the international bank rate, which banks internationally share + whatever they're wanting to make from you. So getting money changed at Australian vs UK banks should offer roughly the same exchange rate on any given day, and non-bank places in both countries are just pot luck. As a general rule, exchange desks in airports normally have especially poor rates, and I'd also avoid heavily touristed areas.

Can you open a bank account in Australia? If so I'd suggest getting an international money order beforehand to pay into your account when you get here. You may be able to get one from a UK bank for a fee without having an account with them. Failing that get a mate with a bank account to do it for you. The post office does them too, though I don't know if they'll do you one for 9k.

If you can't do that, get traveller's cheques, and failing that, call the Australian bank you intend to open an account with beforehand and ask if you can pay the stirling directly into your account - they may be able to do it for a fee. If for some reason (I'm not going to ask) you can't open a bank account in either UK or Australia, traveller's cheques are definitely the way to go. Hope that helps.

10. Posted by SOMV (Budding Member 58 posts) 16y Star this if you like it!


Don't forget that if you bring anymore than AUD$10,000 to Australia in cash you MUST declare it! If you don't declare it you will get yourself into unnecessary hassles and you may be fined.

Cheers :)