I’ve never had a problem with this in France or England. I actually prefer to use credit cards while travelling. I’ve heard that CC usually get better exchange rates and it’s a simple matter if they’re lost or stolen. (Never carry all of your cards in one place.)
A few tips:
–Whenever I travel, I always take along a selection of commonly-used OTC medications, like anti-diarhea meds and headahe meds. It’s not that they might not be available in the location, but that you might have trouble finding a drug store in a new city (and they might be a lot more expensive.) Plus, who wants to go shopping with a pounding headahce?
–Oh, and the old adage to have what you need to get by for three days in your carry-on is something that bears repeating. Put in a few changes of socks and underpants, a t-shirt and shorts for sleeping, and an extra shirt, along with about a week’s supply of all of your prescriptions. I once overheard a couple complaining that their luggage had been lost and they had nothing. They had to call their doctor for new prescriptions, buy new clothes, etc. If they’d thought ahead, they wouldn’t have been left empty-handed.
– If you don’t speak the language, it’s always smart to learn a few key phrases, just in case. “I don’t speak [langauge.]”/ “Where are the toilets?”/ “Please contact the American Embassy.” ( )". It’s also smart to learn how to explain if you have any serious medical conditions, like “I have a heart problem” or “I’m allergic to [this].”
–If you’re travelling with companions always have an emergency rally point and one alternate. For example, you could agree that if your group is seperated, you will wait in your current location for 15 minutes (if safe) and then return to the hotel. If for any reason, the hotel is not safe, you should meet at [landmark]. I know it sounds silly, but it really has been helpful for Hubby and I.
– Keep your passport on your person at all times, and guard it jealously. I have a special passport carrier which I hang around my neck. A lost or stolen passport is a pain in the ass and can make you miss your return flight.
–Take twice as much film/memory sticks as you think you’ll need. I’ve heard those glorious tulip fields bring the photo artist out in everyone.
–Decide which museums/attractions you want to see while you’re there in advance. Research them online, to know how the hours/how much you’ll need for admission, and whether you need special tickets.**
– Don’t plan to do too much while you’re there. Leave a good bit of time for just wandering around or reading in a cafe.
Have fun, and bring me back some wooden shoes.
*We once were seperated in a big city through a miscommunication. I waited the fifteen minutes in my present spot, and then headed back to the hotel. The rest of the group was panicked, thinking they’d never find me, but Hubby just calmly told them he was sure that I had returned to the hotel and not to worry. We met up there.
** One of the greatest dissapointments in my life was not getting to see the Queen’s House while in the Tower of London. I didn’t do my homework and didn’t know you needed seperate tickets to see it. By the time I learned of it, the last batch of tickets for the day had been sold, and I didn’t get to see it.