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It’s Easier Than Ever to Travel Abroad Without Money

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In actual fact, it’s not a nasty idea before your next trip to establish a digital wallet (like Google Pay or Apple Pay) connected to your checking account or debit card and turn out to be acquainted with how it really works in case you wish a bank card alternative.

Jenny Ly, 29, a California-based blogger for the travel guide site Wanderly, said she was surprised to search out “we don’t accept money” signs on a visit to South Africa this 12 months. “Many countries were already heading toward a cashless world before the pandemic, but Covid has expedited the usage of contactless payments via QR codes at checkout,” she said.

Once the QR code is scanned via your phone’s camera, you complete the payment with a digital wallet or by entering bank card information. But watch out, Ms. Ly said: “Malicious QR codes might be used to divert money, steal sensitive information and install malware.”

Despite the ubiquity of cashless payments, you could still find yourself needing some physical currency. “It really depends how removed from the beaten path you’re going,” Mr. Jones said. “In case you’re in a city, in London, for instance, or should you’re on a bunch tour, try to be one hundred pc OK counting on a card. But should you’re backpacking or going to small stores, small restaurants, irrespective of where you’re on the earth, there’s an honest likelihood you would possibly should use some money.”

It also varies by country. Germany was a mostly money economy until the pandemic, Mr. Jones said, but many previously cash-only vendors there now “have signs out that say ‘We prefer contactless payments.’” In contrast, Scandinavia, Australia and Recent Zealand have “been super pro-card within the last 10 years.” Spain and France, like Germany, remain a mixture, he said.

And having some loose change available might be helpful. To make use of a restroom within the train station in Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, Hana Pevny, 60, who owns the Waldo Emerson Inn in Kennebunk, Maine, was “forced to get euros out of an A.T.M.” on her otherwise cashless trip to that country, Hungary and the Czech Republic.

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