Money question - getting nervous??

Old Apr 26th, 2005, 08:32 AM
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Money question - getting nervous??

I have been reading a lot about ATM machines not working or being hard to find in the Tamarindo area so my guess is our best bet is to bring cash. Our hotel does not have in-room safes but does allow you to check valuables at the main reception desk when you first get their. My question is, is it better to just check the money at reception or to carry it the whole time in a money belt? I am getting nervous because of all the petty theft I keep reading about but I want to make sure we have enough money to get through our trip.
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Old Apr 26th, 2005, 07:37 PM
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Most of the ATMs in CR seem to work best with a Visa/ATM card connected to the Plus+ network. They are usually attached to banks and keep roughly the same hours; don't give up on them entirely. Travellers checks are an alternative; banks will change a small fee to cash them while most hotels will take them in payment and sometimes cash them for their guests.
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Old Apr 27th, 2005, 05:52 AM
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August: We used mostly our credit card for the tours & in restaurants. Most of the cash we brought are for tipping only.
If you do want to bring lots of cash, the hotel rooms do have safes in them (check with your hotel first). We kept our passports in the safes and had no problem.
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Old Apr 27th, 2005, 12:17 PM
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We also used mostly credit cards for hotels, tours and restaurants. We brought about $500 cash, split between 2 of us. We had $300 in travelers' checks that we used half of to pay a couple of balances at hotels. We also brought a lot of $1's and $5's for tips. We had gotten a new VISA Plus atm card and only used it to pay our exit tax. It worked out great for us. Most places took our VISA credit card with no problem. So far, we have only been charged minimal fees ($3-10)for using the credit card, and the atm we used for the exit tax was only charged a $2-3 fee for 5 exit tax fees at the airport. I worried a lot about this, too, but everything worked out great! Oh- we carried our money in a waist pouch - I took the money and my DH had the passports. Good luck!
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Old Apr 27th, 2005, 12:27 PM
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Thanks so much for all your advice. I know our hotel doesn't have in room safes so I was very nervous about bringing cash. All I have is an ATM/Visa check card hooked up to the Plus system so if I can use that at restaurants and tours then I will feel better about not needing as much cash. I had just read that sometimes restaurants can't get a connection so they decline your check card. It sounds like you guys don't have any problems though so I'm going to give it a try.
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Old Apr 27th, 2005, 06:01 PM
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If you are planning at eating at sodas at all, I wouldn't plan to use a credit card!
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Old Apr 28th, 2005, 05:06 AM
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August - do remember to alert your bank that you will be traveling! Wouldn't want them thinking that it had been stolen.

We have had to use the hotel safe before when there were no in-room safes, so far no problem.

Also, we have never run into a problem using Travelers Checks to pay for the balance on our lodging and charges made to the room. Check with your hotels prior to departure to be certain they will take them.
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