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Author: jim_jordan

Joined: 3/7/2010
Posts: 10
Trips Taken: 6
Countries Visited:

Various vacation destinations we've been to include: the Caribbean, Europe, Africa (Morocco and Egypt). We're going to Italy in May - June, 2010, on "Amalfi Coast & Tuscany" trip, including Rome pre-trip and Venice post-trip.

Traveler Since: 2002

May 25, 2010

Grand Circle Traveler Friends...

So you plan to travel to some foreign destination with Grand Circle Travel, and plan on using your Visa Debit Card to obtain cash at an ATM?  Well, I have something you need to know ... a neat web site where you can find the nearest ATM wherever you happen to be!

I leave in two days (actually, in just over one day and twenty-one hour from now, as I type!) for twenty-five days in Italy with Grand Circle's Amalfi Coast and Tuscany trip!

And, as everybody ought to always do when going away on a trip, this morning I called the issuers of each of my credit and debit cards, to alert them that I'd be away from home and possibly using their card for purchases (credit cards only!) or for ATM withdrawals (debit cards only!).  That way, if a transaction should pop up from, say, Rome, it won't be result in my card being blocked.

While talking with the nice lady with Bank of America in Jacksonville about my debit card, she clued me in to a really neat site which you can access to locate local ATMs wherever you are in the world!  Neat, huh?

Simply access http://visa.via.infonow.net/locator/global/ and you can select the country in the top drop-down window, type in the city in the second window and optionally enter a postal code in the lower window.  What you'll get is something like this ... a page showing the ATMs located in Sorrento.  (The closest to our hotel there, the Grand Hotel Cesare Augusto at Viale degli Aranci 108, are numbers 4 and 6 shown on the resulting map.)

Ciao!

Jim

Author: hootie

Joined: 3/7/2010
Posts: 133
Trips Taken: 8
Countries Visited:

China, Austria, Germany, Hungary, Slovakia, Poland, Serbia, Croatia, Romania, Transylvania, Bulgaria, Chech Republic, Slavakia, Bratislava, Egypt, Israel, Cyprus, Crete, Greece, Turkey, Istanbul, Italy, England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Estonia, Russia, Tahiti & French Polynesia/Society Islands, Hawaiian Islands, Bermuda, Alaska, Costa Rica, Mexico, United States, Panama Canal, Caribbean (extensively), Canada/Nova Scotia, Canary Islands, Gibralter, Spain, Portugal, Morocco, Vatican City, France, Holland, Belgium, Tasmania, Australia, New Zealand, Ukraine, Russia.

Traveler Since: 2001

May 26, 2010

jim jordan...

Great tip about Visa ATM locater!

You can also find Mastercard Global ATM locater.

Wish we had known this tip before our CHINA trip 2 years ago.  We had a REALLY hard time using our debit card at ATM's all over China.  The ATM machines said they would take debit "MasterCard"  but evidently ours wasn't a "Plus" or "Cirrus" or something.  We had to get cash advances from our credit card and only a few banks would do that.  It had to be a "Bank of China" branch and we had to show our passports & other I.D.  It took forever for them to process it and was a real hassle, but we were stuck.  If it was a small town with a Bank of China, we were still out of luck...had to be a larger branch in large city.  My husband met a young (chinese) engineering student at a bank who stepped in & translated for him and the teller.  The teller said he had to go to the main branch of Bank of China & was given directions.  The student insisted on walking my husband to the bank so he wouldn't get lost.  It was a 15 to 20 minute walk, then he translated at that bank and again insisted on walking my husband back to our hotel, another 20 minute walk.  My husband offered to pay him but he wouldn't take anything saying he enjoyed talking with him and just wanted him to have a nice time in his homeland.  My husband admitted to me that he wasn't sure he should be going off with a stranger in a foreign country to get a few hundred dollars out of a  bank but we are both glad he did.  He and my husband still keep in touch through email and have exchanged pictures and gifts.  What started as a hassle turned out to be a rewarding experience.  And best of all, we have a new friend.

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