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Small Change

December 09, 1990

Travel articles often recommend that travelers change dollars into local currency in the country visited rather than in the United States before departure. I suggest that each trip should be considered according to its circumstances.

On a trip to Australia this year, I took $120 in Australian money and $500 in Australian traveler's checks. The service charge where I purchased these items was $3.50 for the cash and no charge for the traveler's checks. This was very convenient as my Australian dollars and traveler's checks were accepted everywhere without problem or charge. There was no charge to convert the money I had left when I returned, back into American money.

The $3.50 charge was not a significant part of the $4,000 cost of the trip and this method saved the daily checking to see how to get the best exchange.

The situation would be different if one were visiting several countries, but under some circumstances it may be well to consider changing before departure.

JESSIE C. OBERT

Los Angeles

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