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I am currently planning a European vacation for a client and she asked, “Can I use dollars when I travel overseas?” She thought that she would be able to use her American dollars while in a Portugal and really had no idea that she would need to get Euros.  So that got me to thinking, I wonder how many other people have the same question?


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 As far as I know, dollars are only used in very few countries outside of the U.S. Ecuador uses the dollar and I know that first hand as I vacationed there earlier this year. If you travel to the rest of South America you will need to get the currency of the country.


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El Salvador, Belize, The Bahamas, Micronesia, Marshal Islands all use American Dollars as their currency. This isn’t a comprehensive list as I am not a financial guru, but I can give you the information you need in order to plan your vacation.

 Below is an Argentinian Peso and underneath that are Brazilian Reais:


Money in Argentina


Brazilian Reias


When you travel to Europe, you will need to get the currency of the country. Many countries in Europe are on the Euro, which are below:



I wanted you to see the different colors and sizes of the Euro. There are larger bills (100 & 500) but I don’t have any of those. It is so easy to see how much money you have in your wallet as the different shapes and colors enable you to instantly know what you are carrying.


To my knowledge, you cannot use dollars anywhere in Europe. There may be a certain shop somewhere or a town or two that may take them but for the most part, you will need Euros if you are traveling to the EU (European Union)  or you will have to change your money to the currency of the country if the country you visit isn’t part of the EU.


 There are countries that use dollars, but not American Dollars, which means your American Dollars will not be valid. Here are some: Canada, Australia, Grenada, Guyana, Kiribati, Singapore, Suriname, Taiwan, Tuvalu, and Namibia.


Before you travel outside of your country, please check to see what currency is required in your destination.  I normally check to see what type of currency I will need, then I can start planning my monetary needs.  Or you can call the embassy of the country you will be visiting and ask them what is the currency. Just be sure to check before you board the plane, you don’t want to be caught off guard and you should ALWAYS have a small bit of local currency when traveling to another country.

Have you used your American Dollars in another country? Did you travel to a country and not realize you needed local currency?

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Some people travel. Roni IS travel. For over 20 years she has been traveling the world and now shares her unique insight with her worldwide audience on her blog, Whether you have never gotten on a plane or are a seasoned traveler, the expertise and insider knowledge she shares on her blog will help you make your travels an adventure. No where else can you find the uniquely helpful ins and out given to you by someone who has lived overseas for 4 years, speaks fluent English, French and Spanish, and works for a major airline. And guess what? She’s also a licensed elementary teacher and has an MBA.


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