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What kind of currency should I now take to Mexico given the new restrictions on U.S. dollar purchases?

That is a question I have received constantly since the new policy was enacted a few months ago.

Do the restrictions on U.S. dollars apply to U.S. traveller’s cheques as well?  We normally bring U.S. traveller’s cheques and convert them to pesos at a currency exchange outlet or bank. Would we be better advised taking Canadian-dollar travel cheques?

There is a dilemma about how to pay for things now, tied to how much extra is now going to cost me to use other means of exchange.

I called a representative of one of the major tour suppliers going to Mexico almost daily. Here’s the advice they are giving clients: If you are contemplating taking traveller’s cheques, go with Canadian currency traveller’s cheques.

But the story is bigger than that!

At the same time, you should know that traveller’s cheques have gone out of vogue over the last few years. Some merchants don’t want them and often currency exchange outlets charge an extra premium when they cash them.

Recognizing most people do not want to travel with an inordinate amount of cash, credit cards and ATMs appear to be the route to take.

Even these have costs attached to them that have the impact of reducing your effective exchange value. Banks charge at least a couple of percentage points for foreign transactions, while foreign banks charge an additional fee for using their systems.

A mix of all of them will always give you options under most circumstances.

In the end we are all going to be paying through some route or other, and the balance of the mix of all of them gives you security.

Remember though Mexican Peso’s are not all that valuable in your dresser drawer so manage your exchange wisely. Trading them at a bank at home will not bring you a lot of parity.

You many find you are being asked for Pesos more than in the past because of the fear of some merchants but like all laws, there is some feedback from returning travellers that it too is being ignored if the amounts don’t transgress the $100 U.S. max to much.

If you are going to Mexico, check out http://www.journeystravelgear.com/ for products you might like for your trip.

Have travel questions?  Email me at askjourneys@journeystravel.com