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Old 09-10-2013, 06:47 PM   #1
TUCKERS OP
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Wicked Money Question

James and I are riding from Southern California to Tierra del Fuego and back.
We are leaving our 1200GS's home and riding DR650's. We'll be heading South on November 18th and are allowing up to six months to ride the 31,000 (?) miles.

We have a reservation on the Stahlratte for December 6th; loading on the 5th.

So, on to my question..........

I see that it is going to cost us 3% plus small fees to draw money out of ATM's.

I'd rather not pay $90+. to get my hands on $3,000.00.

For those of you who have traveled for this amount of time, what is the best way to handle the whole money thing...... We'll need $4,000.00 to board the Stahlratte going and coming back......

We're thinking we may need $100.00/day for two bikes needing gasoline, us needing food/lodging.

I can do the math on the days, plus Stahlratte but do we dare take that kind of cash????????????

We think we've come up with some clever places to keep the cash; none of which are on the bikes. (no, no body cavities)

Or, do we have to suck it up and pay the 3%+ every time we need cash?

I assume there are many places where our credit card will be of no use..... i.e. gas........

Thanks for any recommendations!

Colleen Tucker
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Old 09-10-2013, 07:06 PM   #2
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there are some cards that do not charge foreign fees. charles scwabb apparently is free of fees. not sure about minimum balances though. credit cards can be used almost anywhere in the civilized areas, certainly in nicaragua, where all but the smallest places accept cards.

western union is another method often overlooked. assume a 3% transaction fee for a $100 withdrawal. $3.00. you could send yourself $1000 via western union from your bank account in the states and it would cost you $8.00 or 0.8%. of course you have to plan properly as the bank account method takes 1-3 business days and you have to be sure there will be an agent nearby. in latin america WU agents are everywhere.
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Old 09-10-2013, 07:29 PM   #3
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We've been sitting here talking it over and have concluded that we can't be a slave to our money...... always thinking/worrying about it.....

We'll have to pay the fees and draw out smaller amounts; this could add up to $1,000.00.....

factor it in!
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Old 09-10-2013, 07:34 PM   #4
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How much can you get from an ATM in Central and South America in one go?
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Old 09-10-2013, 08:22 PM   #5
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most machines i've used limit you to $300. but you could walk over to another machine and take out another $300
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Old 09-10-2013, 09:28 PM   #6
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Citibank Gold Card, if you don't have the $100K minimum balance in your checking you pay the $25/month service fee. That's it, no other fees, except the local atm fee charged by the Latin American bank. They even got a replacement card to me in Ayacucho, Peru, no charge.
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Old 09-10-2013, 11:44 PM   #7
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OP, sounds like you're already giving up--within hours of posting the question. There are indeed fee-free ATM cards. Look into it if that $1000 matters to you.

No matter what you do, bankers are probably extracting their percentages. They're doing it while you sit at home planning your trip, and they'll do it while you're on the road. You can slow the bleeding, but you can't prevent it completely. Even if you take massive amounts of cash (a la Easy Rider, maybe) you're going to lose percentages every time you exchange to and from local currencies. That's life.

And lest you get too far ahead of yourself, I noticed that most riders don't ride home after riding all the way down there: they get back as far as B.A. and decide they've had enough, either selling their bikes, storing them forever in a certain nameless Garage Whose Name Shall Not Be Mentioned, or shipping them home. Don't be worrying about the Stahlratte charges for the return journey just yet.

Besides, I heard a fresh rumor about a ferry the other day. Something about two Germans who'd purchased a boat in Canada and were transporting it down there in order to start regular runs to Colombia in October. It's deja vu all over again.

Mark
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Old 09-11-2013, 06:51 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by markharf View Post
Besides, I heard a fresh rumor about a ferry the other day. Something about two Germans who'd purchased a boat in Canada and were transporting it down there in order to start regular runs to Colombia in October. It's deja vu all over again.

Mark
I'm sure that will soon be up and running smoothly.

I also used a Citibank Gold account. For no foreign transaction fee I paid $25 bucks a month admin fee X 24 months = $600

Over the 2 years I withdrew roughly $30,000 maybe a bit more. So if I was paying 3% = $900

So I saved $300 bucks, about an extra 6 days of travel.

Most places you will need to use cash. Remember many credit cards also charge a 3% transaction fee.

Cost of doing business.
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Old 09-11-2013, 07:01 AM   #9
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The ferry rumors are true: there's a ferry rumor.

I suggest carrying at least three different cards, from three different banks, using three different types of ATM contracts. I carried only two. I'd get to a bank ATM and try Card #1 (Schwab) and it would work. Or it wouldn't, and then I'd try Card #2, which would work. Or it wouldn't, and then I'd be glad I hadn't run myself down to Broke, and I'd ride on to another ATM and repeat the process. And I'd wish I'd had been smart enough to bring a third card. Like the kind you get at Walmart.

Has there been a money-safety thread for a while? With details on how to avoid having your ATM codes stolen?

Which reminds me, you don't want to keep too high of a balance available, so that if your cards are stolen and/or compromised, you don't end up broke. Have a trusted friend or family member take care of transferring money into your slush fund.

Read the striking viking's book, too.
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Old 09-11-2013, 09:07 AM   #10
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Hi,
I'm using a Visa-Card from a German bank without paying any extra for withdrawing money outside from Germany.
I'm not sure if exists the same system in the US.
But I'm travelled years without this card and I always paid...

But if you are travelling for a long time you will spend probably a lot of money and sometimes for useless or stupid things.
If you are always annoyed about this, you won't enjoy your trip.

In Nicaragua and Costa Rica you can get 400 $ at once. If I go the ATM from BAC I can withdraw up to 2000 $ in one day! At least with my card.

The risk of theft is higher in hotel rooms than many people think. I'm using a "pacsafe net" when I'm going out without my camera, cards, passport since more then 10 years.
I store everything in a backpack with a padlock, put this in the packsafe and connect the packsafe with the steelcable and another padlock to a metal tube ore so.
You can still steal it (with some tools), but not soooo easy and it's visible quickly.

saludos from Nicaragua
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Old 09-11-2013, 10:30 AM   #11
TUCKERS OP
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Originally Posted by Misery Goat View Post
Citibank Gold Card, if you don't have the $100K minimum balance in your checking you pay the $25/month service fee. That's it, no other fees, except the local atm fee charged by the Latin American bank. They even got a replacement card to me in Ayacucho, Peru, no charge.
That's great news!!!! I'll be applying for one today!!!!!
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Old 09-11-2013, 10:47 AM   #12
TUCKERS OP
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Thanks for the words everyone, and for the card tip miserygoat. That is what we may do.

It's not our first rodeo, we motorcycle travel for the last 12 years, but never for more than 2 months. (James did do Panama back in 1976! 26 years old and carried his cash).

We are fully aware that there are costs involved.

YES, the $1000 means something to us, considering we are on SS and living off our wits to supplement our motorcycle riding! 10 days extra riding is major.

Just about anyone can set up a 'ferry' around the Darien. At any one time there are 3 or 4 or more operators.

We have a Captitol One card with no foreign transaction fee and used it many times. The main question was basically:
DO YOU CARRY CASH OR HOW DO YOU GET AROUND THE 3% FEE AT ATM. This 3% is in addition to the ATM fee at both banks.

Miserygoat had a solution, and we thank him for that.

Colleen was the OP and subsequent poster, but this is the famous james you are messing with now

Any and all replies can be valuable. Please continue to offer them.

If you want to 'tell us off' or give us 'warnings' go ahead with that too, bring it on.



We have ridden 'Alaska (Dust to Dawson). Labrador loop (CCW). Florida. So TDF is our major destination this time, we just want to ride as far as the road goes in each direction and maintain contact with the bikes. So that means no flying. It's just or goal, something we want to do.
We always depart our home near Los Angeles and have ridden our trips without gaps, meaning we don't come home until the trip is done.
We have done many, many smaller trips,, like Long Beach California to Virginia Beach Virginia (and back).
We generally have camped, but may not do this going south.

We have been to Mexico and especially Baja many many times and had our fair share of ups and downs (in face plant see 'hit a cow in baja')

Our time line and money for this are set. It's a ride. It's not a sight see-ing tour. For us it's about the actual RIDING. We have six months and $30,000. When we get half way through our time or money we turn around.
Because of our chosen family obligations we will only leave on November 18th, and unfortunately we load for Colombia on the 5th December, so it's a quick blast to Panama. We may have more time riding north. We have chosen to be home by mid May for family and such.

Plans change. We are flexible. The only booking we have is Stahlratte sailing 6th December, us leaving Los Angeles on 18th November and being home before mid May....that's the only planned dates and bookings.

We are both very happy just to ride a direct route and see what we see. We don't feel a need to make many detours. We don't mix hiking/fishing/bungee jumping/sky diving/even tourist attractions with our riding quest. James travelled half the World and didn't even take a camera! Eating for us is FUEL, we do not need to sample each dish, we don't use food as entertainment. We have found the routes we select to be interesting enough to satisfy our Wanderlust. We rarely stay in one place more than two nights. UNLESS it's a destination and then we may stay a week. We will probably stay in Ushuai one night. We will probably cross Nicaragua in one day, we will probably cross Costa Rica in one day. We have been to and experienced MANY places in our life, now we just want to RIDE...it's all about the ride for us. We are not trying to see everything along the way, we are trying to ride TDF and back THAT'S IT. We know we must ride 200 miles a day. Some days we will ride 400 for sure, as we need to 'bank' days so we can relax and take care of 'other' adventure that may/will occur.
We are not pioneers, we are WAY down the line in people doing this, it's almost becoming commonplace.
We are not apprehensive and certainly not over planning...we are however on a budget and all money saving tips are welcome.
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Old 09-11-2013, 11:48 AM   #13
crashmaster
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Just about anyone can set up a 'ferry' around the Darien. At any one time there are 3 or 4 or more operators.
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Old 09-11-2013, 02:16 PM   #14
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Some sort of misunderstanding about that word "ferry." There are no ferries, and the current rumor seems as likely to come true as the last set of very elaborate rumors.

James, what I'm gathering is that you like to "ride," little else. Ok. With six months to do both directions, your love of doing nothing but riding will come in handy. Be thankful you've got a head start, being located near your first border.

For all your experience, there are a few details you might want to learn about how money and banking work. I'll offer this link to the much-reviled LP site: it's worth reading.

http://www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntre...readID=2295627

Good luck.

Mark
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Old 09-11-2013, 02:49 PM   #15
TUCKERS OP
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fer·ry
ˈferē/
noun
noun: ferry; plural noun: ferries; noun: ferry boat; plural noun: ferry boats; noun: ferryboat; plural noun: ferryboats
  1. 1.
    a boat or ship for conveying passengers and goods, esp. over a relatively short distance and as a regular service.

    synonyms:passenger boat, passenger ship, ferry boat, car ferry; Moreship, boat, vessel;
    historicalpacket, packet boat
    "the Block Island ferry from New London"



    • a service for conveying passengers or goods by boat or ship.


    • the place from which a ferry service operates.


    • a service using another mode of transportation to convey passengers and goods, esp. aircraft.




verb
verb: ferry; 3rd person present: ferries; past tense: ferried; past participle: ferried; gerund or present participle: ferrying
  1. 1.
    convey in a ferry or other ship or boat, esp. across a short stretch of water.

    "riverboats ferried weekend picnickers to the park"
    • transport from one place to another on short or regular trips.

      "helicopters ferried 4,000 men into the desert"
      synonyms:transport, convey, carry, ship, run, take, bring, shuttle More"the new cars were ferried to the island"







Origin

MoreMiddle English: from Old Norse ferja ‘ferryboat,’ of Germanic origin and related to fare.




Translate ferry to


Use over time for: ferry
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