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How much cash to bring to RS Turkey tour?

i plan on using my credit cards whenever possible (for the points and tracking spending), and wonder how much cash other travelers have brought for the 13 day RS tour?

And ... is there a way to search the forum, besides scrolling through multiple pages??

Thanks!

Posted by
3249 posts

One thing you can do is to read the Money section in Travel Tips.

This section on Turkey should also be a help.

I'm not sure what kind of money you're talking about. When we did the Istanbul tour, we got Turkish Lira from cash machines near our hotel.

As for searching, there is a search box, usually at the top of the page, depending on what kind of device you're using. You can also find Forum topics, as opposed to countries, by looking at what's listed in the Select Your Category drop down box under the Forum section called Tips & Trip Reports. Just scroll down the Travel Forum page a bit and you'll see it.

Posted by
13930 posts

It was several years ago so I can't tell you how much you will need. I paid for meals and incidentals with cash, never had a problem finding an ATM. The guide was very good about letting me know when there might not be a cash point around. I remember a lot of small purchases where a credit card probably wouldn't be accepted. I did pay for large purchases with a card, always over $50. I don't remember if the balloon ride needed to be cash, but you can check with the RS office now.

Posted by
6147 posts

You don't need to bring any cash (Lira). There will be plenty of ATMs and opportunities to withdraw local currency.

Posted by
1557 posts

I took this tour in October 2018 and remember getting cash twice from ATMs on the tour. It is needed for lots of little purchases. I brought cash with me from home before the trip, my usual habit - I don't want to try to locate an ATM in the airport when I'm jet lagged. Most of the time, I used credit cards for meals not included in the tour and for souvenir purchases.

The exchange rate is overwhelmingly in favor of the US dollar: 1 Turkish Lira to 0.166 Dollar.

Posted by
5487 posts

If you follow Rick Steves' advice, the answer is the only cash to bring is about $200 USD as a emergency back up to getting local currency from a local ATM.
https://www.ricksteves.com/travel-tips/money/cash-tips

What to Bring

I pack the following and keep it all safe in my moneybelt.

Debit card: Use this at cash machines (ATMs) to withdraw local cash,
which you'll use to pay for most purchases.

Credit card: Use this to pay for larger items (generally accepted at
hotels, larger shops and restaurants, travel agencies, car-rental
agencies, and so on). Although Europe's card readers use a
chip-and-PIN system that differs from the one used in the US, it
shouldn't cause much hassle.

Backup card: Some travelers carry a third card (debit or credit;
ideally from a different bank), in case one gets lost, demagnetized,
eaten by a temperamental machine, or simply doesn't work.

While debit cards can make decent backup credit cards (provided your
card has a Visa or MasterCard logo), credit cards make rotten backup
ATM cards because of their sky-high withdrawal fees and cash-advance
interest rates. I'd only use a credit card at an ATM as a last resort.
(Note that an extra credit card can be helpful if you rent a car and
use your card to cover a collision damage waiver).

US dollars: I carry $100–200 as a backup. While you won't use it for day-to-day purchases, American cash in your money belt comes in
handy for emergencies, such as when banks go on strike or your ATM
card stops working. I've been in Greece and Ireland when every bank
went on strike, shutting down without warning. But hard cash is hard
cash. People always know roughly what a dollar is worth.

Posted by
11153 posts

Search on the Rick Steves website is hiding in plain sight.

On a desktop or laptop (screen wider than it is tall): Find the dark blue Rick Steves Europe logo (top, to the left of center), and next to it, in the lightest possible type, is the Search box.

On a phone or tablet, or a browser window taller than it is wide: In the top left corner you will see horizontal lines. Click those, and the top option is the Search box.

You can also use Google search. To do this, put in your search terms (say, "gluten free Ireland"). You will get an avalanche of responses. Ignore these, and instead go to Settings at the top. Choose Advanced Search, and in the site or domain box put "ricksteves.com" to search the whole site, or "community.ricksteves.com" to search the forums (in both cases, without the quotation marks).

Posted by
11153 posts

As for the cash question, I agree that you don't need to bring any. ATM's are as prevalent in Istanbul as in any large US city - they're everywhere, and you can just use one with your debit card (not a credit card) when needed.

To learn more about money and traveling, look at all the links in this page of Rick's, and you'll be an expert: https://www.ricksteves.com/travel-tips/money

Posted by
3226 posts

My local big bank no longer carries Turkish Lira for customers to buy. They also will no longer buy any from their customers. They said the demand has recently dropped off so much they were losing money on it. Don't know if this is a thing or just this one bank. So, if you are planning on taking any with you, check soon to see if you can get some before leaving. You might have to try a different source, and pay a worse rate, than expected. I would just wait until arrival in Turkey and get what I think I need from an ATM there, which is my plan for my trip in September.