Personally, even though I get travelors checks free from my bank, I don't use them anymore. Because of the widespread fraud that has occurred with them, many businesses are reluctant to accept them. So I find that a couple of hundred dollars in cash, an ATM and a couple of credit cards has worked fine for me.
This includes taking business trips to Jordan, Europe and our noisy neighbors to the north :lol:
I take my Discover and Visa cards. I like the cash back from my Discover, there is no international money transfer fee. The Visa is for those that won't take Discover. Cash for little nickel-dime items, credit card for everything else.
For Canada, I don't even worry about converting my dollars to Loonies. Rarely had a problem with paying US, and the exchange rate is about even now. And for the times that I did have a problem, charge card took care of it.
When I go on a trip, I use a different wallet than my normal local area one. The one I take only carries the minimum I need. Drivers license (obviously), some cash, aforementioned credit cards, and my medical card. These items are easily replaced if lost or stolen, doesn't make an uncomfortable bulge to sit on for long periods of time, and it's all I've needed.
As mentioned in a previous long-lived thread, leave the Bowie knives, guns and pepper spray at home, and be polite to the custom's guys. You won't have a problem.
Enjoy the trip. Oh - and do take mosquito spray and lots of it.
Traveler's Checks are very hard to cash outside of banks. I carry a bit of cash, use credit cards as much as possible and ATMs. This has work well in all my travels around the world. US dollars will be accepted in most places in Canada but I would exchange them in to CND. I do this in most places I go as a sign of respect for the country I am visiting plus so places will not take large bills or worn bills etc. Local currency is just easier.
Find a no fee credit card like Capital One and combine it with a debit card for cash withdrawls. Even when I've vacationed in Europe this has worked very well. If you are going to a large population center in Canada they will often except US currency as well.
Spent a few days riding through Canada last year... never used cash... just a credit card for everything (gas, food, motel, etc.). And, from what I understand, most places would take US $ just in case I needed to use cash. I beleive there was a minor charge on my Mastercard for each transaction, but it wasn't much and was worth not having to carry a lot of cash.
when we did Alaska we converted some US cash to Canadian but i have to say that really was not worth the effort, everywhere we went they were perfectly happy to accept creditcards or US cash, next time we go we will not bother to convert any cash :thumbup:
ssncob says there is no charge international transfer fee with Discover and Visa, i'm not sure about that, i know my Mastercard charged a conversion fee everytime i used it in Canada, if he is correct i will use my Discovercard more next trip to Canada
I use a visa card that I put cash in. Usually 750 tops per card. NEVER had a problem, can check balance online anytime. I always carry cash too, cause sometimes you run across a deal that will only take cash.
Canada is very debit and credit card friendly. Even the parking meters in Niagara-on- the Lake took plastic. Never did use any Canadian currency. Not a bad idea to notify your card issuer, though, when leaving the country. With all the fraud occurring, Banks sometimes will limit international transactions if not alerted that the customer is traveling.
Travelers checks are about worthless. The bank I work for quit issuing them several years ago and none of our local merchants will accept them -- travelers check fraud is enormous. Reload-able credit cards have replaced checks for the most part.