Paying by traveler’s check or credit card is no longer a hassle in Europe. The most widely accepted credit cards are Visa, American Express, MasterCard (called Eurocard in Europe), Diners Club, and Carte Blanche.

ATMs are widely available and will give you money in local currency. Check with your own credit card company or bank, however, on whether its card is usable in the country in which you’ll be challenging those broad, above-treeline slopes.

If you exchange American money or traveler’s checks for local currency, you’ll always find the best rate in banks, the worst rate at your hotel, and the next worst at currency exchange offices, including the one staring at you as you walk through the airport looking for a taxi.

Whenever possible, use a credit card for all transactions. This applies to lift tickets as well as all other purchases. Only a few resorts accept them, though. You’ll be charged at the most advantageous exchange rate when your bill stares you in the face as you sit at home reminiscing over the pleasure and excitement of your recent trip.

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