As a frequent traveler, I am aware of the value of the US dollar. It is the most recognized currency in many foreign destinations. The US dollar is also the closest thing to an international currency because it is so widely accepted. However, please know that individual international businesses can decide whether to take the money. Here are a few tips on traveling with the US dollar.

In many countries, the value of the US dollar is high. Many local vendors prefer payment in USD rather than the local currency. However, when using larger bills, you are often given back change from your purchase in the local currency. If you don’t plan a lengthy stay, the money is usually not worth it back at home. It can also be difficult to get a decent exchange rate.

It is good to note that some foreign countries will not accept currency older than a specific date. On my recent travel to Tanzania, a particular vendor would not take US currency older than 2009. I learned that there are no restrictions on banks to accept or reject the USD with further research. In some cases, if older notes are accepted, you may be given a lower exchange rate.

Similarly, many may not take torn or mutilated currency at some foreign locations. There was much concern while shopping in the local Maasai village because a bill had a small corner ripped. While this is a common occurrence in the US, note that foreigners are suspicious of the currency’s being valid when presented for payment elsewhere or at their banks.

Try to travel with currency in small denominations. Small notes are great for tipping, so before you travel, try getting your small bills from the bank as they are less likely to give out damaged or dated currency. With currency from the bank, you are more likely to have your USD accepted wherever you travel.

Has your US currency ever been denied when traveling abroad? Were you even aware of the possibility of your USD not being accepted when traveling? I’d like to know.