Help! I Need to Find an ATM! 4 Tips for Locating an ATM While Traveling
Where are all the ATMs near me? It’s a question that every single one of us has asked at one time or another while in another country. After all, very few of us like to travel with huge bundles of cash and not every shop accepts credit cards, especially for small amounts.
So, today, I wanted to share a few tips that I have discovered on my own travels for finding ATMs in any country. I hope that you find them useful! Please don’t forget to add your own tips in the comments section at the end of this article.
Apps to Help You Find an ATM, No Matter Where You Are
Despite how older adults are portrayed on TV and in the movies, most of us are not afraid of technology. Quite the contrary! From smartphones to health tracking devices, we are embracing technologies that make our lives better. We just don’t feel the need to jump on every new trend because everyone else is!
Since most of us have either an iPhone or an Android devise, finding an ATM is as simple as downloading an app our favorite mobile device. Here are just a few examples of ATM finding apps.
MasterCard ATM Hunter by, you guessed it, MasterCard, offers a simple solution for finding ATM machines around the world.
One of my favorite features of MasterCard ATM Hunter is that is allows you to search for ATMs from your own bank so that you can avoid fees. Of course, this won’t work in every country, but, if you are just traveling in the U.S., it’s a handy option. You can find it on iOS and Android.
A quick search for “ATM Finder” in either the Apple App Store or Android Store will help you to locate dozens of other options. I’m recommending the MasterCard App because, when it comes to your location data, you don’t always want a small app developer to have your data.
Find an ATM with Google Maps
If you have Wi-Fi or mobile Internet (you did buy a local sim card, right?) you can use Google Maps to find an ATM near you. In fact, if you read the fine print, many of the ATM finder apps out there use the Google Maps API to power their own services.
So, why not skip the middle man and go directly to Google?
The only disadvantage that I can see to using Google Maps to find an ATM is that it is not always easy to find an ATM that it in your own bank’s network. But, if you are on the road and just want quick access to some cash, Google is a quick and easy solution!
All you need to do is type in ATMs into the Google Maps search box and you will instantly see locations to withdraw money near you.
Foursquare Your Way to Better ATM Info
Finally, if you want more contextual information about the ATMs around you, consider Foursquare.
Now, I know what you’re thinking… “Isn’t Foursquare an app for millennials with ironic beards who want to be seen at the trendiest new coffee shop in town?” Yes and no.
While Foursquare does tend to attract a younger crowd, it is still useful, even if you don’t want to use all of the social features. For example, you might want to know which ATMs other Foursquare users consider to be in safe locations. This is the kind of detailed info that just won’t be available in non-social apps.
Finally, Don’t Forget that You Can Find an ATM the Old Fashioned Way… By Asking
One of the first things that I do when I arrive in a new city is to ask a hotel employee to tell me about the local area. I ask where the safest ATMs are, where I can buy food, where the closest pharmacy is located, how much it should cost to take a taxi ride and several other questions. With a smile on my face, I never feel like I am imposing.
Even better, if you have a little money in your travel budget, consider hiring a local guide through a site like Vayable. It is surprisingly inexpensive and, as a single female traveler in her 60s, I just like the idea of one person in town knowing my face. Besides, I have made plenty of friends this way!
I hope that you have found this information useful. Please share your own ATM finding tips in the comments below.
How do you find an ATM when you are traveling? Do you use an ATM finding app? Do you use Google Maps? Or do you simply ask the hotel staff when you arrive? Please join the conversation!