I’d like to take a gap year travelling Chile and other countries in South America. Still in the early phases of planning, especially now that no international travel is happening because of coronavirus, but there are some practical things I’m considering. What is the currency like in Chile – is it fairly easy to get exchange money when I’m there and have left the airport? Should I open a bank account whilst I’m travelling around?
Does anyone have any personal experience of travelling in Chile and have some advice for me?
I think I can provide you some info. I am chilean even though I am living in Ireland now. Yes, you can get money exchanged at the airport but usually at high rates. The airport is quite small and usually crowded and not really safe to get the money there. I would recommend you getting money (chilean pesos) before you move there. Some cash for taxis, food, etc. You can pay with cards but not in all places.
I don't think that opening a bank account is necessary, but it will depend on what kind of expenses you will have or how long is your staying. I'd say that using a credit card would be enough. The commission for getting money from your bank account is quite high, from U$6 to U$8 each time so I would recommend getting some cash for small things but not too often.
I hope that helps you. Any other questions, feel free to ask.
Thanks a lot, that's really useful advice!