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12 Foreign Countries You Didn’t Know Use the U.S. Dollar

You can skip the money-exchange counters when you travel to these countries around the world that readily accept U.S. dollars.

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Row of sculptures in the South Gate of Angkor Thom complex. Siem Reap, Cambodia
Jose Ignacio Soto/Shutterstock


This Southeast Asian nation is home to world wonder Angkor Wat, which is reason enough to visit. It’s also one of the foreign countries you likely didn’t know use the U.S. dollar. It’s the country’s unofficial second currency (it’s official one is the riel), and local ATMs dispense greenbacks. Don’t miss these 16 mind-blowing truths about money.

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 Aerial view of the modern skyline of Panama City , Panama
Gualberto Becerra/Shutterstock


Did you know this country, on the isthmus linking Central and South America, has been using U.S. dollars since 1904? This is also when the country got its independence from Colombia and when the United States won the right to build the canal and lease it (an agreement that stood in place until 2000). Panama’s own currency, the balboa, is a 1:1 trade to the dollar.

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Paradise island with the Atlantis Resort at the background, Nassau, BahamasAwesome Atlantis Resort on Paradise island in the island of Nassau, in the heart of the Caribbean sea in a sunny summer day.
Pola Damonte/Shutterstock

The Bahamas

While the Bahamas does have its own currency, referred to as the Bahamian dollar, the archipelago consisting of 700-plus islands and cays, accepts the U.S dollar as well. This makes sense considering so many U.S-based cruises make a port call here. For more vacation ideas, get a look at these 20 amazing family beaches.

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Landscape shot in Tigray province, Ethiopia, Africa
Aleksandra H. Kossowska/Shutterstock


The official currency of Ethiopia is Ethiopian Birr, but many hotels and travel agencies, as well as many shops, accept U.S. dollars for payment. This is the only city in the world that straddles two continents.

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Drone photo Grace Bay, Providenciales, Turks and Caicos

Turks and Caicos

Southeast of The Bahamas, this archipelago of 40 low-lying coral islands may be a British Overseas Territory, but its official currency is the U.S. dollar. In fact, it’s the only available currency of Turks and Caicos. If you think this picture is beautiful, don’t miss the beaches with the clearest water in the world.

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The Victoria falls is the largest curtain of water in the world (1708 meters wide). The falls and the surrounding area is the National Parks and World Heritage Site - Zambia, Zimbabwe


In 2009, this country in Southern Africa used a multi-currency system consisting of U.S. dollars, Chinese yuan, the South African rand, and euros. By 2016, the country had run out of paper dollars, and so began printing its own version of currency linked to the U.S. dollar. Today, either one can be used.

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Coatepeque lake, Santa Ana, El Salvador, Central America
Milosz Maslanka/Shutterstock

El Salvador

Though there’s currently a U.S. State Department advisory on traveling to this small Central American, the U.S. dollar is still its official currency. (Watch out for the world’s most dangerous tourist destinations.)

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The bay with a dock in the Galapagos Islands. Pacific Ocean. Ecuador. The Galapagos Islands. Isla San Cristobal Island


Situated on either side of the equator on South America’s west coast, Ecuador adopted the U.S. currency back in 2000 to provide the Latin American nation a secure currency. When the shift happened, the dollar replaced the sucre. Both currencies continued to circulate, until the sucre bills were eventually phased out. Today, the country mints only centavo coins, which are intended for small purchases.

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Capital Building at Ngerulmud in Palau
Erika Bisbocci/Shutterstock


An archipelago of over 500 islands, Palau is a tropical paradise that’s part of the Micronesia region in the western Pacific Ocean. The country is a republic that is closely allied with the United States, and relies fully on U.S. currency.

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Oia town on Santorini island, Greece. Traditional and famous houses and churches with blue domes over the Caldera, Aegean sea
PHOTOCREO Michal Bednarek/Shutterstock


While the euro is the country’s main currency, greenbacks are happily accepted on the mainland and on the thousands of Greek Islands throughout the Aegean and Ionian sea. Before you book your vacation plans, give the world’s most underrated travel destinations a chance.

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Beautiful caribbean sight with turquoise water in Caye Caulker island, Belize.
Aleksandar Todorovic/Shutterstock


A nation on the eastern coast of Central America, this tropical paradise consists of Caribbean Sea shorelines to the east and dense jungle to the west. While Belize has its own currency, the Belize dollar, it gladly accepts U.S. dollars, too. In fact, most businesses prefer them.

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Beautiful tropical beach with palm trees, white sand, turquoise ocean water and blue sky at British Virgin Islands in Caribbean
BlueOrange Studio/Shutterstock

British Virgin Islands

Part of a volcanic archipelago in the Caribbean, this British overseas territory consists of four main islands and many smaller ones. The BVIs are much closer to the United States than to Great Britain, however, so it makes sense that the U.S. dollar is its official currency.

Got island fever? Check out these 30 secret island escapes around the world.

Alexa Erickson
Alexa is an experienced lifestyle and news writer currently working with Reader's Digest, Shape Magazine, and various other publications. She loves writing about her travels, health, wellness, home decor, food and drink, fashion, beauty, and scientific news. Follow her travel adventures on Instagram: @living_by_lex, send her a message: alex[email protected], and check out her website: livingbylex.com