Coming from Australia, there’s often no real need to carry cash when you head out of your house – credit and EFTPOS all the way, baby. At least it was when I was there (who knows what new ways there are to pay these days). Sure, you might use a few coins now and then for small things, you might come across the occasional cash only establishment, but otherwise, tap and go.
If you ever travel to Austria, you’re going to need to carry cash, especially if you go anywhere off the main tourist trail. I am constantly surprised by the amount of shoppers in the supermarket digging through their purse for coins and rolling out hundred euro bills to pay for their weekly shop. Of course, you can pay with card at places like supermarkets, petrol stations, stores and so on, but many smaller restaurants or shops are still very much cash only. When my brother and his wife visited a few years ago we sent them up to stay at a local mountain hut for a few nights – come the end of their trip – you guessed it – they almost didn’t have enough to pay their bill because they hadn’t known there were no credit card facilities. And I recently read that a survey conducted in 2019 revealed that out of 13 European countries, Australia and the US, Austria was the most resistant to giving up cash.
Even though we are slowly shifting toward a more cashless society, I always make sure I have coins in the car and a safety 20 euros when I’m out and about. But the good thing about living in a small town is that although I’ve been caught out on the odd occasion, I’ve always been able to excuse myself to pull cash out of an ATM and pay later. Because, if I don’t return, my hairdresser/local bakery/farmer knows who to call… and possibly… where I live!