Q&A: Dealing with cash and cards on the road

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QuestionHi Lindsay, I am just wondering about money situations when you are traveling? Soon i am about to embark on a year long journey to central America and have been struggling with the whole money idea and how much i should take and what credit card or travels checks i should take. I was just wondering how you do it and did it in the past on your world travels.

I know there are fees for credit cards when you want to take money out and i do not want to travel with more than a 1,000 dollars on me in cash and i am just not sure about the whole travels checks. So if you could help me out or give me some pointers or tricks you have up your sleeve that would be great. And i would really appreciate it.

Just what ever run down you have about traveling with money and where you get it when you run out. Thanks Lindsay, i appreciate it. Have a swell day. -Pavla M.

AnswerHi Pavla. Thanks for your message. I’d be happy to provide insight into what I did for money along my similar travels.

I haven’t taken traveler’s checks anywhere since 2003 as they’ve never proven convenient. Those might be becoming a thing of the past. Of course, I’ve never found myself in a situation where they would have been helpful, and I thankfully keep a good hold of my valuables.

Instead, I’ve always just used debit cards to withdraw money in large sums. If you’re going to be in a place with the same currency for a while, just take out as much as you can every time, so as to avoid excess fees. I consider those fees ones for convenience, because I also don’t like carrying around a lot of money. I take out a couple hundred at a time, slowly use it, and give my credit card/debit card for purchases as much as possible.

One important note: make sure you have both a MasterCard and a Visa card, also at least one credit card and one debit card. That worked very well for me, because some countries only have one or the other. And if you need to rent a car or something similar, a credit card is far better. That diversity should serve you well. Keep them in separate places but always in secure spots (clearly).

If you run out, have someone Western Union more to you as you get your bank account sorted out. Hopefully this doesn’t happen to you on the road, and with good planning, it won’t.

Was this post helpful? Have any more questions about dealing with money abroad? Any questions period? Send a video or message to me with your queries, and I’ll be sure to get back to you!

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