(Closed) Spending money on your HM?

posted 6 years ago in Money
Post # 3
Member
11325 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 2011

We went to Hawaii so we didn’t need to worry about foreign currency or theft too much (not that it isn’t possible, but Kauai is pretty safe as compared to some other spots). We just did what we always do for a vacation in the US: Debit cards, 2 credit cards, and some cash. We had our cell phones so it isn’t like I couldn’t have called and canceled things if needed. (I actually emailed my insurance agent from my phone on my honeymoon for a question about our rental car insurance lol. love smart phones). 

Post # 4
Member
8042 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2013

It’s safer to take credit cards and some cash. Take only as much cash as you need for the day and put the rest in the safe.

Credit cards are the safest bet. Just make sure you have them each night when you get back to the hotel. Call the 24 hours # if you lose it. Even if someone got a hold of it, you’re still covered.

Not every retailer takes pre-paid cards.

Debit is linked right to your bank account… I’d leave it at home (I usually do when I travel).

 

 

Post # 5
Member
2622 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

we went to Bali Indonesia and ended up using mostly cash. We carried our normal wallets etc. We let them (Them = CC companies) know were traveling so they wouldnt turn them off due to suspecious activity. We kep the money seperated in several different locations. Between both of us in our wallets, in a pocket on the inside of our bag we carried around, in the hotel safe we kept the “extras” like passports, CCs we didnt plan to use. 

Internet was easy to get to so if I had lost something it wouldnt take long to report it lost if I didnt want to use the phone.

I have not used a prepaid Visa, but if you lose it, do you lose all the cash as well you deposited on it? If not, then you still have to report it stolen so its the same process as with your CC. Also, if its a good CC you wouldnt have to pay for any purchases not yours. But with a prepaid, you would likely lose the money. 

 

Post # 6
Member
1375 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

We went to Paris.  I got a bunch of Euros from my bank in case we had issues with our cards.  We also called our banks right before to let them know we were traveling, and where, and what dates, so they wouldn’t freeze the card when we went out to dinner or paid for a museum.

Post # 7
Member
3081 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

I think this really depends on where you are going. We prefer using our debit cards when possible while traveling abroad – best exhange rates and we can take out what we need when we get there as we need it. I’ve always found traveler’s checks inconvenient, even though I know they are very safe. 

However, we went to South Africa and Tanzania for our Honeymoon – so we researched heavily before we went. South Africa is pretty developed in terms of taking credit cards and being able to find ATMs, but Tanzania has very few ATMs. So we ended up taking a lot of cash – hidden in various places on our bodies (husband even got a belt from REI that you can fold up money and zip it inside for safety, you could never tell it’s anything other than a normal belt). We exchanged when possible, and took advantage of airport ATMs once in the country we were ending up in. 

Just research where you are going, and if they take credit/debit in a lot of places, my recommendation is to take advantage of that and just bring a little cash to exchange in a pinch. 

 

ETA: Like futuremrsfitz18 says, DEFINITELY inform your bank(s) where you will be and when. I was in China and got frozen out of my debit card, and they are 12 hours different from where I live, so getting in touch during their open hours was a nightmare. 

Post # 8
Member
1686 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

@out4answers:  Whenever we travel I just bring my plastic. I’ve never had a problem with losing it or my cards being stolen. Just keep a list of the phone numbers on the back in separate location, like your suitcase, in case you do lose them.

Like PP’s said, notify your bank if you’re going to be out of state or country so they don’t flag it as fraud and lock your card.

Also check what your bank charges for foreign transactions. A good bank will just charge a small percentage for the currency conversion (usually like 1%) and no extra fees. Check on what it will cost you to use foreign ATMs.

Forex is a reputable money changing service. You’ll see them a lot in airports. When I was in Prague there seemed to be something weird up with their POS units, like stores had them, and signs saying they took cards, but they were all offline. I don’t know if they had a bank fail or what, but a lot of places were cash only and there were  all these fly-by-night looking currency changing places. I just found a real bank and used their ATM, no problems. 

Post # 9
Member
2401 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

My only issue with a card when you’re going overseas is that you do not know the exchange rate as well as if you have cash. For example, if you buy something that is 8  euros, it will charge as $10 in US dollars on your credit card. I am more comfortable with bringing a mix of both so I can use cash on little purchases and my card on big ones (like fancy dinners or the hotel) where the exchange rate will be pre-caculated. 

I recommend carrying 2 cards. One debit and one credit card. Bring one with you when you are out and about. And then bring cash with you on a limited basis. Wear a travel wallet that is securely hidden and attached to your person. Avoid bags or wrist wallets. And be smart. Dont look like a tourist. 

Post # 10
Member
6124 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

@out4answers:  

 

We went to Canada for our Honeymoon, we only carried CA$50 cash on us.  Suprisingly, some places said they accepted American money (better exchange).

Before the trip I signed us up for a no foriegn transaction fee credit card – a Capitol One card.  We put EVERYTHING on the card, with 3 exceptions.

1) We needed some loonies ($1 in Canada) for tipping the housekeeping, 2) loonies for some campground showers, and 3) we ate lunch somewhere which didn’t take CC.  We could have just not gone there to eat, but we did.
 

When I went to Mexico last year for a vacation, I had $500 converted into pesos and I did this at my bank in my town, so I had it on me before I left.  I kept the money on me at all times, except when swimming of course.

 

Lastly, I went to Finland last year as well, and I did not convert any money.  Used my AMEX for everything, and a VISA as a back up (then I discovered the whole foriegn transaction fee thing and got a new card for foreign contries!)

Post # 11
Member
3266 posts
Sugar bee

I have been using debit and credit excuslively since like 2002 on trips.  This has worked in places such as India, all of Western Europe, Thailand, Mexico. 

Cash is more apt to being lost of stolen then CC or debit which is more difficult to actually get your money.

Post # 12
Member
1292 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: January 2013

If you’re concerned about it, you should take 2 CC with high limits. Make sure you write down the 24 hour number so if they got lost or stolen you can call immediately. I do not suggest taking more than 2 CC, your debit card or your check book.

Post # 13
Member
3886 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

I travel constantly for work and for leisure, and always just take my regular wallet, regular cards, and regular amount of American cash. I get foreign currency from ATM’s as needed, except for countries that don’t take the swipe-card credit cards that US banks give out. So far, the UK and Spain have been the most difficult places to use an American card. So i’ll get a lot of cash at an ATM in the foreign airport, where the non-chipped cards pretty much always work.

I’ve never lost a card, nor have I been mugged; San Fran and NoLa have been worst for panhandlers and hucksters though.

Post # 14
Member
1284 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

We are traveling around the Southern Caribbean. 

We are taking a substantial amount of cash and our Capital One credit card to use. We will also bring a few other cards in case of emergencies. 

The best thing to do is try to estimate how many things you will HAVE to have cash for. That is pretty much what we did. 

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