Travel with kids – No More Notes: How to Achieve a Cash-Free Travel Experience

When travelling with kids, it’s better to plan everything in detail including how to spend the money on the go. In order to increase the family safety while travelling, one way is to not carry cash. I have learnt this lesson the hard way during a trip to Lisbon where I was stolen 250 Euros in cash on the infamous tram 28. If you carry cash and it is stolen or lost, you have no way to replace it. When you show cash at a shop or at a place of lodging, people notice, and while travelling, you open yourself up to theft. 

So, the SaneTraveller does not bring cash on a travelling experience. Fortunately, there are several ways to travel cash-free. And, fortunately, many countries no longer value cash as the preferred method of payment.

  1. Pay with a Credit Card

When travelling, one of the safest payment methods is using your credit card. It is actually safer than using a debit card because credit card companies give you protection against fraudulent purchases. Before you venture to your destination, call your credit card company to tell them you are travelling. This way, they will not decline your purchases while you are on the road. Be sure to tell them when you return, so they know to turn on your protection again.

When you use a credit card while travelling, you might have to pay a foreign transaction fee. The average is around 1.5%. This fee is close to what you would pay to exchange foreign cash.

  1. Try Apps

Another safe way to pay while travelling is to use an app, like Venmo, Google Pay, Apple Pay, or Paypal. Some countries have their own preferred apps, and you can learn about those when you research your destination. You can connect your bank account or credit card account to the app, and use secure methods to access the apps.

If you do decide to pay with apps, you have to keep a close eye on your phone. It is a good idea to have your payment accounts backed up with fingerprints or other biometrics, and to secure your phone with multiple steps.

  1. Pay with Prepaid Cards

If you are leery of using your credit card while travelling, you could use a prepaid credit card. When you do this, you take away the connection to your personal account, but you also lose some of the protection that credit card companies give you. Some prepaid cards can be reloaded, but some do charge fees to be reloaded. They aren’t perfect, but they will do when you don’t want to carry cash.

  1. Travellers’ Checks Still Exist

Believe it or not, travelers’ checks are still available. While they aren’t as ubiquitous as they once were, they can be useful when travelling. They do work like cash, so they are a form of a note, but they offer more protection. Before you leave the bank with your new travellers’ checks, sign them because that is the way that merchants know you are the owner. Then, record the ID numbers on the checks so that you can contact the issuer if they are lost or stolen.

 

You should also research whether or not they are actually accepted where you are travelling. Because people don’t use them often, many merchants no longer accept them – let alone know what they are.

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