There’s nothing worse on vacation than a theft incident. It can happen a number of ways, either a pickpocket, a cash swipe from your table, a break in, or even electronically, through stealing an identity. This can make you wonder, what’s the best way to spend money while vacationing? When determining this, it’s a good idea to bear the following in mind:
Many people use credit cards as their only means of purchase while on vacation. While handy to have some pocket cash at the ready, this is an entirely feasible way to travel. The idea is, if your wallet is stolen, you can cancel your card immediately and you won’t incur the charges. They could even find the thief!
While a credit card is a great option, a debit card is not. These cards are linked to your bank, which means thieves have access to your cash, too. If they figure out your pin, not only can they charge your card, they can take out cash, too, and then you’re in real trouble. Even more, credit card companies can overnight replacement cards, but debit cards can take up to a week to replace. That means you’re out of money for a long time. Not good.
Good old hard cash is a fine way to pay for the daily items on your trip. Every place you visit takes cash, so there’s no situation in which you won’t be able to pay. Studies show that people who pay with cash spend less than people who use cards, so a bonus might be a little extra savings.
The risk of using cash as your primary spending method is that you have to carry large sums on your person. If you happen to be pickpocketed, then your money is gone, and that’s that. There’s no bank or credit card company to step in and halt the spending.
Most people use both cash and cards to pay on their trip, which is perfectly acceptable. It’s a good idea to leave a safety net of cash and a back up credit card in your hotel room safe, in case your wallet does get lost or stolen, that way, you won’t be out of money until you get a card shipped, or cash wired (almost every place has a Western Union!).
What are your spending methods? Do you have tips for keeping your money safe during travel?