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Old 05-27-14, 02:24 PM   #1
Sharpshin
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Money on tour

Taking off mid-June for an intended four/six weeks and 2,000 miles to New York State.

Hope to sleep out/camp as much as possible, motel as little as possible.

I have $2,500 set aside at the bank, plus two credit cards to bring.

I thought to bring $1,000 in cash. I plan to keep my drivers license, ATM card and one credit card in my wallet, a second credit card and a second photo ID stashed in my luggage.

Do people still use traveller's checks? I was thinking on converting half that $1,000 to traveller' checks and stashing them in my luggage too.


Any an all relevant thoughts/experiences appreciated.

Thanks,
Mike
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Old 05-27-14, 02:48 PM   #2
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I thought to bring $1,000 in cash.
As far as I'm concerned, the prevalence of ATMs has made both traveler's checks and carrying large amounts of cash obsolete. I hardly ever have more than $100 in cash and pay for as many things as possible on a tour with my credit card. If you're worried about theft it might be good to have one ATM/credit card well hidden on your person in case the thief makes off with both your wallet and your bike/luggage.
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Old 05-27-14, 03:37 PM   #3
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1. No one uses traveller's cheques anymore. They went out in the mid-1980s.

2. You shouldn't need to carry $1000 in cash. Carry $100-$200 + an ATM "debit" card.
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Old 05-27-14, 03:50 PM   #4
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yeah bad idea to carry cash it can disappear right before your eyes.
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Old 05-27-14, 03:52 PM   #5
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+1... NB: cash advances off a credit card incur a fee, withdrawals from a Bank, Your checking account with a debit card don' t..

Bene Sugg : just use the Credit Card to buy physical things.


My last long trip thru the British Isles I used a Debit card .. it and the Passport went in a Money belt I wore under my Clothing.


[ Previous trip, In the Airport coming Home , had a pack pocket picked , then I was using traveler's checks so they were replaced ]

hence the money belt on the next trip ..

Last edited by fietsbob; 06-01-14 at 12:20 PM.
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Old 05-27-14, 05:01 PM   #6
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Carry $100-$200 + an ATM "debit" card.
+1 a sensible approach.

In addition I sometimes use an REI credit card to get a bigger dividend at the end of the year. As long as you pay it off every month there are no fees.
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Old 05-27-14, 05:05 PM   #7
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Think about you and your bike as separate entities.

If YOU get robbed, have a backup $20+ on the bike. if the bike gets robbed, have a backup $20+ on your person. Enough that you can feed yourself until help arrives.

Any more than $100, in my opinion, and you're inviting trouble.
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Old 05-27-14, 09:26 PM   #8
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I use a "disposable" debit card, if I lose it ther is only a few days (or less) of funds on it. I reload it from my bank about once a week via internet. If it gets lost or stolen just stop at Rite Aid / Walmart / Target or a million other places and replace it they activate instantly and will transfer any balance from the old card over to it. Had to do that twice in 8 years, left one behind at a campground checkout and it was too far to go back, and just plain lost one. No issues and peace of mind.
**EDIT** The one I use is GreenDot brand. 1 time fee of 3-4$ to purchase the initial card. No fees to use or load.
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Old 05-27-14, 09:29 PM   #9
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+6

About $100- $200 cash, ATM card, and like staehpj1 my REI credit card.

You saw where I carry the emergency $20, as suggested by mdilthey, in your tire thread, in my patch kit. If push comes to shove, you can use the bill as an expensive tire boot.


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Old 05-27-14, 10:11 PM   #10
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Use the "cash back" service when possible with debit card purchases. This way you will avoid foreign ATM fees.
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Old 05-28-14, 07:15 AM   #11
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1. No one uses traveller's cheques anymore. They went out in the mid-1980s.

2. You shouldn't need to carry $1000 in cash. Carry $100-$200 + an ATM "debit" card.
Yup. I went to Spain in '00 with a wad of American Express traveller's checks and found ATMs even in most small towns. Since I had brought them I was determine to use at least some of them. I remember going into a bank in Cordoba to buy some pesetas. The bank employee I dealt with looked at me as if to say "Seriously, dude?" He had to look through a couple of drawers to find the form. Another bank in a smaller town said they didn't exchange TCs. After that, I just used ATMs.
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Old 05-28-14, 07:26 AM   #12
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Yup. I went to Spain in '00 with a wad of American Express traveller's checks and found ATMs even in most small towns. Since I had brought them I was determine to use at least some of them. I remember going into a bank in Cordoba to buy some pesetas. The bank employee I dealt with looked at me as if to say "Seriously, dude?" He had to look through a couple of drawers to find the form. Another bank in a smaller town said they didn't exchange TCs. After that, I just used ATMs.
At some point in the late 1980s (1988 perhaps) my then husband and I got a set of traveller's cheques (from a reluctant bank ... they weren't keen on giving them to us) and set out on a holiday early one morning. We got to a diner, ordered a big breakfast, and went to pay with our traveller's cheques.

The cashier looked at them with that "Seriously, dude?" look and told me that she needed real currency, not some fake ... whatever that was. We tried to explain to her what they were and she was NOT convinced. We asked to see her manager. He was an older guy who knew what they were ... he had seen them before ... but he hadn't seen them in years, and didn't think anyone took them, and he certainly didn't. He suggested we visit a bank and cash them. Fortunately we had enough cash to pay for the meal.

We stopped in at the next bank we came to, cashed them ... and I have never used them since.
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Old 05-28-14, 07:50 AM   #13
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Report to the bank/card company that it is to be You traveling, not a stolen card ..

a friend taking a trip to HI had trouble with a car rental in a situation where the card , hers , was deemed to not be, making it a PIA.
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Old 05-28-14, 08:09 AM   #14
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Report to the bank/card company that it is to be You traveling, not a stolen card ..


Good point. Worst situation with a card I ever had was in Costa Rica. Four year back it was my priviledge to get to chaperone a group of high school students there. Before I left the guy at the bank assured me repeatedly that my ATM card would work over there. It didn't. Worse, the group was travelling, it was a Sunday, and the machine at the bank kept my card.

Ya, its always a good thing when the chaperone in charge of the group suddenly has no funds

Prob'ly why I have a profound distrust of plastic.
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Old 05-28-14, 09:04 AM   #15
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Their is one problem with an ATM card that is occurring more and more...credit cards as well. If you go on a trip and try using your credit/ATM card several times in a location not around where you live you can find yourself without access to any of your money, debit or credit. You can listen to one persons rather interesting experience http://media.katherinealbrecht.com/a..._Albrecht1.mp3

Learn how to hide money better. Why only put the money in your wallet, put in multiple places not just a couple. Their is one reason I like the idea of using a backpack versus rack and panniers, it's another place to put money to spread out the money so any would be thief can only take so much of your money at any given time. You could easily stash several hundred dollar on your own body without any worry by just only keeping $100 in an one place. I can think of at least 5 or six places I could easily stash cash right on my body while I ride. Unless the would be thief thinks to make you check each and every location he make walk off with some money but he won't walk off with all of it.
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Old 05-28-14, 09:53 AM   #16
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Ortlieb do a money belt and I keep cards, passport, etc in it. Fits best buckle in front and pack at back while riding.

ORTLIEB Produkt-Details
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Old 05-28-14, 04:40 PM   #17
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Their is one problem with an ATM card that is occurring more and more...credit cards as well. If you go on a trip and try using your credit/ATM card several times in a location not around where you live you can find yourself without access to any of your money, debit or credit. You can listen to one persons rather interesting experience http://media.katherinealbrecht.com/a..._Albrecht1.mp3
That's why you go into your bank and have a little chat with them about your itinerary before you leave on your trip.
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Old 05-28-14, 04:56 PM   #18
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That's why you go into your bank and have a little chat with them about your itinerary before you leave on your trip.
Agreed. Or you 1) have an alternate card to give when there's a problem with the first and 2) immediately call the customer service number and clear up the problem with the first card. Unlike Albrecht, you don't first have a long argument with the parking attendant to get your car and then drive to an ATM in a sketchy neighborhood only to predictably have the card rejected again (computer databases tend to be consistent even if wrong) and then complain about how dangerous this was.

I've run into the fraud-detection software issues a number of times (our daughter also uses my card sometimes but lives in a different state which tends to trigger some flags) and it's always been trivial to get the card reactivated within a few minutes with a single phone call. It seems to me that K. Albrecht is trying to make a big issue out of something that is not a problem. The OP mentioned taking two credit cards plus a debit card so it seems to me that, unlike Albrecht, he's well-covered in case one of his purchases happens to trigger a fraud alert on one of the cards.
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Old 05-28-14, 07:26 PM   #19
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Report to the bank/card company that it is to be You traveling, not a stolen card ..
a friend taking a trip to HI had trouble with a car rental in a situation where the card , hers , was deemed to not be, making it a PIA.
This is great advice, it can save you a mountain of hassles.
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Old 05-29-14, 08:25 AM   #20
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So what, you want them to know every little detail of your trip. They have no business knowing what your doing at every friggin' minute of the day and where you are going. Just another way of tracking you. They already do it with the cell phones, gps units, etc. Now they also want to do by tracking where you're spending your money and only let you have your money when you tell them where you are going first. Why should I have to report in before I leave and after I get back to be able to use MY MONEY? They don't ask you when you put YOUR money in the back, but its getting to the point where they want to hassle you before you take money out of the bank...YOUR MONEY. It's another one of the reason...I stick to cash and don't have all those darn cards.

Look around you and find all the different places on your body where you can hide cash quite easily, as well as look on the bike. Learn to think differently and do things differently. Like I said there is another benefit of backpacking for bike trips.
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Old 05-29-14, 08:34 AM   #21
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So what, you want them to know every little detail of your trip.
No, of course not ... don't be silly and dramatic.

All you have to tell them is that you're going to be in Europe for the next 3 months ... or whatever the situation is. You don't have to provide them with a day-by-day itinerary.

It is to protect you. If someone were to steal your credit card and start spending money in a different country, your card would be shut down before they cleaned you out. So all you have to do is to let them know that it will be you in Europe spending the money, not a thief. It's really quite simple and easy to do.
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Old 05-29-14, 09:02 AM   #22
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Ortlieb do a money belt and I keep cards, passport, etc in it. Fits best buckle in front and pack at back while riding.

ORTLIEB Produkt-Details

I simplified and made this more comfortable , with a sleeveless Base layer onto which I had sewn a tunnel across the back,
so the strap did not have to be tight, to hold it Up. This worked well
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Old 05-29-14, 10:12 AM   #23
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All you have to tell them is that you're going to be in Europe for the next 3 months ... or whatever the situation is. You don't have to provide them with a day-by-day itinerary.
Agreed. This is what I did the last time I went abroad: called my credit card companies and bank a week or two before I left and gave them the dates of my trip. They didn't ask for a detailed itinerary or list of countries and I think all I told them was that I would be "in Europe" and wanted to ensure that my cards didn't stop working. I've been using this strategy since the 1990's and have never had a problem.
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Old 05-29-14, 12:43 PM   #24
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Look around you and find all the different places on your body where you can hide cash quite easily.
Please enlighten us. Where on your body do you hide cash quite easily?
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Old 05-29-14, 04:09 PM   #25
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After bad experiences with trying to use travellers cheques, we found it easier to preload our credit cards and use them to withdraw cash as needed from ATMs. Worked very well. Just informed the bank that we would be in another country during this time. Cash in hand was kept to a minimum.
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