12 myths about travel and money
Don't let these fictions ruin your next trip.
Text by Eric Lucas | Photo editing by Connie Ricca
VIDEO ON MSN LOCAL EDITION
Having multiple credit cards from different carriers (Visa, Mastercard, American Express) is a nice insurance policy to have in case something goes wrong with one company. But, if you call your banks BEFORE you leave on your trip, you shouldn't be a problem unless you're planning on traveling to some obscure locale.
Traveler's checks, true enough, have gone the way of the dodo bird.
Accessing your money using your ATM card to the local currency gets you the best exchange rates. Sure, it's POSSIBLE you can get robbed of your cash but, with some common sense, it's not likely. Just use some discretion where and which of these machines that you pull your money. If you still are using traveler's checks, you're going to be disappointed as to how many places you discover that won't accept them anymore. The inconvenience is just not worth it.
And, you should only use US currency as a last resort. Bartering in the local currency will almost always get you the best value on your money.
And, I can attest, that there is no set time as to when you can get the best airfares. They can, literally, pop up at any time. I wouldn't delay planning a vacation looking for a last minute fare, but the three week window isn't always the case.
Here is 12 other myths about travel, that I found to be extremely useful when globetrotting:
#1:They won't spit in your food.
#2:They 'really' do like us Americans.
#3: You're completely safe.
#4: Incurable third world diseases?,.'nah,..that's a thing of the past'.
#5: Those aren't roaches in your bed,..they're just really big 'beetles'.
#6: Your luggage is safe in your room,..don't worry - go and enjoy the 'colorful atmosphere'.
#7: 'Colorful Atmosphere'.
#8: Don't worry if you get sick, 'their hospitals' are just fine - and they won't hold you hostage until you pay in CASH !
#9: The policia won't plant drugs in your luggage.
#10: They won't copy and/or steal your passport.
#11: You won't get a credit card bill stating that you purchased 60 goats, 10 bundles of firewood and a child bride on your recent vacation.
#12: They won't spit in your food,...again!
and now for the TRUTH: Stay home Americans, spend your money here and in your own communities. Everything you could ever want or need, really is here in America.
I travel the world A LOT. I started traveling the world when I was 3 months old, and I never stopped (43 years later). I agree with most of what was said in this article, with a few minor exceptions:
1) One credit card IS enough. If it is denied (which has never happened to me, but did happen to a traveling companion) for being out of the country (we were Americans in Korea), you just call the credit card company and explain to them what's happening. BOOM! Your credit card works again.
2) You do not need cash in Korea -- even the taxi cabs can swipe your credit card, and you can buy subway passes with your credit card. Similarly, you don't need cash in Canada, or Hong Kong, or Japan, or Indonesia, or anyplace in Europe (I've visited 13 European countries). You do need cash in Mexico, Fiji, or India (or any 3rd World Country). That's just how it goes.
3) This article was written by a woman -- men don't keep their debit cards in their purse! Ha ha! :)
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