12 myths about travel and money

Don't let these fictions ruin your next trip.

Text by Eric Lucas | Photo editing by Connie Ricca

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24Comments
Sep 6, 2012 2:43PM
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I mostly agree.  However, I just came back from a trip to Mexico where I purchased a block of cigarette's in Duty Free and ended up paying $2.80 per pack.  I don't smoke (bought for a friend), but I'm pretty sure a cost for a pack in the US is much closer to $10/pack. Although I agree that MOST items in duty free are NOT cheaper, I still think you can find great bargains there (liquor and cigarettes being best examples)
Sep 6, 2012 2:41PM
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There is some excellent travel advice here for those who didn't know this information already, but some advice is a little for the paranoid minded.
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.


Sep 6, 2012 2:29PM
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I also traveled the world for the past three decade into remote areas doing volunteering medical programs. And the only card i bring along is a debit card. I call my bank and tell them where I am going and a time limit and that is all. If it's in Moscow, Philippines, Cuba, Africa, India and 54 other countries I have been in, I have never had any issues -but- I do try and go to the local banks if I need cash, they seem to know the in and out of international what ever they do. I leave my credit cards at home. By the way, the debit card I travel with is separate from my main one. I just put in what will be needing on the trip, but again -- I am an experienced traveler.
Sep 6, 2012 2:14PM
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In Japan, tipping is very inappropriate, even insulting.
Sep 6, 2012 2:09PM
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Some people don't own multiple cards.  I have one Visa and my debit card.
Sep 6, 2012 1:56PM
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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.

Sep 6, 2012 1:31PM
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Social Security Card !
Most people do not carry such a card in their wallet But, do carry a Medicare Card with SS number on it !!! (account number)
Have read that to make copy of card and blank out last four numbers !!! These numbers are your ID !!
Could be a problem using card with four numbers missing, So have other ID with you !
No problem in seeing a doctor you have seen before !!!
US Government is very aware of problem and had a bill to correct But, did not pass !!
Too expensive !!!
RIP
Sep 6, 2012 1:17PM
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Traveler's Checks also cost the merchants extra fees so even if fraud is not a concern, they just don't like them for the extra handling fees.  Sadly another service killed because of bankers nickel and dime attitude.
Sep 6, 2012 1:09PM
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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!  :)

Sep 6, 2012 12:33PM
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The Russians attacked my card .I was in Thailand, thus the bank cancelled my card and told me to pick one up upon arrival in the US. WRONG! I went to the Chase bank upon arrival at Los Angeles and they couldn't give me a card as I lived in Orlando. This went on for over a month and I had to open another account in a different bank. Chase=uggghhh
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