The third week of the Cash Challenge with Gerri Willis was revealing. One of the top objections that I have heard from friends and family is the pickle one paying cash would run into while traveling. This past week I traveled and I got to experience these challenges first hand. Here is a list of the challenges I ran into…
Guess what? The airlines kiosks don’t accept cash…therefore, in order to check my bag at the kiosk I had to use my debit card. On my way out, I dealt with an agent directly and I was able to pay her cash…but on my way home I was not so lucky.
Conclusion – Debit card most likely required, unless dealing with an agent directly.
When I checked into the hotel, I asked about putting the incidentals on my debit card. She told me that with debit cards they have to put a freeze on the amount of the room and then some. Since I was staying at a Hyatt and not a Days Inn, let’s just say that the “freeze” amount made my heart skip a beat. It is my estimation that they have to do this with a debit card because it guarantees that the funds are there? Ultimately, I had to utilize my credit card in this situation.
Conclusion – Credit card necessary, unless you have thousands extra sitting in your checking account.
I did not have a rental car, so I was in essence subject to the hotel. I am sure I could have utilized the Wells Fargo bank locator on my phone to find an ATM close by since I was in the heart of downtown, but I did not have the time. I was subject to accessing cash via the bank ATMs which cost me $3.95 a pop! I had to access cash 3 times…that may have been combination of poor planning, figuring out how to use cash while traveling and unexpected expenses. Lesson learned.
Conclusion – Get your cash before you travel to avoid steep ATM fees.
Something else that I noted, but did not run into was the fact that airlines do not accept cash for their snacks and drinks on the plane, so a debit card would be required in this situation too… Ultimately, if you are going to travel, try to outline your daily expenses ahead of time, transfer cash into your checking account and pull the cash from your bank’s local ATM prior to travel to save!