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money
January 23, 2012
9:55 pm
jim.kamara
stevenage herts
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December 27, 2011
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Hi all, and happy new year to you all.

doing 66 in September, and I know its a long way off, but have a question about money. what is the best way to carry money. obviously you don't want to be carrying to much at any one time. do you use the ATM's and take the hit on the charges . or  travellers checks. how much to have on you at any one time. I will be picking my own hotels on route,and will have my credit cards for that. Some of the veteran  road- trippers out there I would welcome your advice, as I normally stay at a single resorts, and use the hotel room safe.......     Oh and coming from the UK. many thanks jim

January 24, 2012
9:16 pm
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Steve Bellamy
Cardiff, Wales, UK
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Hi Jim,

I'm from Cardiff so have some advice from a UK point of view. I managed in 3 ways:

1. I took about £200 worth of dollars with me so that I was able to put my hand on cash as soon as I touched down in the States but only used it when I really had to.

2. I prebooked certain accommodation that I knew I wanted to stay in so payment was covered in those cases. Otherwise I got a credit card with a 0% rate and used that for accommodation and whenever possible so as to preserve the cash.

3. The Post Office do a travel card that you can preload with cash that can be withdrawn overseas with no huge charges. Also, if things get tight you can top up your card from anywhere in the world by phone, SMS or online. It's really flexible and basically acts as a debit card. I think we put about £800 on it and didn't use it all. Check out the Travel Card here.

Our trip was for 3 weeks and we ate out for 3 meals a day, visited lots of paid attractions and of course had to cover accommodation and petrol. I'd definitely approach a trip to the States in the same way again. It means that you are always able to have a buffer of cash with you but the bulk of the financial hit is taken on the 0% credit card and paid off as quickly as possible on your return (and hopefully before the interest kicks in!)

Hope this helps,

Steve

Set up the Driving Route 66 website in 2010 following the best road trip experience in 2007.

January 27, 2012
10:39 pm
jim.kamara
stevenage herts
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Hi Steve Thanks very much for info, will have a look at the post office travel card, never gave them a thought. Will be asking a few more questions in the coming months. Thanks. Jim

January 28, 2012
9:17 am
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Steve Bellamy
Cardiff, Wales, UK
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No problem - ask away 🙂

Set up the Driving Route 66 website in 2010 following the best road trip experience in 2007.

February 6, 2012
3:50 am
frank
usa
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Jim--I'm an American.  Visa and MasterCard are so universal now that you ALMOST don't need anything else on a trip. A single card can be used to book motel rooms, buy gas from pumps, pay for fast food, and almost any transaction you might make. I would avoid travelers checks--many clerks have never seen them.  And just to be on the safe side having $100 in cash is a good idea.  There will always be the occasional small restaurant or gift shop that doesn't take plastic.  American ATMs (banking machines) dispense $20s and they are widespread at supermarkets, some travel centers, and in any city where you would book a motel.  You don't want $50 or $100 bills--they are very difficult to use, many places simply refuse to accept them.

The one caution would be to check with your bank or card issuer well ahead of time to make sure your card(s) will work in the US.  Magnetic stripe technology is universally used here and not all foreign cards have it.

February 7, 2012
9:34 pm
jim.kamara
stevenage herts
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frank , many thanks for your reply and the tip about the $50 +$100 bills, will remember that, when I order my money from the bank.             thanks jim.

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