I’m planning a RTW trip and am having trouble wrapping my head around how to manage finances while traveling. I’ve read several blogs on this but still have two questions:
1) Is it best to carry a minimum of two cards (eg a debit and a credit or two debits etc) from different financial institutions to abate risk?
2) Is it best to keep multiple cards separate at all times? Like one on you and one in your luggage? Or does it make more sense to keep them together at different times?
How Many Cards?
I prefer to carry two cards to abate risk, as you say. I have two credit cards (from different banks), and one debit card. This has been handy, as I’ve frequently had minor mishaps with either one of my credit cards, and needed the second card as a backup.
How/Where to Carry Them
The best way to carry any duplicate valuables is to separate them in case you’re bereaved of something; I carry my external hard drive and laptop in separate bags, I carry cash in different places on my person and in my bags, and when I’m on the move I keep one of my credit cards stashed in my under-clothes pouch containing my trusty USB stick.
I’m pretty vigilant with this when I’m actively on the move and my bags are packed; but once I stay somewhere long enough to unpack, I tend to carry everything I need for the day in a purse or wallet.
It’s almost impossible to hedge against all risks at all times. Generally, a nice balance of prudence and faith is the best we can do.
Travelers: How do you carry your cards, and how many credit/debit cards do you have?
Other Money-Management Travel Tips
Scroll through this resource for other tips for managing your money on the road: