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Informative Articles

ALASKA - BRIEF TRAVEL GUIDE
Explore the true North, the land of spectacular scenery, abundant wildlife and friendly hospitality. WHAT TO SEE, TO DO AND WHERE: Mount McKinley is the highest mountain in North America (6,194 m or 20,306 feet), 150 miles from Fairbanks. Mountain...

Noise Cancelling Headphones Are Not Just A Travel Accessory...They're A Travel Necessity
There is unwanted noise all around us. Without Noise cancelling headphones, there is no escaping it. There's engine and air noise on planes, blaring sounds of city streets, noisy air conditioners, unwanted noise in the office and endless lawn...

Pack List for a Cruise--and other Travel Tips
What you bring on a cruise depends a great deal of the kind of ship it is.........casual or elegant.........and your plans for "fine dining". If you are sailing a ship with all the elegant evenings, this takes special forethought on your part....

Travel Saftey - Using Intuition
"We've been robbed," I told Ana. "All of it." I grabbed the thief, who was no longer acting drunk at all. It was a lesson in travel safety. It started when both my wife and I had a strong feeling we shouldn't get on that bus in Cuenca....

Traveling in Mexico City: The Ins & Outs of Getting Around
If you have never traveled to Mexico City before, getting around can be a bit overwhelming. There are many ways to travel within Mexico City, and the methods, rules and day-to-day getting from Point A to Point B can be frustrating. This article...

 
Travelers Checks Versus Debit Cards

My first time overseas, I had to exchange cash in $200 of travelers checks to pay a mountaineering guide who hadn't heard of American Express. The bank charged me $8. During the same trip, I used my debit card at an ATM to get $200 from my checking account. Once home, I saw that the charge for this was one dollar, and that was the last time I used traveler's checks.

Debit And Credit Cards When Traveling

I usually carry a debit card and a credit card when I travel now. I keep them well-hidden in two separate places. If they are stolen, which has never happened yet, they have either zero liability, or a fifty dollar liability limit for any unauthorized charges. Ask your bank or credit card company about this.

When an Automated Teller Machine (ATM) won't take one of the cards for some reason - and this will happen - I use the other card, which usually works fine. Credit cards may be less trouble than debit cards. Your liability could be zero on your stolen debit card, but you probably won't have access to your account until the matter is sorted out.

Of course, on longer trips it's a hassle to pay the credit card bill on time, which isn't a problem with debit cards. Carry both, and on


longer trips you can wait until you're a few weeks from home to use the credit card. That way you'll get there before the bill does.

An important advantage credit and debit cards have over travelers checks, is that when you need the local currency, you'll almost always get a better exchange rate with your cards. Also, the cash you get from the local ATM will truly be accepted everywhere, something even American Express Travelers Checks can't promise.

I have nothing against American Express. Once, when I was robbed in Mexico, they quickly and curtiously replaced my stolen traveler's checks. Also, at times it is appropriate to carry money in several forms, including theirs. However, times change and ATMs are everywhere now, so my policy is : Travelers checks; don't leave home with them. You can take an American Express credit card instead.
About the Author

Steve Gillman hit the road at sixteen, and traveled the U.S. and Mexico alone at 17. Now 40, he travels with his wife Ana, whom he met in Ecuador. To read their stories, tips and travel information, visit: http://www.EverythingAboutTravel.com