Is Taking Your Credit Card on Holiday a Smart Idea?

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We all know the feeling of packing a suitcase for a holiday and agonising over what to take. It can be a frustrating experience, can’t it?

Are those fluorescent yellow Bermuda shorts going to be a hit on the beach, will you really use your hair straighteners over there and is all of that sun cream really necessary for a week? These are some of the classic questions we all ask ourselves before a holiday but what about the money issue?

The old approach of taking a mixture of cash and traveller’s cheques is no longer the best idea for many people. With most of us now owning at least one credit card it is now worth considering what the benefits are to taking one of these cards away on holiday.

Have Extra Flexibility

Of course, one of the great things about a credit card in any situation is that it gives you a lot of flexibility. There are few situations in life in which having access to a bit of extra cash can be as useful as when you are on holiday. Imagine that you have a once in a lifetime chance to go to a famous amusement park or to take a taxi ride or boat trip out to somewhere incredible. You wouldn’t want to miss out on that for the sake of being short of a few pounds, would you? Having a credit card with some available credit on it can help you remain flexible and decide whether or not spending a bit extra on something unexpected might be worthwhile. Of course, you won’t want to lose track of your spending while you are on holiday, just as you don’t do this when you are at home. This means that it is a very good idea to get set up for online banking before you leave and then keep an eye on your spending in this way.

Deal with Emergencies

Of course, not all of the things you might need to spend money on while on holiday are fun. You never know when something might go wrong when you are far from home. Most trips pass without any problems but you wouldn’t want to be stuck in a foreign resort desperately waiting for someone from back home to wire you money to cover a medical emergency or some other problem. You will probably feel a lot more relaxed about travelling if you have a credit card as a backup, especially if you are travelling with kids.

Get Protected

One of the greatest things about credit cards is the fact that they give you cover under Section 75. What does this mean? Well, it is a great piece of legislation which means that you are protected from things going wrong when you buy using your credit card. This means that if you pay for something but don’t get the goods or the service promised you can claim the money back on your credit card.

Stay Safe

There are many reasons for not wanting to walk about on holiday with a huge wad of cash. For a start, it could mark you out as a target for thieves or you could simply lose some money on your travels. By using a card you can safely pay in shops and restaurants or else withdraw some money whenever you need it. This is a great way to deal with your money while you are on a trip, as you can basically forget about cash worries and just concern yourself with having a good time.

What experiences with cash or cards have you had while on holiday?

image courtesy of BBC

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