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Money and travel: What you need to know before you go

Spotlight on Finance

Whether you are traveling locally, regionally or abroad, you need to know a couple of things about your money before you set foot out the door.

1- Whether you spend with cash, credit or both, there are pros and cons.

2- You can save a lot of money by doing some online research both ahead of time and while on vacation.

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Anthony Lanzillo, Senior Vice President, KeyBank

Understanding when to use credit cards and when to use cash will promote a healthy relationship with you and your money. And saving money on the things you want to do while on vacation will allow you to either do more with your budget or spend less. By planning ahead, being informed and making savvy decisions, you can enjoy your vacation more than ever before.

Carrying plastic?

Pros: Your credit cards deserve to go on vacation too, right? Credit card usage on vacation has its advantages. For starters, funds are as easy to access as gulping down margaritas on a sandy beach. You don’t have to know currency conversion metrics. And most important, you are protected against fraudulent charges made on your credit card. Some credit card companies even offer perks like travel insurance, baggage protection and higher spending limits for travelers.

Cons: The downside to using credit cards on vacation is that you can expect to incur additional fees if you are traveling outside of the country. Many credit card companies charge foreign transaction fees of up to three percent of your total purchase each time you slide your card. Always check with your credit card company before leaving the United States to fully understand the cost of using credit abroad. Also, whether you are traveling locally or abroad, some smaller shops don’t accept credit cards. You’ll need cash for these purchases.

Be sure to review all credit card statements when you return home for accuracy. Keep an eye out for double billing issues and fraudulent charges.

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