Saturday, May 4, 2013

Travel Logistics - Money

Our plan to manage money on the road was really quite simple.

We had a joint account with Charles Schwab, which has a great international debit card where all ATM fees are reimbursed. We love banking with Schwab. We used our Schwab ATM card in nearly every city in South America and faced absolutely NO issues. Having a card with ATM fees would have changed things significantly and this post would be a lot longer!

The card was once swallowed by the ATM machine in Yurimaguas, Peru and we had to go to the bank the next morning to retrieve it. It was swallowed again in Uyuni, Bolivia and we did not get it back. Schwab froze the card for us, but we were still able to use mine. We maintained a small running balance in our checking account so that if our card were ever to be misused, we dont loose all our travel savings.

I also had a credit Union debit card as a backup and we used that on occasion. 

Our credit card of choice was Capital One Venture One with its zero international transaction fees. We used this on a few occasions. We kept an account of what we spent daily, but we did not have a budget per se. We knew roughly how much we were prepared to spend on each category in each country and as long as we were under that limit, we did not worry about it. More about our spending here.

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