Traveling on Credit

Every tried booking a flight online?

“Your credit card has been rejected please try making payment with another credit card.”

Or:

“The address you entered does not match our record for this card.”

Or:

“We don’t accept that card, please use…”

It’s even worse when you get places. On a recent trip to Lanzarote in the Spanish Canary Islands, our writer Willem Lansboro was told in no uncertain terms “cash only.” Trouble was he was cashless and had already begun sipping from the bottle of vodka. A day in jail was the penalty.

Likewise, BS Travel Guide sub-editor Fenella French complained of “constant rejection.” At first we all assumed it was because of her difficult character but then she explained “damned cards.” Known as a gambler, we thought she was dealt a poor hand until finally she wondered “why does every credit card cause me problems when I travel?”

So why do credit cards cause problems?

“It’s all to do with the type of plastic the card manufacturers use,” according to Professor Fritz Van Cleur of Östersund Public University in Sweden.

Apparently, as the temperature or the card rises or falls, the level of card acceptability declines or increases, respectively.

“As a result, it’s vitally important to always go on vacation with a battery-operated refrigerator,” says Van Cleur.

Our advice is don’t take the risk of card failure. Similarly don’t take high-denomination bank notes because of theft risk. The easiest thing to do is go to your local currency converter and ask them to give you the smallest-denomination coins of your intended destination country.

So, for example if you travel to Guinea, you should convert your dollars at home. $50 should do for a week’s vacation. Expect to receive 454,900 one-franc coins for your $50.

BS Travel Guide sells Guinean money belts for a mere $14.99 or 136379.02 francs. We don’t accept credit cards.

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