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Ashley24 Jun 23rd, 2005 11:51 AM

What do you bring cash for on your vacation?
In the past, I brought cash for our excursions (helicopter, ATV, etc.),restaurants, and souvenirs. I ended up bringing a lot of cash with me. Do most of you use your credit card to pay for most things? If so, which things did you bring cash for? Off the top of my head I am thinking for tips, entry into parks, and fast food. How much money is a good amount to bring on a trip to Hawaii for 11 days?

jlm_mi Jun 23rd, 2005 11:55 AM

Are you asking how much cash to bring in your pocket, or how much to have available to you somewhere? If I were going on a long vacation like that anywhere (well, anywhere civilized) I'd take only probably $200-300 cash and use ATMs for the rest as needed.

beachbum Jun 23rd, 2005 11:59 AM

Tough to answer without knowing how many in your party, where you're staying (does it have a doorman, porter, concierge, maid?), and whether or not you plan to tip the pilot.

J_Correa Jun 23rd, 2005 11:59 AM

We always use our credit cards for everything we can - we are pretty good at keeping to a budget to we can pay the thing off when we get home - and save the cash for things that can't be done with a credit card. Sometimes a restaurant will only take cash, etc. We generally start out with a couple hundred in cash and if we need more we stop at an ATM or get cash back with a purchase someplace.

suze Jun 23rd, 2005 12:03 PM

I pay cash for everything except the hotel bill which is paid (or prepaid) by credit card.

We really can't advice for Hawaii without knowing what you are doing and how many people are involved. Some families can spend hundreds a day on tours, activities, and fancy meals.

Personally I can do Waikiki very cheap, but I take The Bus around, hang out on the beach all day, shop at the grocery store, cook in my own kitchentte, etc.

Johnwaron Jun 23rd, 2005 01:09 PM

What an excellent timely question. I'm interesting in the replies myself since the family and I are going in a few weeks.

I plan on charging just about everything. I'm going to bring a couple of hundred in cash for stuff the card won't work for. ATMs for cash if I run out. Then when I return home, pay the CC. I have the money, I'd rather keep it in the bank instead of carrying it around.

LoveItaly Jun 23rd, 2005 01:26 PM

Hi Johnwaron, your plan is exactly what I do when I travel. I always get several one dollar bills for tips. Your financial plan for travelling has always worked perfect for me.

Rusty Jun 23rd, 2005 02:12 PM

Cash is needed for many small purchases under say $5 such as a coke, a couple of postcards, etc. If you pay for EVERY purchase with a credit card you are going to have one pile of credit card receipts and one long credit card bill.

Ashley24 Jun 23rd, 2005 02:24 PM

There are five people in our party, we are going to Kauai and the Big Island, staying for 11 days, and the activities are:
horseback riding
2 boat rides
ATV tour
possibly kayaking
Ultralight flight and
other free things like hiking, swimming, going to the beach, etc.
We are staying only two nights at a hotel, and the remaining nights at private vacation rentals (homes/condo). The rentals are already paid for.

I like the idea of charging all that can be charged and paying off the bill when we return. I will keep a bunch of ones for tipping plus a few hundred for restaurants that won't accept charge cards and misc. smaller expenses.

Statia Jun 23rd, 2005 03:06 PM

Stick me in the camp that pays cash for everything including rental cars and hotel rooms. I try not to put things on my credit card (other than airfare) if I can help it. Occassionally I overspend (oops) and have to put the car or hotel on the card. :(

I travel with a few hundred dollars on me, and use ATM's for the remainder I need during the trip. I just don't like coming home from a trip and having to pay it off on my credit card.

nytraveler Jun 23rd, 2005 04:18 PM

Pay for everything you can with a cc - it always gives you a recourse if there's a problem. Plus - youreally can;t lose any money if anything happens to it.

I never travel with more than about $100 cash - and just replenish from the nearest ATM as needed. (I use for cab fares, tips, sundries - magazines, soft drinks etc - relaly nothing else.) Except for cabs - I never pay cash for anything above about $10.

fehgeddaboudit Jun 23rd, 2005 04:18 PM

I like the points on the CC, and I like the cash discounts that some smaller operations offer.

utahtea Jun 23rd, 2005 05:41 PM

We like to charge everything we can on the credit card that gets cash rewards. Pay it off everymonth. I don't like charging small amounts like for an icecream or postcard.

Sometimes we run into campgrounds where we have to self-pay and need cash. Laundrymats and sometimes paying for gas with cash is cheaper than the credit card prices.


ggrtist Jun 23rd, 2005 08:57 PM

we usually bring a couple hundred cash and put everything we can on the card, mainly for the FF miles so we can go back to Hawaii :) We try not to go to the ATM too much because the extra fees. There's not a lot of difference between saving the cash for the trip and taking it with me or saving the cash, charging everything with a card and paying off the bill as soon as I get it...except that I don't have to worry about carrying around all that dough in my pocket.

gail Jun 24th, 2005 02:52 AM

Whatever your cash/credit lifestyle is at home, take double the amount of cash you usually carry in your wallet. Use debit card for everything else. Go to ATM for cash when you need it.

iamq Jun 24th, 2005 03:34 AM

We bring a few hundred in cash, but use the cc to pay for as much as we can. If we run low on cash we visit a market or an atm.


elizabeth_reed Jun 24th, 2005 04:05 AM

For a week's vacation, I like to have about $200 between us. We only use cash for snacks and other tiny things. Everything else is by credit card. There have been times when we've gone to small exhibits/tours that would only take cash.

And I always give $5 if we're at a mission church. (Made the mistake once of signing my name in a church guest book; they sent me begging letters for years. Never again.)

Worktowander Jun 25th, 2005 11:53 PM

We split the difference: A few hundred in the local currency, everything else on a credit-card branded debit card -- no bills to pay off later, buyer protection through the credit card brand.

We do take a credit card along for emergencies -- like a great sale :) -- but rarely use it.

knute Jun 26th, 2005 12:20 AM

Lots of advice about "going to ATM's as needed." Why blow 2-5 dollars needlessly on bank fees? I would take at least $500 in cash to Hawaii.

knute Jun 26th, 2005 12:23 AM

P.S. All it takes is for that little black stripe on the back of your card to malfunction (it's happened to me twice) and there you'll sit somewhere in beautiful Hawaii outa cash.

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