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Don't Let these Travel Nightmares Happen to You

Plenty of things can go wrong when you're traveling abroad.  You can miss your flight connections, get lost on the way to your hotel, get ripped off by unscrupulous taxi drivers, and then exhausted from all that, sleep right through that free breakfast your first morning.  While all those things are annoying, they're easily surmountable. Not having access to money, on the other hand, isn't quite so easily brushed off.  Here, you'll find some real travel nightmares, where tourists were put into extremely difficult positions when they lost access to their money.  Imagine being stranded in a foreign country, all your holiday money gone, and nobody right there to help you.  Not fun! We'll also show you a way to avoid these travel nightmares- it's easier these days than it ever was, thanks to modern technology, the internet, and some brilliant travel aids that savvy adventurers are making use of when they go abroad. First, three of the worst money-related travel nightmares, all of which might have been avoided by the simple use of a pre paid travel card (yes, that's the way to avoid these nightmares!).

Nightmare #1: Cash Stolen In-Flight

Most travelers are aware of pickpockets abroad.  Turns out having your cash (and credit cards) stolen can happen even before you get to your destination, too.  Case in point: Paula, who was traveling on a flight alone, had all her cash in a coin purse in her handbag.  She got up to use the bathroom and when she returned, in-flight service came around to offer wine.  She pulled out her coin purse and it was empty!  Apparently the woman sitting in the window seat (Paula was in an aisle seat, and the middle seat was empty) had emptied it out while she was away.  All her travel money, gone. This just goes to show that even though you may think you're being cautious, theft can occur when you're least expecting it.  There's no recourse in Paula's, situation, unfortunately.  She couldn't prove anything and once cash is gone, it's gone forever. Satisfying your cash needs while on holiday is as simple as putting the cash into plastic before your trip: there are pre paid travel cards for Europe, the US, and for the rest of the world ("multi-currency" or "global").

Nightmare #2: ATM/Debit Card Eaten, Replacement Not Working

Sometimes people do plan to carry very little cash and use their credit card while traveling for their cash needs.  They rely on cash points/ATMs and worldwide acceptance of their ATM/Debit card or credit card. However, things can go wrong here, too.  One woman reported that her Citibank card was "eaten" by a machine in Paris as she tried to get cash for her holiday.  There was no explanation given by the machine.  What's worse, her receipt said the money she requested had actually been withdrawn! What happened here was a case of a particular credit card company experiencing "red tape" issues with overseas banks.  These types of issues are usually completely unexpected and unavoidable...the woman in Paris reported that Citibank had absolutely no explanation for the problems she had with their card.  The replacement didn't even work! Once more, pre paid travel cards in Euros solve the problems like this one in Paris.  They're designed to work abroad in foreign ATMs, and have 'round the clock customer service should there be any questions or concerns.

Nightmare #3: Blocked Credit Card in Mexico

Sometimes it's your own bank that brings misery while you're traveling.  To protect your account (and their bottom lines of course), banks like for you to alert them of your travel plans.  The reason: when they see a series of foreign transactions, it can sometimes mean your card has been compromised. Usually a quick phone call is all it takes to unblock a "frozen" credit card while you're on holiday.  One woman, however, had no such luck.  Amy Anderson was traveling in Mexico on a cruise when her credit union set a fraud alert after she made a purchase at one of the ports of call. A simple phone call did not, unfortunately, restore her purchasing power.  She learned her credit card doesn't do business in Mexico!  They were "declining all charges in the country of Mexico due to fraud".  That left her with no recourse except to beg fellow travelers for money so she could pay her bar tab. Again, a pre paid travel card is issued before you travel, and is good anywhere a MasterCard symbol is found.  Ms. Anderson would not have had the issue in Mexico had she used a pre paid travel card.  Any "exceptions" or problems would have been ironed out ahead of time, had they even existed, and she wouldn't have had to spend an entire day of her cruise worrying about paying her bill and begging strangers for money.

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