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How Much Cash to Take on Vacation?

This article was written by in Uncategorized. 21 comments.


It’s no secret that I use my credit card for as much spending as possible — the spending I would do whether using cash or credit — thanks to the availability of cash back rebates. The spending plan for my upcoming vacation is for me to put just about all of our vacation expenses on the credit card and for my girlfriend to chip in half when the bill comes due. We tend to split things fairly evenly most of the time.

But she is also planning to bring cash to the tune of $300. I might bring $100 but I don’t see too much reason to bring more than that. Carrying around so much cash seems like asking for trouble to me.

How much cash do you take on vacation?

Published or updated August 2, 2007. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.

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About the author

Luke Landes, also known as Flexo, is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about him and follow Luke Landes on Twitter. View all articles by .

{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar j2r

Depends on where I’m going. If I’m going to a big city with lots of ATMs available, then probably $100.

But if I’m going to a place in the mountains or more isolated, then probably more. But definitely not more than $300.

Like you, I try to use my cards as much as possible.

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avatar Modern Worker

Fitting post, being that I’m hitting the road for vacation this week =)

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avatar Ted

I generally bring whatever my budget is minus gas, which would go on a gas card. That way I don’t overspend. Its too easy to splurge and lose track of spending when using a card on vacation.

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avatar Rob

I usually take about $60 – $100 in equivalent local currency, but I’ve really only ever vacationed in areas where ATMs are fairly available.

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avatar klerg88

It varies for me. My wife & I are going to Miami in two weeks but only for the weekend. We’re having a fancy-like dinner at a swanky hotel and that’ll be my biggest expense. Counting cabs to and from two different airports, I’ll probably take $4-500…that’ll pretty much keep me from putting stuff on my credit card.

Now when we go to Vegas, that’s a different story. I usually go out with $1000 and NEVER use a credit card while I’m out there. Mercifully, the last two trips out there, I actually won money so spending-wise, I broke even.

We recently did a 10 day jaunt to Spain & Morocco and did quite a bit of shopping and drinking. I took $1800 for that one.

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avatar klerg88

I should actually clarify my statement…

For both my Vegas and overseas trips, I took $200 in cash with me but the rest was in my bank account. I either got $ from an ATM or from credit/debit card use. While I’m not a big CC fan, I’m not insane enough to carry that many greenbacks with me at once.

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avatar mapgirl

I went to NYC last weekend with about $260 and came home with about $20 or 30 in my pocket. If I had left with $500, I probably would have returned with the same, as I did end up breaking out the credit card a few times to ensure I had enough cash for the whole duration. (You can barter better deals if you carry cash.)

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avatar Jeremy

Rural? Driving? At least $1000 cash, stashed away, put back into the bank when I get home. [expletive] happens.

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avatar sarah

We took about $600 cash to the UK earlier this year and came home with about $400 because getting cash from an ATM was such a better deal than paying the crazy high commissions to exchange cash. For a domestic trip, I would take around $200 tops and charge most things.

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avatar CGfromTexas

I look at what my activities for the day are and pull cash out of the ATM to meet those costs. I only put airline, rental car and hotel on credit. I can keep my family of four fed and happy on about $150 to $200 a day.

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avatar Tim

$100 regardless of where I travel unless I know there are no cash machines or cannot use credit cards.

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avatar Matt

Depending on where I’m travelling I tend to carry between $100-300; I don’t like carrying too much cash but when you get to a place you haven’t been you don’t know what to expect – cash is accepted everywhere, credit cards aren’t

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avatar Heather

I bring $15 for each day I’ll be away, which covers things like public transportation fare, donations in museums, and the occasional cup of coffee or ice cream cone. I use my credit card for lodging, airfare, car rental, and meals, and then I pay the credit card balance the day after I get home.

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avatar bk

you should pay for your girlfriend instead of making her pay you back.

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avatar Chris

My wife & I just got back from Cozumel, Mexico for a week at an all-inclusive resort & we brought $200 & only used about $120 of cash.

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avatar BatskyStarman

Thanks! This is exactly the answer I was looking for!

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avatar jOANN

I am planing a trip to California and i will be driving, We will stay with family for the most part but take of and spend one night in a hotel. For Gas and Food and Entertainment for a family of four I plan to take 1700.00 Not planing on using CC.

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avatar Katie

I am going to Mexico the week of new years, I’m a little lost on how much money i should take for two people. Note that it is not an all inclusive. Our hotel is already paid for and our plane ticket though.

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avatar Susan

I am going to quebec for four days. I am thinking of bringing $150, thinking I would spend $10 a day on lunch, since the rest will be provided, and $100 on souvenirs for family and friends. To go on the safe side, should I bring $200?? Thank you.

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avatar Jholmes017

I’m going to both england and dublin for two weeks each place. I’m going to Dublin this december and England in June. How much money should I bring??

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avatar Georgia Bound Mommy

Me and my 7 year old are planning to go to the Atlanta/Marietta Georgia area next weekend to visit family and friends. Although we will be staying with family. This will cut down cost on hotel expenses, and he’s excited about going, and has plans for mommy to take him everywhere according to him. How much money should I take? No, I will not be using Credit/Debit Cards.

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