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Old 05-15-2024, 07:14 AM   #1
Boba911
 
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Trip Cash

I am planning a 2-month trip from Rhode Island to Montana this summer. I will most likely be traveling about 7000 miles on this trip. The plan is to stop in Wisconsin then on to Montana for some fly-fishing adventures. So, on a long trip like this, how much cash must I carry? I mostly carry credit cards and a few 100 dollars' worth of cash. Is this adequate with ATM's all over the place?
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Old 05-15-2024, 07:42 AM   #2
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Yes, for me that seems to work fine. Most places I buy stuff I use the debit card. I do like to pay cash for meals at most places so I do carry one to three hundred dollars.
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Old 05-15-2024, 10:53 AM   #3
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With the numerous ATM's which can be found almost everywhere I think I would carry about $500 in cash. More is better than less if there is an emergency of any kind.

Enjoy your trip.
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Old 05-16-2024, 03:39 PM   #4
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As someone who has spent a bit of time in rural Montana, South & North Dakota I would echo Hans - more is better. There are fewer ATM's available and in case "the only one in town" is not working cash is more than handy - it is necessary. And also some, not many but some, businesses - especially small town restaurants do not take credit cards.
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Old 05-16-2024, 03:48 PM   #5
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$500 is good to hit the road with.
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Old 05-16-2024, 05:35 PM   #6
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I’d say $500 but you have some decent plans ( and hopefully no emergencies) if you paying cash for those fly fishing and others fun stuff

I would go with pool of a $1000.
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Old 05-17-2024, 04:35 AM   #7
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I will preface my response with I'm a veteran AND a doomsday prepper.... I'm going to Alaska this summer and will be carrying around 1500.00 in cash. My logic is IF the gas station Internet systems are down (hacked), I can get back home by paying cash at the pumps. Right now, there are fires near Fort Nelson, BC (Canada), and the cell, internet, and gas station systems are down..... so it depends on your comfort zone. Also, bring extra credit cards -- typically, when I head out West via the Interstate, I most likely get skimmed at the pump at least once during the trip. Enjoy fly fishing in Montana... I used to live there and it's a beautiful state... don't miss fishing the Missouri River between the dam and Craig -- blue ribbon trout fishing....or the Madison River near Ennis.
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Old 05-17-2024, 06:53 AM   #8
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I drive twice a year from MI to CA to visit our son. I usually have $300 to $500 cash on me and always have $500+ in my go-bag in the trailer. I also always have a $50 bill in my phone case and car ash tray as another fall-back. I do take extra credit cards but rely on one for gas only purchases and anther card for misc. expenses. I think after 10 or so cross-country trips there I have used an ATM only a couple of times or so.
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Old 05-17-2024, 09:14 AM   #9
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Cash? What's that? It's getting harder to find places that take cash. We take $100 or so mostly for firewood but now Minnesota Parks only take cards to pay for wood. I don't think it hurts to carry around cash but I like the convenience of cards. Yes, the infrastructure supporting cards could go down, but that's pretty rare unless you're headed into a hurricane or something. ATMs are still very prevalent.
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Old 05-17-2024, 09:43 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boba911 View Post
I am planning a 2-month trip from Rhode Island to Montana this summer. I will most likely be traveling about 7000 miles on this trip. The plan is to stop in Wisconsin then on to Montana for some fly-fishing adventures. So, on a long trip like this, how much cash must I carry? I mostly carry credit cards and a few 100 dollars' worth of cash. Is this adequate with ATM's all over the place?
Yes. I put $500 in a bag and only use it for necessities.
I'm becoming adverse to using my card in gas pumps, so I use the Circle K card where I can find one. I used to carry some Shell prepaid gift cards but with the price of gas high they don't last long.
My next fear is losing my debit card in a ATM machine (It's happened, of course on a Friday of a holiday weekend) so my Plan B is to use the debit card at WalMart or a Grocery and get an extra $100 cash. That way I never insert a card into a machine. I was shopping anyway!
I've weaned myself off of credit cards, so that's the reason for the extra caution of the debit card.
One year, Bank of America would randomly turn off your card if it was out of your normal shopping places. They've stopped that. Spending 30 minutes on the phone to CS is no fun when you're trying to buy groceries.
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Old 05-17-2024, 05:26 PM   #11
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Consider bringing a couple of 100 dollar bills as part of your cash reserves. They are great for emergencies. Ben Franklin's smiling face seems to motivate people far better than 5 twenties.
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Old 05-17-2024, 08:31 PM   #12
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Quarters is what you need.
For Laundry.
We save them all year, and them bring them all on summer vacation.
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Old 05-17-2024, 11:19 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffKim View Post
Cash? What's that? It's getting harder to find places that take cash. We take $100 or so mostly for firewood but now Minnesota Parks only take cards to pay for wood. I don't think it hurts to carry around cash but I like the convenience of cards. Yes, the infrastructure supporting cards could go down, but that's pretty rare unless you're headed into a hurricane or something. ATMs are still very prevalent.
I've found that the need for cash is usually associated with after-hours or emergency type services, like getting a tow at 2am on a holiday weekend.

Agree about the convenience of cards (and smartphone payments) but there are times when you just can't use them, and those times are often when you're most in need.
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Old 05-18-2024, 08:35 AM   #14
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Too much cash?
You are allowed to put it back in the bank when you return!
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Old 05-18-2024, 08:52 AM   #15
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Too much cash?
You are allowed to put it back in the bank when you return!
But all that interest you lose out on? ($.02)

I was being a bit facetious in my response that cash is unnecessary these days. I think it's dependent on the length of the trip and where you are going. The OP has a long trip so the chances of something happening where cash is helpful is greater. I usually am more of a risk taker but carrying around or even stashing a significant amount of cash makes me a little nervous or in the least another thing I have to remember.
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Old 05-18-2024, 12:12 PM   #16
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I pay for fuel with cash as it is often cheaper. Not as convenient as you sometimes have to get some change back and make another trip into the store. My credit card has been hacked a few times so I am a bit gun shy of using a card for everything.
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Old Yesterday, 06:07 AM   #17
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Speaking of cash, I recently read that several of the NP's will no longer take cash and you must use a credit/debit card. Well some people object to that and have sued the NPS because the words "for all debts, public and private" are printed on our currency.

I wonder how that will play out?
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Old Yesterday, 09:31 AM   #18
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I agree some cash and keep some in reserve. When we eat out we would rather leave a cash tip than add it to a credit card. Small restaurants might have to pay a fee for their credit card machine. Also some gas stations charge you an extra fee for credit cards, gas has 2 prices cash and card price.

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Old Yesterday, 09:35 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hans627 View Post
Speaking of cash, I recently read that several of the NP's will no longer take cash and you must use a credit/debit card. Well some people object to that and have sued the NPS because the words "for all debts, public and private" are printed on our currency.

I wonder how that will play out?
There are, ahem, agencies that really, really want a cashless society. Every transaction can be tracked, and it can also be turned off ...

Now it's possible that the National Parks just don't want cash around because they don't trust the employees or fear robberies in remote areas.
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Old Yesterday, 11:16 AM   #20
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So, on a long trip like this, how much cash must I carry?
Enough to post bail?
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