Carrying money on a road trip

Submitted: Wednesday, Apr 08, 2009 at 10:03
ThreadID: 67676 Views:2734 Replies:13 FollowUps:13
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Morning to all!

What do people here find the simplest and safest method of carrying money on a road trip?

I don't particularly want to carry a lot of cash and can see that many places accept most of the major cards.

This is a road trip from West to East through the Red Centre in June covering about 5,500 kms over about 2-3 weeks. That might sound like a hurried trip, but it is an alternative to simply driving across the Nullarbor to get from point A to point B! My friend is going to a job in northern NSW and I decided fly over to the West to join her on the drive across, so making a bit of an adventure of it!

Look forward to hearing others suggestions and ideas. :)

And a "Happy Easter" to all here on the forums! :)

Cheers,
Anne-Marie
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Reply By: Axel [ the real one ] - Wednesday, Apr 08, 2009 at 10:16

Wednesday, Apr 08, 2009 at 10:16
Allways some cash as some places the Eftpos is "down" , that said ,most out of the way places dont take Diners or Amex , lots charge a % that varies from 1 - 5% on Visa transactions , Cash + Debit card are the go.
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Wednesday, Apr 08, 2009 at 14:56

Wednesday, Apr 08, 2009 at 14:56
The only places we struck last year that passed on a credit charge surcharge were the Voyages resorts (El Questro, Kings Canyon and Yulara). They own everything in the resorts so it applies to accommodation, shopping and fuel. At only 1% it wasn't a big imposition. Some small businesses get slugged much higher fees - i think it can be up to about 6% so they cannot afford to absorb this much and will pass it on.

Lots of places don't take Amex or Diners due to the extreme fees.

Motherhen
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Reply By: Willem - Wednesday, Apr 08, 2009 at 10:17

Wednesday, Apr 08, 2009 at 10:17
Hello Anne-Marie

We carry $200 cash and use EFTPOS virtually anywhere in Australia. Even in remote places such as Kunawarritji near Well 33 on the Canning Stock Route. Sometime we would carry more cash depending on the area we are travelling through


Cheers
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Follow Up By: AnneMarie - Wednesday, Apr 08, 2009 at 12:15

Wednesday, Apr 08, 2009 at 12:15
Hi Willem - many thanks for that info. That's kinda what I had thought too - I have a Visa Debit/Eftpos card - should work OK for most places then. :)

Many thanks again! The big day is getting closer... about 14th June!

Well, I'd best get back into it in the garden - only stopped inside for a quick bite to eat and a drink! Will check back here again later this arvo!

Cheers,
Anne-Marie
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Reply By: Member - Tour Boy ( Bundy QLD) - Wednesday, Apr 08, 2009 at 10:59

Wednesday, Apr 08, 2009 at 10:59
We have a divider in the storage drawers that is in the same carpet as the inside of the drawers. We put it right up against the inside of the handle just inside the drawer
As there is a bit of overlap from the outside of the drawer you can put thousands of $ in notes between the divider and the back inside of the drawer handle.
If someone broke into the car and took all of the stuff inside the drawers, they still wouldn't see the money as you can't tell there is a false wall.
Even with the drawers open in full view, you can't see the money.

If they steal the car well.. all bets are off.

Cheers
Dave
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Dave
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Follow Up By: Mandrake - Wednesday, Apr 08, 2009 at 11:11

Wednesday, Apr 08, 2009 at 11:11
Better find a new spot now Dave !!

Mandrake - my money is an illusion !
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Follow Up By: Member - Tour Boy ( Bundy QLD) - Wednesday, Apr 08, 2009 at 11:13

Wednesday, Apr 08, 2009 at 11:13
LOL... got no money now that's why the cruiser is in the trader.!!!!
Cheers,
Dave
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Reply By: Nomadic Navara - Wednesday, Apr 08, 2009 at 11:03

Wednesday, Apr 08, 2009 at 11:03
If you are carrying lots of money in the van then spread it around several hiding spots. Once they have a bit they will stop looking. That way you will not loose the lot.

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Follow Up By: get outmore - Wednesday, Apr 08, 2009 at 11:15

Wednesday, Apr 08, 2009 at 11:15
maybe - prpbabally not, these guys do it day in day out and put as much time and effort into theiving as you do working
trying to "outsmart" them like that would be unlikely to work more likely finding a bit would confirm there on track and redouble their efforts to get the rest .

thats not to say you still shouldnt try though
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Reply By: Member - Richard H (NSW) - Wednesday, Apr 08, 2009 at 12:28

Wednesday, Apr 08, 2009 at 12:28
People who break into motor vehicles and caravans are opportunist thieves, and must be quick about what they do, otherwise they'll be detected, so locked & secured vehicles are usually not their target.

Don't leave your vehicle unattended for lengthy periods of time in towns, and be situationally aware of what is around you before you go. If you don't feel safe, move somewhere else.

If you have a lockable glovebox, and most people do, you can stash money & valuables away in there, or better still, the boot if you have one) is always a good place as they are hard to get into, unless you have the right gear and in doing so are very obvious.

But don't be seen placing your handbag and whatever in there.

Caravans and erected campers are easy to get into, and from my experience handbags are placed within a nice arms length from the door (true), and in a lot of cases we found that mum carried the cash, plus her jewellery, in her bag. Put it out of sight, well inside.

In caravan parks don't both go to the ablutions block together, stagger your times, as some of the regular inhabitants do leave a bit to be desired at times.

Me personally, I carry about $250 in cash, and I use my credit card. I don't recall ever being knocked back, though on occasions I've had to pay a little extra to use it.

If you take a handbag with you into shopping centres hang onto it, as some of the handbag thieves can move quickly.

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Follow Up By: Member - Fred G NSW - Wednesday, Apr 08, 2009 at 18:36

Wednesday, Apr 08, 2009 at 18:36
That's very well put Richard, and most importantly, good common sense.

Fred.
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Reply By: Member - Footloose - Wednesday, Apr 08, 2009 at 14:07

Wednesday, Apr 08, 2009 at 14:07
Hi again Annemarie. I tend to carry a bit between stops, even if I do plan to use a card. The more remote the stage is, the more money I carry. The cash is a backup for the card and also the card for the cash ...so to speak.
I've been lucky and never found the ATM down. For some reason I find that cash speaks all languages, and sometimes you just have to have that late or whatever :))
BTW I've always found passengers (offocial or not) tend to be curious...the first place they check out is the glovebox. So I don't keep any money there...
AnswerID: 358788

Reply By: stevesub - Wednesday, Apr 08, 2009 at 14:22

Wednesday, Apr 08, 2009 at 14:22
When we are on the road including out of the way outback places, we carry between $200 and $500 in cash in my wallet that is in my pocket. We try not to use it but use credit cards for fuel and EFTPOS for the rest when on the road.

My wife has some money in her wallet (who knows how much) and backup cards. I am sure that there is money in her wallet somewhere as she produces it on a regular basis but how she finds it in amongst all the other junk, only she knows.

I have never known anyone who can store so many year old supermarket and fuel receipts in such a small space for so long, not to mention the expired credit cards, etc but still find money when she needs it.

You do not need much more money when you are travelling as nearly everywhere takes plastic these days or has a Money machine somewhere close by, even if there is only one machine in a town.

$500 will buy you a tyre or fill your fuel tankor get some basic food, etc. Safer than carrying the family fortune in cash.

Stevesub
AnswerID: 358790

Follow Up By: AnneMarie - Friday, Apr 10, 2009 at 09:22

Friday, Apr 10, 2009 at 09:22
Hey Steve!

All good advice there! Many thanks! I think I'll stick with a couple of hundred in cash for starters and fall back on the good old VISA/Eftpos and Amex where I can! (which won't be many places!!).

Chuckled at the story of your wife's wallet!! I loathe overloaded handbags and I don't even have a wallet anymore!!

I managed to find a neat little Milleni mini shoulder bag that has a zipped compartment at the front for all the cards and a little coin purse. The dollar notes I keep inside the bag in a billfold! Having such a tiny bag prevents me having to carry too much junk in my bag and takes the weight off my shoulder as this one is also carried ACROSS your body! :)

In fact, if any of you ladies like the sound of this kind of tiny shoulder bag/wallet, there is a black one exactly like mine listed on oztion! I can post the link for anyone who would like it! :)

Cheers,
Anne-Marie
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Reply By: jandap - Wednesday, Apr 08, 2009 at 14:22

Wednesday, Apr 08, 2009 at 14:22
One tip we got from the CMCA site - if you carry credit and atm cards from two or more different institutions, split them so that one person carries all the cards from one bank, and the other carries the cards from the second, or if a solo traveller, one set is carried and the other is stashed away. This way, if you lose one purse/wallet/handbag/backpack, the only cards that have to be cancelled are from one bank. This at least leaves you cards from the second institution that don't have to be cancelled!!

Have a good trip!!

Jeff
AnswerID: 358791

Follow Up By: stevesub - Wednesday, Apr 08, 2009 at 14:38

Wednesday, Apr 08, 2009 at 14:38
I travel internationally a lot for work and ALWAYS have 2 credit cards and 2 EFTPOS cards - never in the same place. One set is in my wallet, the other set is stored with my passport as I spend half my life overseas working. I have to be on call to travel overseas everywhere I go which is why I always have my passport with me. (I now loath international travel)


Stevesub
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Wednesday, Apr 08, 2009 at 14:48

Wednesday, Apr 08, 2009 at 14:48
A good idea Jeff. Otherwise you can't spend anything for a couple of weeks until a new card arrives.

Motherhen
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Follow Up By: AnneMarie - Friday, Apr 10, 2009 at 09:23

Friday, Apr 10, 2009 at 09:23
Thanks guys! Very good advice! :)
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Reply By: Motherhen - Wednesday, Apr 08, 2009 at 14:51

Wednesday, Apr 08, 2009 at 14:51
Hi Anne-Marie

The only places in central Australia that we fuelled at last year that were cash only were Hermannsberg near Alice Springs and Yuendumo out of Alice on the Tanami Road. Everything else went on the credit card (we don't have ATM EFTPOS cards).

Motherhen

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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Wednesday, Apr 08, 2009 at 14:52

Wednesday, Apr 08, 2009 at 14:52
PS: When you get your WA side Great Central Road Permit, there is a list of the road houses and which ones take what.

Mh
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Reply By: AnneMarie - Wednesday, Apr 08, 2009 at 17:22

Wednesday, Apr 08, 2009 at 17:22
A BIG 'Thank You' to everyone who has given ideas and suggestions on carrying money/cards! All excellent and taken due note of!! I'm sure that between two sensible and fairly worldly middle-aged women, we will manage just fine - it's only for 2-3 weeks! :)

Thanks for the good wishes to Jeff - I promise to come back here to report on the adventure!! :) it's a 'taster' for me as in a few years, my husband and I want to do the around Oz trip! :)

Cheers and have a pleasant evening wherever you are in this great country of ours! :)

Anne-Marie
AnswerID: 358839

Follow Up By: Ray - Wednesday, Apr 08, 2009 at 18:06

Wednesday, Apr 08, 2009 at 18:06
Also and I know it is not legal but it does go on, some places will knock off up to 10% for cash. I wonder how they work out 10%?
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Reply By: DIO - Wednesday, Apr 08, 2009 at 17:46

Wednesday, Apr 08, 2009 at 17:46
If you must carry valuables or large amounts of cash then consider installing a small safe (doesn't have to be expensive) bolted to the floor of your van through to the chassis. Most thieves who would target caravans are opportunistic and will grab whatever they can see - that is of value. They wouldn't be bothered trying to crack a safe. I seem to recall that a van manufacturer is even offering safes as an option on new vans. Can't remember which make though - not important anyway.
AnswerID: 358841

Follow Up By: AnneMarie - Friday, Apr 10, 2009 at 09:08

Friday, Apr 10, 2009 at 09:08
Hi DIO - That sounds like a good idea if you are travelling in a van. But as I am travelling with a girlfriend in HER TD Landcruiser, not an option for us! Thanks for the suggestion anyway. :)
Cheers,
Anne-Marie
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Reply By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Wednesday, Apr 08, 2009 at 18:14

Wednesday, Apr 08, 2009 at 18:14
Yes a good idea
Ive got one in mine It sits under the bed and is bolted thru the floor and one chassis brace across the van.

Bolted it thru and welded the nuts bolts and chassis all together.
I used coach bolts so the heads inside cant be gripprd either.

This is big enough to put my larger laptop and all my camera gear in it.
Has a combo lock on it so dont think i will get it broken into.
It wasnt too expensive either. Try Officeworks

Cheers
AnswerID: 358844

Reply By: mechpete - Thursday, Apr 09, 2009 at 20:11

Thursday, Apr 09, 2009 at 20:11
hi annemarie
I prefer to carry plenty of cash .it wouldnt be the first time someone in our group has been caught without efpos .
it talks all languages , no fuss
mechpete
AnswerID: 359020

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