GUIDE The money mistakes you really don’t want to make on your camino

Cash or credit card? Sometimes other people’s blunders save you a lot of problems… Check out our do’s and don’ts when carrying cash and credit cards on your camino

  1. “I’ll pay with credit card”. Paying with credit cards is usually not possible in the smaller towns and villages on the camino. Most of the time you are off the main roads in rural areas without tourists. Cash is the only currency!
  2. Withdrawing cash for your entire camino on day one. Not a good idea. Just as in the rest of the world, there can be pick pocketers on the Camino. It is not a big problem – but carrying a lot of cash is an unnecessary risk to take. I withdraw around 200 euros at a time – enough for about four days. Your card will be rejected anyway, if you try to withdraw a too big amount
  3. Using worn out ATMs in dark, dim bars. The risk that someone has tampered with the machine is more likely than if you use the cash machine at a bank that has video surveillance and employees that keep an eye on the machine.
  4. Bringing only one credit card. I always travel with two cards – in case I lose one, I can block it, and use the other one.
  5. Being stingy. As a pilgrim, you pass by poor rural and areas. Show respect to the locals and be as generous and grateful, as you possibly can.
  6. Thinking “Any credit card is good enough”. VISA and MasterCard are the credit cards widely accepted in the larger cities along the camino.
  7. Not knowing where the next ATM is located. On the Camino you can walk for days and not meet an ATM. There is a camino app that is helpful – Wisely. It clearly marks the places along the route where you can withdraw money.
  8. Keeping cash and credit cards together. Too risky: If you are so unlucky and lose your purse .. “Houston – we have a problem!!!” I always carry one credit card and half of my cash buried deep in my backpack and the other credit card and the rest of my cash on me. Risk halved!
  9. Trusting the whole world and leaving your belongings unattended. Don’t tempt weak souls. If you sleep in large dormitories or places like that, keep your cash and credit cards on you even when you shower.

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