Financial

                          See also, suggestions for safekeeping of records

With today’s banking system it is possible to travel and carry very little cash.  We
are truly approaching a “cashless society”.

In the US and Canada most businesses, including motels, public and private RV
parks, gasoline stations and groceries accept MasterCard  and Visa credit cards.  
Discover, American Express, and other credit cards are not as widely accepted.  
Campground and motel listings generally show the credit cards that are accepted.  

ATMs are accessible 24/7 at most banks and some businesses, even in small villages
in the US and Canada.  Normal charges, if any, apply to ATM transactions.  In
addition, in the US a fee of about $3.00 is usually charged for transactions if the
issuing bank of your ATM card does not operate the ATM.  Some people maintain
accounts in banks that have branches in many states to reduce the need to use
other banks.  Others use a debit card and simply get cash returned as part of a
purchase transaction.  

It is easy to have most businesses directly deposit to your bank account.  This
includes payroll, pensions, Social Security, etc.  The bank can handle payments to
credit card, utility and other companies.  Also, online check writing is useful.  It is
easy to match the statements to your transaction records.  If you are not “on-line”
when you travel, check with your bank to learn the services it provides by phone.  
We have used these services for a number of years and feel we have adequate
oversight.  

Using these financial services is like having your routine finances on autopilot and
lessens pressure on receiving mail and paying bills while traveling.
 
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Travel Letters