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Why Traveling Without Cash Is a Better Idea in the Age of Technology

I know that for some people, the concept of keeping no cash can still be a strange idea, but haven’t we passed those times when we had to count the money in front of the cashier, carry it with us everywhere, and so on? Well, if you think so too, then we need to discover more about why avoiding cash is terrific during trips as well.


The average cost of a 3-day trip for an individual can be somewhere around $1300, according to Forbes. But if we break this down, the biggest portion belongs to the flights and hotels: These are the expenses that we cover long before the trip, via mobile or web applications, like Booking, Kiwi, and so on. The rest of the expenses would be spent on food and entertainment, and I am pretty sure that almost every tourist destination is equipped with a POS terminal.


Moreover, we always keep control over our finances via mobile apps, so it’s easy to send money while traveling, check the budget, and so on. In other words, the age of digital communication and interactions changes the game rules, and cash becomes a burden for tourists. Let’s discover more about the advantages of using your card or digital wallet while traveling.

Digital Payment Methods Are Safe

When you're traveling as a tourist, the last thing you want is payment headaches or security risks. That's where modern digital wallets like Apple Pay and Google Pay provide an incredibly seamless yet secure payment experience abroad. Although the concept of safe payment methods goes beyond digital wallets, these applications are still significantly helpful for financial security.

Take Apple Pay for example - that slick technology basically turns your iPhone or Apple Watch into a mobile payment terminal. Using advanced cryptography and tokenization, your actual card numbers are never shared or transmitted during transactions. Instead, Apple's secure element chip generates unique one-time codes to authenticate each purchase.

On top of that core encryption, Apple Pay also requires biometric authentication like Face ID or your passcode. So even if your device is misplaced or stolen, fraudsters can't go on a shopping spree. The payment data is effectively useless without your biological verification.

This multi-layered approach blows outdated magnetic strip cards out of the water in terms of security for tourists. No more stressing about RFID skimmers or other creative ways crooks can clone your plastic overseas.

It's no wonder digital wallets like Apple Pay are rapidly gaining steam. According to data, the number of mobile wallet users is expected to reach 5.2 billion worldwide by 2026. As adoption keeps climbing, paying digitally quickly becomes the default safest option while traveling.

Go Digital and Don't Worry About Theft

One of the biggest perks of going full digital nomad on vacation? Kissing those cold sweats about getting mugged or pickpocketed goodbye. Cash may be king, but it also paints a bullseye target on tourists no matter where you roam.

Just look at the stats on theft from tourists in bustling cities like London or Paris. Roughly 44% of visitors reported incidents of theft, losing over €720 on average according to one study. Crowded areas like the London Underground system and touristy locales near the Eiffel Tower are prime hunting grounds for skilled pickpockets preying on oblivious out-of-towners clutching wads of money.

But when you ditch physical cash altogether in favor of cards or phone-based mobile wallets, that risk evaporates. Skilled street crooks might be able to lift your wallet, but without your biometrics or PIN codes, those cards and phones become worthless plastic bricks. And if you promptly deactivate any compromised cards, you're protected from fraud.

Crazy as it sounds, knowing the smartest ways to carry your money is the ultimate theft deterrent for nomadic travelers exploring sketchy areas. Those digital wallets turn into virtual safes protecting your vacation funds in a way cash simply can't match. Who needs that anxiety putting a damper on sightseeing?

Think About the Cashback

Many premium travel rewards cards pack attractive cashback percentages on certain spending categories like hotels, dining, or entertainment. In many cases, you'll rake in a smooth 3-4% cashback on your accommodation and dining purchases both at home and abroad. The math adds up quickly for savvy digital nomads bouncing around Airbnbs and sampling every local culinary hot spot.

You can double-dip those rewards by using cards that participate in partner loyalty programs too. Of course, cashback percentages vary between specific cards and spending categories. But a little research upfront ensures you're optimizing every overseas purchase by earning cashback, miles, or points. Those effortless savings really start stacking up across multiple trips or longer nomadic stints.

No matter how you slice it, embracing cashless, card-based spending as a digital nomad traveler pays off in spades. You'll enjoy superior fraud protection, and deter thieves, while simultaneously padding your potential travel rewards coffers with each swipe or mobile tap. In today's high-tech world, carrying a money clip quickly becomes the least convenient and lucrative travel option. 

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