Believe it or not, traveling without credit card is actually very easy. Hotels, motels and car rental agencies all offer "creditless" options. Most hotels and airlines will also accept debit cards, but more and more rental car agencies won't accept debit cards. The key to traveling without credit card, in most cases, is to plan ahead. Make your reservations 10-30 days before you travel and you're guaranteed to be able to travel without a credit card.
HOW TO RESERVE A HOTEL ROOM WITHOUT A CREDIT CARD
Nowadays, most hotels and motels expect you to guarantee your reservations with a credit or debit card, but most hotels also have policies regarding "creditless" travel that let you get around this requirement. In general, you prepay for your entire stay or simply prepay your deposit (usually one night's cost). The best part of prepaying is that you can then travel without carrying a lot of cash. If you don't prepay, it is strongly recommended that you pick up Travelers Cheques at your bank or local AAA office; don't let a lost or stolen wallet ruin your trip.
HOW TO BUY PLANE TICKETS WITHOUT A CREDIT CARD
You can order most plane tickets with debit cards. Ask about electronic check transfers when you call to get information about upcoming flights. Have your checkbook handy when you make your reservation. You'll need to provide the numbers across the bottom of the check and the name of the bank the check is drawn on. Void that check, tear it up, and record the cost of your airfare in your check register. The airline will then send you a confirmation notice in the mail showing that they took the money out of your checking account. You'll get your tickets in the mail, or you can use "electronic ticketing" and pick them up the day you fly. Another quick and easy way to pay by cash is to reserve your tickets through a travel agent. There's no cost to you and you can visit the agent's office and pay with your debit card, or with cash or a check in most cases. Or you can make your reservations directly with the airline and have the travel agent write up the ticket for you. You usually must have the ticket written and paid for within 24 hours of making the reservation.
HOW TO RENT A CAR WITHOUT A CREDIT CARD
A few rental car companies will let you use a debit card (Budget and some Value locations), but most won't accept debit cards. Almost every rental car company, however, has a policy that will let you rent a car without a credit card. One rental car company is much more consumer friendly than the rest and that's Alamo.
To pay cash with Alamo, you need to have an airline ticket with the same destination as an Alamo office location, and you must make your arrangements at least 24 hours ahead of time. When you pick up your car, you'll need to have a copy of your recent phone bill and a copy of your most recent paycheck stub (or your tax identification number if you're self-employed). You'll pay a deposit of $50 per day (or $200 for a week), in addition to your estimated rental fee.
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