At first I thought I was going to only write a blog about the bego, (which I still plan on doing) but then I decided our trip was too awesome not to share all the juicy details J Plus, I read a lot of blogs and reviews to help plan and prepare for our trip, so hopefully someone out there will find my experiences useful as well. For our trip I had everything under control. I had all the reservations in order, the rental car, and sadly yes I already had some days blacked out with various activities we were doing. Wilma and Krista would just smile when I showed them the spreadsheet, and my mother couldn’t help but laugh. But hey, I like to have a plan. It’s just who I am. I also had a plan when it came my finances. My discover card was not going to charge me foreign transaction fees. Score! And the bank account I planned on using had a lower transaction fee and would rebate all my atm fees. Score again! I have two bank accounts, one my paycheck hits and I use for spending while the other is more of a savings/ bill paying account. The savings/bill paying account was the foreign friendly one. So when I left for Costa Rica, I had my discover card and master card debit card in tow. On day two of our Costa Rican adventure, it was time to go back to the airport and pick up the rental car. I had made the reservation on my Visa and had already been charged the insurance through alliance. We walk into budget and the gentleman asks for my credit card. I explained to him I didn’t bring my visa that I made the reservation on, but I have my discover card. “We don’t take discover.” “You can’t use the info from my Visa when I made the reservation?” “No, I need to take an imprint.” Well, foul language. The budget in Costa Rica did have the ability to take debit cards, but the amount of money they held was going to be atrocious, and they were going to basically charge double for the car. More foul language. Also, neither of my traveling companions had credit cards. So not only was I the only one with a credit card, but I only had a discover card. The rep at Budget said they could give us a ride back to the airport and we could see if a different rental company would take a discover card. From the tone of the man’s voice at this point I was not feeling optimistic about getting a rental car, and shooting myself in the foot for not bringing my visa. We got back to the airport, I walked in where all the rental car counters are and everyone swarmed us. All I said was, “Who takes Discover?” “We do!” It was Hertz. Man, was I relieved. We filled out what paperwork we needed, he gave us a quote, and it was only a smidge more expensive than Budget. Apparently you do have to be 25 to rent a car from Hertz in Costa Rica, but the nice man let that slide. We got a ride from the airport back to the rental car place, filled out some more paperwork, signed my life away and then hopped in our Bego! What a relief! Back at the hostel I checked my emails. One from Great Lakes, my student loan payment was going to be processed. I looked at the calendar. EXPLICIT! Remember how I said I had moved just enough money to my bank account for my trip, and how I was using the account I usually pay my bills out of? From my budget money my student loan payment was going to be processed, my car payment, and when I checked my account I saw my roommate had cashed the utility check I’d written him a few weeks ago. I was able to move $200 (that’s all that was in there) from my savings to checking which helped a little bit, but none of my ach transfers I initiated ASAP, after realizing all my money was going to be gone, would be available till the day before I left. Needless to say, I had a discover card which is not as widely accepted as Visa and $100 to last me the next 7 days. I managed. I used my discover card wherever it was accepted, and usually traded buying dinner for everyone on my card in exchange for drinks. Two lessons, bring two credit cards, and make sure one is a visa, and do not forget about the real world and your auto pay bills. Even when you’re on vaca the real world is looming behind you like a dark shadow smirking, “enjoy this while it lasts.” O and I almost forgot. My first time using the ATM in Costa Rica, I left my debit card in the ATM machine and was chased down the busy streets of San Jose by a very nice Tican lady who returned it. Words cannot explain my gratitude towards her.