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But he definitely didn’t have a Discover card in Panama. The second time I went to Panama was for my friends’ wedding. I had just received my first credit card in the mail: a brand new Discover card! It would lead to shopping opportunities of 5% cash back everywhere I used it. So I got to the hotel where everyone’s staying, Crystal Suites. I proudly presented my Discover card. The hotel clerk looked at me, baffled.

“I’m sorry, Miss. We do not take Discover card.”

“Great! I’m in Panama and it’s 10:00 at night,” I thought. Okay, I used my outside voice. I couldn’t get a hold of my mom. Thankfully my friend used his card as a deposit until I could get a hold of anyone back home. How embarrassing!

Despite not having the proper credit card for international travel, the next week in Panama City was grand. And I learned a very big lesson. Always take a Visa or Mastercard!