You need to travel with a Visa or Mastercard Debit Card (a debit with the cc logo). No hotel/airline/rental car/catalog order will turn it down and it gets treated exactly like a cc – no holds on the account.
You do not have to even say that it’s a debit card – when they ask for a cc# you just give it to them.
Almost every bank out there offers it.
If yours doesn’t – it might be worth changing. I couldn’t get by without mine.
“If you put garbage in a computer, nothing comes out but garbage. But this garbage, having passed through a very expensive machine, is somehow ennobled and none dare criticize it.” – Anonymous