If you are planning on travelling internationally, there is a good chance you have a lot on your mind. You are probably worrying about planning what you will do while on holiday, how to get to the airport, what to pack and how to protect your home while you are away. With all these things on your mind, you might be forgetting about one important thing – money.
At home when you want to purchase something you either swipe your credit card or pay in cash, but that might not be the best option in a foreign destination. Depending on where you are travelling, businesses may only accept local currency, they may not accept a type of debit or credit cards, or they may limit what type of credit cards they do accept. In order to avoid ending up in a stressful situation where you can’t do anything – eat, shop, check-in at a hotel or take a taxi around town – because you don’t have access to your money, it is important to think about how you will travel with money before you leave home.
The following are some examples of safe and effective ways to travel with money.
Travelling with Cash
Cash is one of those tricky things. Many international countries only accept cash, but you don’t want to walk around with lots of cash which makes you feel a target for thieves.
Some things to consider when travelling with cash include:
- Always carry as little as possible on you when travelling out.
- Consider investing in a secure money holder that you can store your cash in while travelling.
- Don’t automatically assume the airports offer the best exchange rates – they don’t.
- Even if you will be using other payment types, credit cards or cheques, make sure you have a little bit of cash with you. This can be used for tips or when vendors/businesses only accept cash.
- Research whether the location you are travelling to tends to prefer cash or credit. Some places, like those in Africa or Asia, prefer to deal in cash.
Travelling with a Debit Card
It might be easy to just pull out your debit card and swipe it while on holiday, but it could end up costing you more than expected.
Keep the following things in mind:
- Banks often charge numerous fees for using a debit card overseas. Try to use it as little as possible.
- Research whether your bank has ‘sister’ banks overseas. You might be able to use these without paying any fees.
- Keep security in mind. International retailers may not have the security features on their card processors that will keep your personal information private.
Other Great Options to Travel Overseas with Money
Cash and debit cards are the two most common forms of payment when travelling overseas. However, there are a number of other great options you could use.
Some other great options you can pay for things while travelling overseas include:
- Prepaid travel money cards – you load a set amount onto the card at a specific rate and then you have access to it for your entire holiday.
- Traveller’s cheques.
- PayPal – a great option for when you need to pay upfront for some things such as hotels or other lodgings.
- Smartphone apps that transfer money.
It is important to note that there is no right or wrong answer for what you should do with money when travelling. So many different factors, such as the length of your trip, where you are going and what you plan on using your money on, will impact how you access your funds while travelling.
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