One of the most difficult aspects of traveling is organising your travel money. It can be so difficult dealing with multiple currencies, operating in cash and working how long your money will last. The longer you travel, the harder the challenge and the more important it is that you are on top of your money. Once you’ve got a good chunk of savings (if you’re interested you can discover more about ISAs saving accounts to maximise your savings) you will need to figure out the fun part: how you’re going to spend your money overseas.
There are lots of different ways to deal with money on the road, from using your credit card, withdrawing cash, using traveler’s checks or a specialise travel card. Many travellers wind up using credit cards to book things while overseas. Others prefer to use their own money directly, accessing their savings. Whichever way you choose, it’s important you figure out how to manage travel funds quickly, so you can stretch your money, and travels, further.
Using Your Standard Bank Card
This is the simplest way to travel as it takes no forward planning, simply check that you can use your standard bank card overseas and use it to withdraw cash. You can withdraw cash roughly once a week to ensure you’re not carrying too much cash at once. This is an easy way to go about things because you don’t have to worry about organising anything in advance. However, one downside is that you can rack up a lot of fees, both from your bank and from the local ATM you are using to withdraw things from.
Using a Credit Card
Many credit cards will offer you attractive deals or specials to entice you to use them. Some credit cards will offer the option to collect Air Points or Air Rewards as you spend – both options saving you money in the long run. Traveling with a credit card can be really helpful as it will allow you to pre-book accommodation and activities online. Most travellers take a least one credit card with them, as it can be a great safety measure if something unexpected or really expensive comes up.
It’s a good idea to keep the majority of your cash in a savings account or a cheque account that cannot be accessed by any of your cards. That way if your cards are lost or stolen you don’t have to worry about all of your money being accessed. There are lots of options for savings accounts across the board, so you don’t have to worry about a lack of options.
Using Traveller’s Checks
The convenience of modern banking has almost made Traveller’s Checks out-dated – they are certainly not as popular as they were in the past. You pre load money into Traveller’s Checks, which can be redeemed in banks and post offices around the world. This saves you carrying cash, and if you lose Traveller’s Checks but have their details recorded you can get replacement Checks, so you’re not losing your money.
Using a Special Travel Cards
Many banks and finance institutions offer Travel Cards, which are the modern version of Traveller’s Checks. You pre-purchase a certain amount of any currency and load it onto the card. You can load it up with more while you’re on the road. Many Travel Cards offer cheaper rates when you are withdrawing at ATMs and usually do not carry such hefty currency conversion fees because you have already converted your money into the local currency. This takes a bit more forward planning than just using your personal ATM card, but allows you to save a little extra money in fees when you’re overseas.
There’s no right or wrong way to deal with money overseas, but it is important that you are mindful of fees and what your transactions cost overseas. It is very easy to spend way too much money on paying for the luxury of using your card in foreign countries. Whether you want to find a credit card that has attractive rates overseas, or you want to invest in a specialised Travel Card, make sure you give yourself a few weeks to get your banking method sorted.
How do you deal with your money overseas?