What ever you like to call it, money is money and I don’t know a person out there that doesn’t like having it. When your travelling you should be careful with your cash. You earn it you should be the one to spend it.
There are a few options when it comes to travelling with cash. Don’t put all your eggs into one basket, travel with a few different options, just in case something happens to one option, you have back up and don’t have to find yourself cashless in a strange country.
Personally I find travellers cheques (checks for Americans) a little bit stone age. Yes they are nice and save, if you lose them or they are stolen they are easy to replace as long as you know the cheque (check) numbers that were lost/taken. But really do you want the hassle to cash them out? Calvin and I have never travelled with them ever, nowadays there are so many improved options out there it would be silly to use them. Saying that if not travellers cheques, what?
- Pre paid travel visa/mastercards. We used these for our 1st trip to America. You place currency of the country you are travelling too (up to 10 different currencies) onto a pre paid credit card. Works like a normal credit card, but you are not charged oversea exchange fees (as you are using the countries currency already). We got this card as a fuel card. We heard everywhere in the USA was a pre paid fuel system or pay at the pump. Only thing was you had to have a USA zip code – DUH so that was a complete waste of time for us.
- Real cold hard cash. I like to have cash in my wallet. There is always a time that you can’t use plastic. Cash is never turned away! And if your in American or places where tipping is common, having a hand full of ‘singles’ comes in handy. I always get cash exchanged before we leave. I order the cash beforehand so I can get the values that I know I want. I hate getting all big notes, which is pretty much what you get if you don’t pre order. Shop around, the fees you are charged differ place to place. And so do the exchange rates as well. The place where I brought our tickets for our next trip, also has an exchange booth out front and they will exchange your money for free if you brought your tickets from them.
- Visa/Mastercard debit cards. Common place nowadays, again your spending your own money but the card still works like a credit card. You can limit the risk of credit card fraud by only transferring a few hundred at a time when you get online. Handy if your a online banking app person like myself.
So there are some of the options we use for cash while we are away, now other things about travel cash. Most of these are like, “duh really?” statements. But you never know, some of you may be new to travelling and if you aren’t, well they repeat the safety brief before every fight. So reading them again won’t kill you ;).
- My niece LOVES money, unlike her Aunt who likes to spend it, she likes to keep it in her wallet, and randomly pulls it out where ever she is to count it! Full view to the world. I tell her over and over one day someone not very nice will say “mine” and take it – so put it way! Yes its very exciting when you get your travel cash exchanged. The money always looks so very different to what you are use to. Pulling it out and looking over every inch of every note is just frilling. BUT hey think about where you are before displaying to the world that your flush!
- Photocopy the front and backs of all your cards. This way you not only have the card account numbers, you also have the lost/stolen call centre numbers as well AND the expiry dates that they always want!
- Have at least 3 forms of back up cash before you have to call home for a wire transfer!
- If you are going to take cash out via the ATM overseas, take out larger amounts than small ones. Your bank will most likely be charging you a fee each time. These add up if your taking out $50 here, then $50 a few hours later. Call your bank and ask them the overseas ATM fees, see if they have a partnership with an overseas bank that they may deduce the fee or have no fee if your use their banks ATM.
- Talking of talking to your bank, give them a quick call and informed them that you are travelling from blah blah to blah blah. These days the bank track your spend trend for patterns. If you have never brought from overseas before and all of a sudden your card is going on a shopping spree in Dallas TX. Then they can’t get hold of you, BANG they shut your card down to limit the damage! Just think that 5 minutes you took to call the bank and let them know will stop all the hassle!
- The most important of all tips of them all, the MEGA TIP. BUDGET. Have a plan of how much you think you will spend then double it – that’s the amount you should take away with you. Who cares if you don’t spend it all, at least you come home with a little cash in your pockets. Better than running out while your away.
Well that’s all folks. Don’t want to go on too long, hope this post helped even if to reinforce what you already knew. If you have any more tips on travelling with money. Pop them on the comments below. Hit the like and/or share buttons below and hope to see you back tomorrow for Hump day Wednesday.