Dealing with money when your abroad isn’t the fun part of travelling, but an important part nonetheless. No one likes the the word budgeting, but it’s a must if you want to travel for a long time. So in this guest post Jon gives us tips on dealing with money matters when travelling overseas.
The world, as we know it, continues to shrink. Not just because of the internet, but also because international travel has become much simpler and more affordable than even a couple of decades ago. However, leaving the comfort of your home country to visit a foreign locale requires attention to various aspects. Money matters, especially, are best not left ignored.
Determine The Cost
It’s always a good idea to determine how much you might end up spending through the course of your trip. While airfare and accommodation typically account for a bulk of the expenses, you also need to take into account aspects such as local transportation, entry tickets to tourist attractions, eating out, and shopping.
Call Your Banks
Financial institutions are known to temporarily block cards if they suspect fraudulent transactions because of cards being used overseas. As a result, it makes sense to inform the issuing banks of the cards of your travel plans ahead of time.
Get Foreign Currency
Exchanging popular currencies such as U.S. dollars, pound sterling, and euros is fairly easy no matter which international airport you disembark at or which country you visit. However, exchanging currency at airports and tourist destinations tends to come at a cost in the form of high fees and/or poor exchange rates.
Consider getting the local currency of the country you plan to visit before you depart. Several countries in different parts of the world still require that you pay in cash for most small transactions. Therefore it’s vital to ensure you keep enough cash handy.
Is There a Need for Insurance?
Travel insurance is always worth your while, as it covers you against a number of costs that may occur.. Depending on the kind of travel insurance you get, you can get protection against lost or misplaced baggage, missed and delayed flights, as well as hospitalisation. Some premium credit cards come with free travel insurance, so you might want to check this with your card’s provider.
Using Cards Internationally
Using a multi-currency card might seem like a good idea, although most such cards come with different types of fees. These include activation fees, loading fees, ATM fees, and in some cases, inactivity fees. Some credit cards come with no overseas transaction fees. However, do not use a credit card to withdraw cash from an ATM. Use your debit card instead. If a merchant asks you if you wish to be charged in your home currency or the local currency, always opt for the former.
Making Payments Ahead of Time
Making payments for your accommodation or local travel before you depart may work well for you. This is because you can use the services of specialist overseas money transfer companies and benefit by getting competitive exchange rates while paying little to no fees. Some companies that accept customers from most countries include OFX, TransferWise, XE, and WorldFirst. You may also look for suitable alternatives according to where you live.
You may expect a relatively smoother ride on your overseas travels if you pay attention to the financial aspects of your trip in advance. Then, you are free to do what you really want and make the most of your time.