The Best Tips For Managing Your Money While Traveling

Monday, July 10, 2017

Keeping track of your money, and sticking to a budget, can be very hard overseas, even for the most seasoned of travelers. You’re using an unfamiliar currency, and it seems that everywhere you look there’s something you want to splurge on. If you’ve had some slip-ups in the past or you just want to be better prepared, here are some helpful tips for managing your money while travelling.

Plan Ahead

Wherever you’re headed, you’re going to need some local currency, even if it’s just for a couple of minor expenses when you’re first arriving there. Order some early on from your bank, travel agent, or whoever gives you the best exchange rate in advance if you need a particularly obscure currency. Furthermore, it can be a good idea to order some US dollars and Euros as a reserve. Many developing countries are full of businesses that will accept these. If you need any non-convertible currency, plan, sourcing this in the country you’re going to well in advance. When you’re loading up on foreign currencies, be sure to spend some time shopping around. Charges vary from outlet to outlet, and you need to take the exchange rate and commission on board before settling.

Consider Prepaid Card

Prepaid cards are a relatively young invention, but more and more travelers are beginning to use them, especially for trips spanning several different countries. With a good travel money card, you’ll be able to load the card up with several different currencies, and then use them on your travels the same way you’d use a credit or debit card. If you run out of a certain currency, you can usually add some more quickly and easily as long as you have internet access. The fact that they’re not linked to your bank account, or fraud protected, and have nothing to do with your credit makes them a great choice for globetrotters.

Know What You’re Worth

You may run into instances where you need to exchange currency in a foreign country. If this is the case, do your homework and make sure you know roughly how much you can expect for the money you’re exchanging. Tellers rarely get the exchange wrong, but if they do, it pays to know straight away. You wouldn’t be the first traveler to shrug, take the money you’re given, and only later discover that you’ve cheated yourself out of a large sum of money through your complacency!

Beware of Black Markets

Many countries have thriving black markets that have poisoned the local currency exchange trades. These are generally easy enough to spot, as you’ll always be pestered by touts who offer rates that sound too good to be true. However, there are some kiosks and bureaus that seem legitimate, but are just fronts for scams. You may wind up taking a terrible rate for the exchange, or even worse, be given counterfeit money. Fake cash is going to be much harder to spot if you’re not familiar with the currency, so be careful who you exchange with.

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