It’s one thing to work out how much to budget each day for two weeks in the sun, but quite another to plan ahead for a trip that could last months or even years. Nevertheless, even if sufficient money has been saved up to cover this, it’s useless unless it can be accessed and organized from different parts of the world. Knowing how to do this will make it much easier to cope with the ups and downs that traveling involves and will reduce the need to worry about money running out, so that it’s easier to relax and have fun.
Keeping cash safe
The first thing to think about when traveling is how to securely look after cash. There are lots of pickpockets out there and tourists are often targeted. Using a money belt is a good option, and there are all sorts of garments now on the market with secret money pouches concealed inside them. Nothing valuable should be kept in a purse or a back pocket of a rucksack, as these make for easy pickings. Money should never be left unattended in a hostel or hotel room, even if it’s hidden and the door is locked. Some change should be kept handy so large notes don’t need to be pulled out when making casual purchases.
Getting more cash
Most parts of the world now have ATM machines, even if they can only be found in cities. Anywhere that there’s an international chain hotel or restaurant, one usually has the option of getting cashback on a card purchase. The biggest issue with both these approaches is currency conversion charges. This is something that should be sorted out before setting off, by finding an account with low rates. It’s also important to have a card type that’s recognized in the destination countries. Ideally, one should also have a back-up card for another account, and keep it in a different place, in case of emergency.
Monitoring bank accounts
As well as being able to get money out, it’s important to know how much cash is left in an account, and it’s not always possible to get a mini statement from a foreign ATM. The best solution is usually to set up online banking so that it’s possible to manage the account from a cybercafé or an Internet-connected phone. This needs to be discussed with the bank before travel commences, however, so that there’s no danger of the account being locked in response to it being accessed from an unexpected location.
What to do in an emergency
Even with the best planning, things can still go wrong. Running out of money in a foreign country can be a serious problem. Sometimes finding casual work is an option and sometimes all that’s necessary is to get by for a few days until the bank can sort things out, but what about when money is needed urgently? That’s where a money transfer service can be a life-saver, enabling travelers to quickly sort out the banking requirements needed to get money sent by family or friends, and helping to get the trip back on track.
Most importantly, when you do the planning ahead, it’s easy to have fun on your trip!