Gone are the days of Western Union and bundles of cash, instead travellers rely on travel cards to carry their money wherever they land. Navigating multiple currencies, varying ATM fees and some countries distaste for paying by card, is no pack and go situation. So whether you have a trip booked or you’re looking to the future, here’s the best tips to keep your money accessible and protected. Up, up and away.
Make A List Of All The Currencies You Need
So unless you’re headed to a single destination without stopover, you’ll likely need more than one currency. Sure, you may think you won’t buy a thing during that layover in Dubai, but when your hunger gets the best of you having a little local cash ready to go will feel like a god send. A simple google search will let you know what currency is used in each of your stops, from here you can spread your cash accordingly.
Budget How Much You’ll Need In Each Stop
Three days in Prague is likely to cost you a whole lot less than a single day in Paris. So plan your daily budget, factoring in tourist stops and from there you’ll have an outline of your currency needs. Doing this before you transfer cash and before you leave will help you keep on track money wise. It’ll make you think twice before buying an exxy cocktail when transfer fees come into play.
Leave A Safety Net
Of course you are on holiday, so leave a safety net for spontaneous expenditure. Maybe you’ll switch up your trip and extend your stay or buy a hand crafted local treasure, that’s what this extra kitty is for. It’s best to leave this cash in Aussie dollars until you work out just what you want to spend it on. That way you won’t be swapping from Euros to Pounds to Aussie dollars in circles. Be generous and treat your self a little.
Shop Around For A Card
Now you’ve outlined just how you’re going to spend your money, you can find a card that suits your needs. If you’re trekking remotely or lapping it up poolside, that will determine just what you need in a travel card. Head to Finder and you can tweak your requirements to pick your perfect match. Look for a card with low conversion fee, a decent or fixed rate (depending on the economy), ideally no ATM fees and multiple currencies if you need it. If you hit the jackpot you may just be able to find a card that’s tied to your current bank. That way in case of emergencies, you can access more cash quick smart. Two cards in case you lose one out one night, is a non-negotiable.
Let Your Bank Know You’re Headed Abroad
This one is often forgotten, but letting your bank know you’re going away is essential. Imagine, roaming the Greek isles or tree surfing in Costa Rica only to be cut off financially and having to beg your mum to send you cash. No fun at all. It’s a simple trip to your local branch, just noting where and when you’ll be overseas. This way the bank won’t shut you down for suspicious charges in a foreign country, because you kept them in the loop.
Download A Budget App
It’s not the sexiest part of travelling but it sure is the most practical and it’ll save you from glumly sitting by as your friends do the fun stuff. You don’t have to stick to it, but just keeping it in mind is likely to reign in your expenses even a little. Rather than having to work it out at each stop, let the app do the work for you. Trail Wallet is our pick for easy tracking, that way you can gallivant without money worries stressing you out.
Keep Your Change
Sure, using pennies can feel insignificant – but it adds up. Depending on where you’re headed tipping can eat into your food budget, and that’s the single most important budget of course. If you grab yourself a travel wallet and seperate your coins at the end of each day, you can put that money towards incidental expenses. Most currency conversion places won’t accept coins so unless you plan on keeping coins as souvenirs, use it as you go. That’s an extra glass of foreign wine, cheers to that.
Image source: AHREF, Cotton Tales, Stylecaster, Travelista, Choice, Huffington Post, Just Luxe, Culture Trip.