Most travellers know how to find the cheapest airfare or hostel room. But when it comes to how to travel with your money and how to access it, most travellers have a thing or two to learn.
There is no single best way to travel with your money or to make sure it is always accessible.
Travel Security Products
You must make sure you always have access to money overseas, and the best way to do that is by keeping your cash, ATM cards or travellers cheques safe with travel security products. The most popular are travel money belts, combination padlocks, security cable locks, and mesh security products. Be sure to plan ahead and purchase these products before leaving home.
You will need easy access to your cash, but it is not a smart idea to carry a large amount of cash around with you. It is also not a good idea to carry the bulk of your travel money around with you in cash form. If you get mugged or your luggage stolen, your holiday could be ruined.
You should disperse your cash around when travelling. Some should be placed in your wallet, also in your travel money belt. But you should keep a spare $100 or 100 Euros hidden in your backpack. This way if you do get mugged, you will still have money to tide you over.
A small supply of local currency is important to have when you arrive in a new country. You will be able to pay for transport to your accommodation, and also buy something to eat. If you are travelling in a third world country always pay for items and bargain for items in the local currency. You are less likely to be ripped off!
A credit card should only be used as a back-up option to access your money when travelling.You will get charged large transaction fees to withdraw money in another currency. If your credit card gets stolen, your details could be used to steal your money and essentially ruin your vacation.
Always have the details of your credit card company, so that you can contact them if something goes wrong.
However, if you look after credit card, it can be very useful. It can be used to book flights, accommodation and tours online. It is also reasonably safe to pay for hotels and meals at well established and quality businesses.
Travellers cheques are not very popular any more with any traveller. They cost you to make and they cost you to access your money. Often banks will give you a worse exchange rate when converting you travellers cheques. Using an ATM is a lot easier now that they have become universal.
On the upside, if yo lose your travellers cheques, you may be able to contact the nearest office of the issuing authority with the numbers on your unredeemed cheques to get them replaced.
You can find an ATM just about anywhere now. They are by far the most convenient way to access your money when you are travelling. You must make sure your ATM card is authorised for use overseas before you go.
You are smart to travel with a spare card, just in case you lose your only means of accessing your money. Remember, you may be charged overseas transaction fees and conversion fees from your bank.
Cash Passport Cards
These are becoming a very popular option now with many travellers. You buy this card before you leave home, and place your funds on it, but in the currency of the country you are travelling to. The most popular currency cards are US dollars, UK pounds, and Euros.
Once your money is on the card you can access it anywhere from an ATM. This way you wont be charged conversion fees.
What should you do?
You should travel with a variety of options to access your money. Choose the best option for you that makes you feel comfortable. Remember, you can always get someone to transfer money to you internationally anywhere if you run out!
What not to do?
Avoid carrying large quantities of cash, when you use an ATM separate the money into smaller amounts and hide them around your backpack, pockets and wallet.