Whether you like it or not, money makes the world go round – and it is also the “fuel” that will help you go round the world yourself too. How do you handle money when traveling overseas, though? How do you make sure you don’t overspend – but even more importantly, how do you make sure you and your money are fully safe, regardless of whether you’re traveling alone or not?
We have some tips for you – so read on and find out more.
Should you use cash or credit?
Well, this is a question without a clear answer. The only thing we can say is that it depends.
Generally, a credit card is a lot safer than carrying cold cash with you – mostly because you will need a PIN number to use it, so if it gets stolen, you will not be left without money while you’re in a completely foreign country.
At the same time though, there are many places around the world where cash is still largely used – and no, this is not just about developing countries, but about very well-developed places as well. In Europe, for example, credit cards are mostly used in larger shops, gas stations and large hotels. The small boutiques, bakeries and day-to-day shopping places will most likely not take payments by card.
What is there to do, then?
Well, research. See what your destination is like from this point of view. Split your money to have some cash on you too, but leave most of it on card. Choose a card that doesn’t have huge ATM withdrawal or currency conversion fees. Do your homework and decide on what’s best for you!
Should you carry cash with you?
Yes, you should carry at least a small sum of cash with you (enough to get you from the airport to the hotel, for example). But, in general, it is a fairly good idea to make sure you don’t have too much cash with you when exploring your destination and wandering around the city. No matter how “western” the place may be, you will still be better of safe, rather than sorry.
Should you exchange your money?
Of course you should!
The question that remains is where. Our advice is that you wait until you reach your destination to exchange your currency or to withdraw money from ATM – but if you feel safer having some local money in your pocket when you arrive, then make sure you keep it at a low sum of money at least.
Furthermore, be sure you carry some international currency with you as well – such as US Dollars or Euros, for example. In case banks go on strike or you find yourself unable to withdraw money from the ATM, you will at least have a good reserve of a few hundred dollars/euros to rely on for a while until things get cleared out.
It is extremely important to do your research whenever you travel – and especially when you want to travel overseas. Be well-informed and keep your common sense sharp – these two things can save you from a lot of unpleasant situations!