Your finances are your life line whilst travelling and deciding how you’ll carry money with you is a difficult one.
There are so many different options out there and its difficult pick one, so don’t. Pick them all! The one factor you need is flexibility and the more options you have, the better – So lets work through them.
♦ Cash. When you need money on the spot in less developed countries you’ll need cash. Accepting this was difficult for us as we are a plastic pay wave couple. We had to hop over this hurdle early on when we first visited Thailand and hit the food markets!
We try to make one cash withdrawal in each country if possible and use a binder clip to keep it together (these are great for holding cash and cards). Making one withdrawal reduces the amount of bank charges we incur and provides us with that much needed cash. We carry half between us, storing it in our valuables bag (along with our laptops/phones etc) which does not leave our sight unless it’s locked up.
♦ Prepaid travel card. This is a safe and convenient addition to cash. If your visiting a country where you know there will be ample ATMs and where Visa or MasterCard’s are accepted (the majority of the world) then this is a great option.
How it works. Firstly you will need to get a card (we went with card.com). You simply order the card online and it will be with you within a week. Secondly you need to activate the card – To do this simply call the number on the card packaging. Finally you will need to load funds onto the card, which can be done either online or in store. From here you can use it wherever you are going. Load your currency and swipe away with your fancy new travellers card.
♦ Credit card. A credit card is your security blanket so be sure to take one of these with you. If you need emergency funds for any reason you’ll always be able to turn to your Credit card. A great aspect about Credit cards is their insurance on purchases. Purchases made with your card are covered to some extent. Cards often provide phone damage or loss insurance, baggage insurance, trip cancellation insurance and under some policies life insurance is covered. Keep this in a safe place for emergency use only.
As with anything in life moderation is key, so don’t put all your eggs into one basket. By spreading the risk you make it difficult to lose all of your funds. Keep your money close, your pin hidden and everything will be just fine.