It's vacation time! You are prepared for the fun moments and exciting adventures on your trip. You have booked the hotel rooms, planned the itinerary, packed your bags, and ready to take off. But, before you leave for your next trip abroad, sit down and take a moment to think about the money and transactions you are going to make there. You should do a little homework if you want to carry your money efficiently abroad.
You can choose from a variety of choices to carry your money while travelling overseas. The primary challenge is selecting the right option while keeping in mind your needs and requirements. Earlier travellers used only cash and travellers cheques, which are outdated these days. Today's travellers are much more likely to rely on debit and credit cards and ATM withdrawals that offer better exchange rates and lower fees.
Here's how you can carry your money efficiently while travelling abroad-
Multicurrency Travel Card
Prepaid travel cards are one of the safest and most popular ways by which travellers carry their money abroad. A multi-currency forex card is a smart way to take multiple currencies at once. Also, it offers travellers protection against cross currency transaction charges, currency fluctuations, and minimum transaction charges on pre-paid forex card usage at ATMs overseas. Many banks even provide complimentary travel insurance on the purchase of travel cards. You also have the option to lock-in the exchange rate before travel, thereby reducing the chances of facing any future uncertainties.
You should carry foreign currency within permissible limits while visiting a foreign country. Though traveller cheques and travel cards are the best options, yet you should carry local currency to pay for essentials like food and drink, tips and taxis. There are times when cards and cheques don't work, at that point in time, cash comes in handy. Moreover, the amount of cash you can carry depends upon the country you are travelling to. There should be a card-to-cash ratio of 75:25.
You must be using your debit card frequently for every other payment. The moment you step your foot overseas, your debit card becomes a tainted proposition as most banks charge you explicitly on every transaction made. So, try to use in-network ATMs, as some banks have overseas sister banks that will save you at least one fee. Then withdraw huge sums as infrequently as possible, and use the card in stores instead of cash.
Credit cards are a fantastic mode of carrying money while you are travelling to a foreign country. There are nearly endless variables of credit cards from which you can add the suitable one to your travel wallet. Few questions you should ask yourself while selecting the credit card are- Will my card even be accepted where I'm going? Does it offer complimentary travel insurance? Does it offer you frequent flyer miles? Etc. But you should have this in mind that some places do not accept credit card at all and prefer cash over anything, so you should plan accordingly.
In the era of omnipresent ATMs, do travellers cheques even still exist? Well, to our surprise, yes! Honestly, it is quite unlikely that you will use this option, but travellers cheques are useful for places where there are few ATMs and cards are not accepted. Travellers cheques can also restrict a traveller from spending over and above his budget unlike a travel card which gives a traveller more flexibility.
Keeping all things in mind, you should not rely on a single mode of payment while travelling to a foreign country. You should have a balanced travel money portfolio, including travellers cheques, debit cards, and credit cards, among others. Make sure you get a travel insurance policy as it will not only cover your trip but also provide you with emergency cash assistance in the hours of need. A travel insurance policy is your best buddy while exploring new places overseas.