If you have travel plans in the near future, you probably know that money is seven of the most common worries the average person has before traveling. It’s the number one reasons that keeping most travel enthusiasts from traveling. Even if you have saved enough money to get you through the journey, you must be constantly worrying whether it would be enough to get you through all the way. What if you planned it all wrong? What if you get sick? What if you had some kind of emergency?
Anything can happen. But to ease your worries, here are some expert tips to help you better manage your money while surfing the Indian Ocean or riding the Abraha in Dubai:
Managing Money on the Road
The biggest question when it comes to money during travel is where you’ll be accessing your money from. Most banks now offer international banking. You can access your card anywhere from the world using an ATM. ATMs are also very common throughout the world. However, withdrawing money from ATMs can cost you a lot in withdrawal fees and currency exchange. To avoid this, go shopping for banks. Choose a bank that offers you little or no money international fees. And when you are doing so, open up internet banking. You’ll find it very useful down the road.
Another smart choice is to keep different forms of money with you: traveler’s checks, debit card, and even cash.
Inform Your Bank
Many banks don’t allow you to use credit or debit card outside your home country. They might even block your card if you use an ATM in a different country, suspecting a fraudulent transaction. Write them a letter or visit the bank in person two days before leaving. Inform them of your travel plans.
If your card is blocked even after informing the bank, you can give them a call and ask them to unblock it for you. If you have already informed the bank, this wouldn’t take more than an hour. Otherwise, it could cause major stress and lose you quality vacation time.
Taking cash with you might seem outdated, and even insecure but believe me you will need it more often than you think. You might have difficulty finding an ATM in a small village in India, and credit card probably won’t be accepted. Don’t take a lot, but enough to get through for a day.
Convert to local currency as soon as you can. You might want to shop around before selecting an exchange company because even small differences in the exchange rate can make a big difference. Also, spend all small cash before leaving the country. Exchange companies aren’t big on exchanging small notes and might refuse them altogether.
Set a Budget
Unless you just won yourself the lottery (or even then), you need to have a budget before you get on the plane. You should ideally set your budget before booking plane tickets and hotels. The biggest expenses to factor in all your transport costs and your accommodation. The biggest chunk of your travel budget would go to these.
The next part of your budget should be allocated to eating and traveling within the cities. You can easily find an average living cost of every country online. Make an estimate of travel expenditure for each country you will be visiting.
The third part of your budget should deal with expenses for visiting attractions and activities. The last thing to consider is shopping. You might be buying local art or souvenirs along the trip.
Keep a margin for an occasional splurge. You should also know that accidents and emergencies can happen anytime. For that, you should make room for an emergency fund also.
Track Your Expenses
Though it can be a travel spoiler, you must track your expenses during the trip. You don’t want to be out of money halfway through your trip. Create a spreadsheet of your travel costs before leaving. Print it out and fill it out every alternate day to manage your expenses.
Who knows, you might even be spending less money than you anticipated. In that case, give yourself a treat!
Open a Savings Account
If you are going to continue using your current bank account during your trip, then a good idea is to link it with a savings account. Or choose one of the best saving accounts of 2018. Except for your immediate travel needs, transfer all your money into the savings account. You can later transfer the money to your current account if you need it.
Savings accounts offer a higher rate of interest. This means your money will be making you more money while sitting in the bank. Check out some of your options here: https://www.crediful.com/best-savings-accounts/. You can come home to a better financial position than the one you left in. Plus, saving account also offers you a financial security blanket. Even if your debit card was stolen, you won’t be left with an empty bank account.
Add Signatories to your bank account
This might be the last thing on your mind, but it never hurts to be prepared. Signatories are people you nominate, who can access your bank account while you are on the go. This could be your parents, spouse or a very trusted friend. Banks will allow access to your signatories if there is any problem with your bank account. They can also make sure your bank account stays active if aren’t planning to use it during the trip.
I hope these tips will take a lot off your mind when it comes to managing money while traveling. Happy Traveling!