Today I have for you a guest post from Frank Lee!
I like to talk a lot about traveling; all the fun places to go, and cool things to do, so on the opposite (but crucial) side of that, Frank is going to help you navigate through the very important, and sometimes tricky topic of handling your finances when you're traveling abroad! Be sure and take notes kiddos!
Talk to Your Bank
One of the first things you need to do before you embark on a foreign travel is to make sure that your bank knows you’re going out of the country and your credit card is going to be used at multiple locations all around the world. Usually banks have red flags which are actually designed to keep your money safe but they can be counter-intuitive in this case as breaking your usual patterns can get your account frozen or it could result in your credit card being declined when you’re buying some essential items in a faraway place and have run out of your cash. This could lead to some very embarrassing situations so save yourself the trouble and talk to the bank about your travel and how long you’re going to spend in which country.
Set Up Online Account
An online account gives you the freedom to manage your funds from a remote location which is a very convenient option when you’re traveling overseas. The control of your account will allow you to stay on top of your transactions. It also gives you the ability to set up automatic payments and pay your utilities and other bills when you’re on the go.
Multiple Payment Methods
Although your method of payment depends on your destination but it’s always a good idea to stay prepared for the worst-case situation. Keep all your options open by carrying a credit card, a debit card and cash in both your currency and the destination country. You only need to keep small amounts of your currency and more of the local currency since that is what’s going to be the most widely accessible method of payment.
One must familiarize himself with the exchange rates before embarking on a journey to a foreign land to understand the value of the local currency against the foreign which will help in understanding the amount of cash one needs to take with him or her. Search for the conversion fees which you may have to pay to the money exchangers for the conversion of money and weigh it against getting the money converted in your own country.
Get an ATM Card
ATM cards are a great alternative to carrying large amounts of cash which is an unsafe thing to do in a foreign land. There is always the option of signing up for an ATM card with no fee from an online bank which gives you the freedom to take cash out without paying large sums of money in transaction fees. The important thing to remember is that you don’t necessarily have to open a new account in a different bank, you should consult with your own bank first as many banks often waive ATM fees for certain checking accounts.
Keep Cash Handy
Cash is the one thing which you can be sure about that it won’t leave you estranged in a foreign land. US citizens are lucky in the respect that a majority of the world is willing to accept US dollars at their face value and by paying in dollars you automatically save the conversion fee you may have had to pay to a financial institution. A lot of things which you may buy from the foreign destination can easily be bought from home at discounted prices from Groupon.
Although you can exchange your money at the airport but that’s usually an expensive option, the alternative is to withdraw money from an ATM. Just remember that no one rejects cold hard cash especially when you’re ready to pay. Keep a few hundred dollars with you for times when you can’t access cash any other way but keep it in small denominations to avoid becoming a target of a mugging incident."
Peace Love and Finances