Traveling internationally is always exciting. With the smart money travel tips below you can reduce the stress if your wallet or purse is lost or stolen.
Cash Is Key
We are so accustomed to using our cards or mobile apps to pay that it is easy to forget that you may need to rely primarily on cash while traveling abroad. Even in Mexico, many restaurants and retailers only accept cash—or charge a fee if you use your card. Be sure to ask before you make your purchase and at least bring cash for tips. If you order from your bank in advance you can get the lowest exchange rates, or you can exchange at the airport. Also, have cash on hand just in case as some cards don’t work at every location.
Call Your Bank And Credit Card Companies
Call your bank and the credit card companies of the cards you plan on using while traveling. See if you need to put in an out of country alert and inquire about international usage fees—including ATM withdrawal fees. Find out if there is a bank you in your country that offers lower ATM withdrawal rates. Odds are that you will have one card that is drastically cheaper than the rest. In fact, credit card transaction fees may be drastically lower with your credit card opposed to your debit card—so even if you have save cash for your vacation you may want to charge expense to your card and pay it off after your trip.
Keep A Spare Card And A Cash Stash
Just in case, keep a cash stash set aside in your hotel or Airbnb that will keep you up and running for at least 48 hours. It’s also good to keep one debit or credit card set aside in case your purse or wallet is stolen. Depending on where you are traveling to you may even want to bring your checkbook. I also suggest keeping a copy of your passport with a friend back home, a copy of it emailed to you, and a copy in our hotel room.
If you have a financial issue while traveling abroad explore your options for electronic payment—like Uber for transportation, Uber Eats for dining, Starbuck app which can be reloaded through PayPal or GooglePay, and have a friend or family member available to wire you money through Western Union or MoneyGram. You can even wire money to yourself from your bank account but it can take 4 days or more depending on the country you are traveling in.
Last but not least, a cross body bag or purse, fanny pack, hip bag, or a front pocket wallet is a good idea when traveling.