What is up Dudes and Dudettes! Today I have an awesome guest post from Steven McMeechan over at Capstone Financial Planning going over some powerful tips on how to manage your finances while traveling. Something I’m sure we could all use some more information on!
Steven is a strategic marketing and communications specialist with over twenty years’ experience in senior marketing management roles across a range of industries including Information Technology and Financial Services. He works and lives in Melbourne Australia.
Let me know what you guys think of this post! If you like it, I’ll see if Steven can write another! 😀
Now… Over to Steven…
Traveling is an exciting and rewarding experience for many. When travelling it’s important to manage your finances well so that you don’t run out of funds mid-way through your trip. The problem is that not many people know how to manage their money while traveling which can lead them into trouble. If you’re worried about running out of money while traveling, this expert guide will give you some powerful tips on how to manage your finances while traveling abroad. Let’s get started.
Best Practices To Manage Money While Abroad
- Research Accommodation Prices Before Leaving
Many make the mistake of traveling to different destinations without actually researching where they’re going to be staying first. To ensure you manage your finances more effectively while traveling, it’s a good idea to book your accommodation before leaving. The reasons for this are:
- one; sometimes you may receive discounts for booking online,
- two; you can research the local areas surrounding the hotel to ensure your safety, and…
- three; it allows you to budget your finances better as you’ve already paid for your accommodation in advance.
Sometimes when leaving it to chance and booking your hotel on the day you arrive, it can be risky and can leave you out of pocket if the lower priced options are already booked out. You can use sites online such as Airbnb, Booking.com or TripAdvisor to help you find great deals online for accommodation.
- Avoid Money Scams While Overseas
Unfortunately, money scams are common when traveling overseas and can really place a damper on your trip when you become a victim of these scams. Money scams come in many forms depending on where you’re traveling to. Here’s some different scams to watch out for that can use up your money quickly.
- Broken Taxi Meter – Broken taxi meters are a common scam that drivers will use to get more money out of you. Places like central America are very common for these scams, especially Costa Rica and similar places. A good way to avoid this one is by first asking the driver whether the meter is working prior to using the taxi. If it’s not, you need to work out a price for the trip before you begin your journey.
- Closed or Overbooked Hotel – Another common money scam that taxi drivers like to try is telling you the hotel is closed or overbooked. In doing this they drive further out to find a more expensive hotel. The driver then charges a larger fee for the travel and receives a kick-back from the hotel. To avoid this, ask your hotel in advance if they’re open and tell the driver to take you there anyway because you have a reservation.
- Friendly ATM Helper – This scam is more common than many may think. Generally someone approaches you while you’re at the ATM machine to help you avoid the local fees. Instead they are looking to scan your card with a card skimmer and watch you enter your pin number so they can drain your funds at a later time. To avoid this, never let anyone near you when you’re using an ATM, no matter how friendly they are. Use another hand to cover the pad when entering the code. Use another ATM if you have to.
- Child or Injured Beggars – This one is quite common. You’ll see pregnant women, women and children, or child beggars on the street asking for money. These people are usually pick-pockets and use this tactic to see where you keep your wallet. If you feel the urge to help them, give them material items instead of cash. Old clothing or food is better than showing them where you wallet is hidden.
These are just some money travel scams that you need to look out for while traveling. This helps to keep your finances in-tact so you can have a much more enjoyable experience overall. To help you avoid money fraud while traveling, it’s a good idea to also consider these tips:
- Before you leave on your travels make sure your details are all up to date with your bank so they can contact you directly if there’s any suspicious activity on your accounts.
- When requiring the use of a computer try to avoid using public computers as some hackers in certain countries may install malware to record any private details you input into the computer. If you need to use public computers you should always hide the screen from view, delete your browsing history, don’t leave the computer unattended, ensure you log out when finished, and don’t save any login details.
- Carry both cards and a small amount of cash with you at all times to cover all eventualities.
These are just some of the ways you can stay safe when you’re traveling abroad. Money scams are everywhere and it’s always important to be vigilant when it comes to your financial safety.
- Have An Emergency Fund
When traveling overseas, you can’t predict whether you’ll have an uneventful trip or whether you’ll be bombarded with new financial challenges such as stolen items, destroyed electronics or hospital bills. When traveling it’s important to have an emergency fund setup to ensure you have additional money that you can use in emergency situations. So how much should you have in your emergency fund?
As a rule of thumb, it’s a good idea to have enough money to be able to get on a plane from wherever you are in the world and fly home at a moment’s notice. You should also have enough money in there to pay for one night’s accommodation in case flights are cancelled. You also need to know how you can access it at a moment’s notice as well to ensure you aren’t left financially unsecure while traveling. Can you access it online, at a local bank, at your country’s embassy? Before leaving for your destination, make sure you’re fully aware of how to gain access to those funds in an emergency situation.
- Consider Travel Cards
Travel cards are similar to normal visa cards but have the ability to be used anywhere in the world. Today you can find multi-currency travel cards which load multiple currencies onto one card. These types of cards are pin and chip protected for additional security, and can be used at millions of different locations in the world where major credit cards are accepted.
Prepaid travel cards are beneficial because they allow you to use up only what you load onto the card. They aren’t linked to any other bank account and reduce the risk of funds being stolen from your accounts. Depending on where you get your travel card from you may also reload the card at any time to help support your trip for longer. Money theft is quite common in the world and you don’t want to become at risk of it happening to you.
- Compare Public Transport
In many countries, public transport comes in a number of different vehicle options. From trains, trams, taxis, Ubers to the bus, there’s many options to choose from. To help save and manage your funds better it’s a good idea to compare the prices of public transport and the locations they travel to, to see which option proves to be the most cost effective. When you’re comparing public transport, don’t forget to check the hours of operation. You don’t want to catch the bus to a remote location to find that they only travel there once a day or twice a day but have a big time gap between drop off and pick up. If you really want to save money, and it’s safe to do so, walking to your destination is also a great way to help save your money.
- Keep A Track Of Your Money
While it can be fun to spend a lot of money on souvenirs while travel, it’s still important to always keep a track of your money and how much you spend. Never assume that you have enough to pay for everything you want. If you know your spending limit and deduct your costs off as you go, you’ll have a rough estimate of how much money you have and when you need to slow down on how much you’re spending. This will also help you to avoid checking your card at the ATM constantly, where some scammers may be waiting.
Managing your finances while traveling is essential to whether you have plenty of money to spend or whether you run out before the fun begins. By considering these top tips, you can easily enjoy your trip without running out of money too quickly. So, are you going to try any of these tips?