6 Personal Finance Tips for Traveling Abroad
Whether you’re heading to a big city in the US like Austin or headed across the ocean to check out the culture and class of the European nations, there are some personal finance tips you’ll want to follow to keep your personal finances secure while you’re traveling abroad.
Fraud and theft can happen anywhere, so it’s important to take certain precautions to ensure you don’t fall victim to financial crisis while traveling.
Here are 6 personal finance tips for traveling abroad
- personal finance tips for traveling abroad
Tell Your Bank
First and foremost, you should always let your bank know where you’re going, how long you’ll be there, and your estimated return date.
This goes for credit card companies as well.
Banks and credit cards will sometimes freeze your funds if they suspect fraudulent activity, and not letting your bank know you were going to Prague could make your transactions seem very suspicious.
Keeping your financial institutions informed ensures that your travel isn’t cut short.
The hassle alone could be enough to ruin your trip, let alone the inconvenience of not having any money.
If your funds are frozen on a Friday, you may not be able to get a hold of anyone until Monday morning!
Cash is still king, and taking cash on your trip can help protect your debit or credit cards from being at risk.
Your PIN will be protected if you use cash, and often, cash is worth more in foreign countries (depending on the exchange rates).
When you’re carrying cash, it’s best to only take what you need. You don’t want to lose or have a large amount of cash stolen.
If you’re going shopping, start with a small amount, and if you need more you can always use an ATM.
Restaurants are a popular place for thieves to strike since the waiter/waitress usually has to take your card over to the register to ring you out.
This can put your entire bank or credit account at risk; jeopardizing much more than just your travel plans.
Protect your financial information and your travel plans by using cash instead of your card.
Plan for an Emergency
When traveling abroad, it’s important to have a backup plan should you run out of funds.
While Western Union transfers are still around, there are plenty of other ways to have money sent to you while you’re traveling.
Facebook and apps like Vemo offer a convenient way to transfer funds to anyone in the world, and PayPal is the classic go-to for such transfers.
Have a backup plan in place with a trusted relative or friend so you don’t end stranded without any money.
Using a financial advisor to help you set up a travel fund and backup plan will ensure that you’re putting the right amount of money away.
These experts will help you make better financial decisions overall, increasing your travel budget and personal assets.
You can compare the 5 best financial advisors on the Careful Cents site for more information.
Check Exchange Rates
If you’re traveling to another country, you’ll want to find where the best exchange rates are offered.
Sometimes the best exchange rates aren’t actually in the country you’re visiting but instead are in your home country.
The exchange rate will determine how far your dollar will go in the foreign nation, possibly stretching your travel budget even further if your currency is worth more.
For instance, if you’re traveling to Mexico, the exchange rate for one USD to Mexican Pesos is: $1USD = $19.55 MXN.
This could make your travel budget go much further since your one dollar is worth almost twenty pesos.
Check exchange rates in local banks, border crossings, and foreign banks to be sure you’re getting the most for your money.
Use Common Sense
It can be pretty easy to get caught up in the spirit of traveling and forget that danger still exists, even when you’re within the same country.
According to this report, financial crimes have reached new heights as of last year, and are expected to continue to grow in the coming years.
It’s vital to the security of your personal finances that you utilize common sense when traveling abroad.
Practice more caution than you usually would with your money, especially if you’re in a foreign country.
It’s not uncommon for foreign hackers to get a hold of credit card information and transfer funds far out of reach of the US government’s jurisdiction.
Don’t Forget Travel Rewards Cards
Travel reward cards can grant you deals on flights, hotels, and more simply by using them to cover your travel expenses.
Remember that these credit cards still operate as regular credit cards with limits, due dates, and, of course, an APR.
Travel rewards cards are the perfect option for the frequent traveler.
The more you travel, the more rewards you’ll rack up; granting you access to some amazing discounts you wouldn’t be able to get otherwise.
If you’re looking for a credit card and love to travel, check out this list of the best travel cards of this year.
Personal Finance Tips for Traveling Abroad
Keeping your financial institutions informed of your travel plans and utilizing common sense are the most important tips from our list.
Be aware of the situations you put yourself in, and always let your bank know that you’re leaving (and when you’ll be back).
Avoid suspicious activity, and try to use cash where you can.