Travellers tend to have their preferred favorites when it comes to carrying foreign currency, varying anywhere from using credit cards or debit cards to purchasing pre-paid spending cards. Some people insist there are benefits of using cash while travelling. And remember in the past when Traveler’s Cheques were so commonplace?
No matter what you prefer in the way of financing yourself while travelling, everybody should include at least a little bit of physical cash in their travel budget. Here’s why:
What are the Benefits of Using Cash While Travelling
Why Use Cash While Travelling?
Using cash abroad can prove to be a major benefit when travelling, especially if you are going to a more secluded area or rural areas. This is because local markets might not accept credit or debit cards as a payment. Depending on where you are travelling, there may or may not be an ATM available. Acquiring the local currency will also demonstrate your willingness to embrace the local culture as well as give you a better feel for it too.
Additionally, should your trip take an unexpected turn, having physical money in your pocket will give you the peace of mind that you can still complete a purchase at any local shop, restaurant or market that you visit. Cash is especially helpful if you are relying on public transportation.
Another one of the many benefits of using cash while travelling is that you can avoid the considerably high charges that many banks have in place for debiting your bank account while you are abroad. Some financial institutions charge hefty fees for using an ATM machine. You will have no choice but to pay it.
Sometimes you won’t be able to use your debit or credit card while travelling abroad if you haven’t contacted the banking company in advance to authorize your transactions. They may detect fraud, and while trying to protect you, will shut down/freeze the use of your credit or debit cards. You can contact your bank while abroad and eventually acquire the cash you need. However, it will take awhile to do, especially given the difference in time zones. Consider that you may have to talk to an actual person to get the hold lifted from your card.
Make sure that you know your budget and sort your money out before you go away.
The bureaux de change at airports and rail stations will charge considerably higher rates for buying and selling currency than alternatives on the high street and online. While many banks can give you a considerably good deal, most only do so if you bank with them. Therefore, you have to plan ahead to ensure you get the best deal for your money.
The best currency exchange can be done before you leave home by using such online services as those available at CurrencyFair. Money exchange places will often charge for lower sums, but drop or lower this charge if you buy more currency.
Preparations for your trip should go hand-in-hand with your destination research. Bear in mind that if you are travelling to the larger of the European countries, it might not be difficult to use your credit or debit cards while travelling to different countries than your home residence. However, if you are opting to visit a rural or developing country, you might not have a chance to use your card at all so physical cash will be vital.
In short, the best way to travel is to ensure that you are covered for whatever situation you may encounter.