If you are planning a trip out of the country, you undoubtedly have a number of questions, even concerns. At the top of your list very well may be how you will go about securely and effectively managing your finances while you travel abroad. There are some strategies you can employ to appropriately, securely manage your money while you are out of the United States traveling, either for business or pleasure.
Traveling with Cash
In the United States, cash is used less often at this juncture in time than was the case even five years ago. People in the U.S.A. have taken to using debit and credit cards with ever-increasing regularity.
With that said, cash is still wise to have on hand when traveling abroad. Cash, when exchanged, can be utilized universally no matter where your travels take you.
As an added benefit, if you do have at least some cash with you as you travel, you will have an excellent bargaining chip with different vendors that you may encounter along the way. Dickering and bartering remain a part of doing business in many countries the world over.
Also feel free to ask a vendor or merchant if the give any type of discount for using cash. As an aside, you can also make this request when still in the United States.
The key to keeping cash secure is to have a pre-planned strategy for stowing it. Cash that you carry with you, on your person, should not all be kept in the same place. You should distribute cash between your wallet or purse, pockets, even a hidden pouch that you can obtain to secure money under your clothing.
You should not keep all your cash on your person when you are touring in a foreign country. Take advantage of a hotel safe. If one is not available, hide cash in unlikely spots in your hotel room.
Traveling with Debit Cards
Touring Europe with a debit card can be advisable. You can make purchases directly with a debit card, make reservations at hotels and purchase plane and train tickets as well. You can also access additional cash from an ATM machine while in Europe with your debit card.
You need to be aware that when using your debit card for cash in a foreign country, you may encounter even higher fees than you might face while at home in the United States. You also need to be diligent to follow all of the security practices you utilize while at home.
Do not keep all of your available travel money in one account connected to a debit card. If your account was hacked, you could lose access to all of your money in that account. Consider taking two debit cards, attached to separate accounts, with you while you travel in Europe.
Traveling with Credit Cards
In the 21st century, nearly everyone does travel with a debit or credit card. Credit cards are invaluable, indeed vital, when you must make reservations for everything from accommodations to air and ground travel.
Credit cards are nearly ubiquitous in their acceptance. However, “nearly” is the operative word. There remain places in the world where credit cards are still not widely utilized. Moreover, there are some countries in which credit security is lacking.
Before you leave, contact your credit card company and advise of your plans to use your card outside of the country. Keep your vital credit card data written down somewhere secure. You will need this information if you lose or have you credit card stolen while traveling in Europe.
Generally Managing Your Finances While Abroad
Thanks to the internet, managing your finances while traveling abroad has never been easier. With that said, digitally managing your finances while traveling in another country is not without its risks. As mentioned previously, online security differs from one country to another.
One strategy you should consider employing while traveling abroad is to use two factor authentication when accessing a secure site. This process will not only require entering a password but also entering a secondary code that is transmitted to you via email or text. This double level of security is helpful in preventing unauthorized access to a financial account.
In the final analysis, you can enjoy your travels abroad, have access to an array of different types of financial resources and options, and do so in a secure manner. The key is to plan ahead and to be thoughtful about how you deal with financial matters of all types while you travel.
Holly Morphew is an award winning financial coach, entrepreneur, and speaker. She is a Certified Financial Health Counselor, Certified Student Loan Counselor, and Accredited Financial Counselor ®. Her unique background in business, corporate America, and real estate give her a broad perspective to help her clients create wealth, stop living paycheck to paycheck, and eliminate debt. View client testimonials here!
Holly began teaching personal finance in 2006 to young adults as a service project with Rotary International. Her workshops were so popular she decided to teach personal finance full-time so she could help more people. She created The Financial Impact System, a step by step guide to master your money, streamline spending, protect your money, and create multiple streams of income.
Holly is originally from Boulder, Colorado. She received the prestigious “Rotarian of the Year” award in 2007/08 for her work in financial literacy. Holly served as Treasurer of the Erie Rotary Club from 2006–2009. She has a B.A. in International Business & Japanese from the University of Colorado. She now resides in Denver, Colorado. Holly also plays competitive beach volleyball year-round, practices yoga, and loves to hike with her two dogs.
Jessica Kane is a professional blogger who writes for Documents International LLC, a leading apostille service for individuals and businesses.