Managing your money on the road is one of the least glamorous parts of travel. It’s mundane, seemingly complicated and something many people unfortunately leave until the last moment. However it’s very much a necessary evil as no matter what you may think, money will very much be the driving force behind what you can and can’t achieve on your travels.
I’ve of the easiest ways to manage your money on the road is through a prepaid cashcard. It’s simply a case of load and go, without the risk of racking up any debt (one of the biggest reasons I refuse to recommend credit cards to travellers) and can be setup quickly.
Some companies issue single currency cashcards, with the most common being the US dollar,a Euro and Aussie dollar.
However for those hitting multiple countries options like the STA travel Cashcard are ideal, converting your money to local currency and being accepted via chip and pin anywhere mastered a is accepted.
Even if you opt for a cashcard you need to back it up with a bank account. Personally I use my standard UK account for my savings and transfer it to my cashcard as and when it’s needed.
There are two other solid options which may suit your needs too – the international bank account and the local bank account.
So what is an international account? Simply out it’s baked by a large banking company and allows your to transfer, spend and otherwise deal with your cash from multiple countries, however it usually comes with a monthly charge for the privilege.
For those heading out on working holiday visas having a local account in your country of choice can save you heaps on bank fees and also allow easier payment of wages, just do you homework on which bank to use!
Even with all this plastic having some cold hard cash is something I recommend to anyone. Getting some local notes in small denominations before you travel is always handy – getting cabs from the airport and something to eat and drink without having to struggle to locate and ATM in a strange new place will be much appreciated after a long haul flight!
I also strongly suggest carrying around $50US in small notes too, it’s a solid currency for visas, bribes and easily changing into local currency.
Even though money is boring it’s important and it will really pay off (no pun intended!) to be prepared well before you leave.
Do your homework, find the option that’s best for you and make sure you have a back up – there’s nothing worse than being stranded abroad with no access to your cash!
Whatever you choose to use also make sure you track your spending and get in the habit of budgeting, you’ll thank yourself in the long run!