When it comes to traveling abroad, whether you’re traveling for a week or two or are planning an extended trip, there’s a lot that you need to take into consideration. The fact is when it comes to travel naturally, you don’t want to focus on what could go wrong, such as your wallet being stolen, for instance. However, the truth is that even if you don’t want to think about what could go wrong, it’s important that you are prepared.
If you are going to make the most of your time away, you need to prepare for every eventuality. The chances are the worst won’t happen, but you never know, it could do, which is why being prepared is so crucial when it comes to travel. Studies have shown that the number one area of travel that people struggle with is their finances, from effective budgeting to coping with lost wallets.
Bearing that in mind, below is a guide to highly useful finance tips that every traveler should know.
Photocopy all important papers
One of the biggest mistakes that you can make when traveling abroad is failing to photocopy important papers. If you fail to photocopy your passport for instance and you get robbed, you may struggle to get an emergency passport to use as ID and to fly home with, you may also struggle to collect any additional funds from a bank as you won’t have any ID available to prove who you are.
Never fail to purchase travel insurance
When it comes to jetting off abroad, a common mistake that many travelers make is failing to purchase travel insurance, or not purchasing the right travel insurance. You see, when it comes to insurance for travel, not all policies are born equal, some offer higher levels of cover than others. That’s why it’s so important that you are selective about the travel insurance that you choose, to ensure that it provides you with the level of coverage that you need. Otherwise, should you fall foul to illness while you are away, for instance, then you may find that your travel insurance does not cover the entirety of your stay in hospital or will not cover the cost of your transport home.
Separate your funds
When you are traveling, one thing that you should never do is carry all of your money in one place or in one way. So, for example, storing all of your funds on your card is a mistake, in case your car should get lost or stolen. The same goes for withdrawing all your money; this isn’t the best idea in case your wallet should get stolen. It’s always best to carry part cash and then also have your card on your travels with you. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean taking both out each day. What a lot of people wisely choose to do is lock their card in the safe at their hotel or villa with the passports, and then carry just cash when out and about.
Always carry a spare card
If you’re lucky enough to have a spare debit card, it can be wise to also carry that with you, as that way you can ensure that should your main card get lost or stolen, you have a backup. What a lot of travelers choose to do is research pre-approved credit cards and find a suitable option for them, so that they can order a card and take it traveling with them for emergencies. After all, you never know when you might need a little extra money, which is why having a credit card with funds available on it can be life-saving when you are traveling abroad. It’s not always easy to access money when you are in another country, but usually, most credit cards are universal and can be easily used abroad. Just make sure that if you do choose to invest in a credit card for your next adventure, that you check it is suitable for being used abroad without any problems.
Inform your bank you’re going abroad
Did you know that if a bank spots what looks like suspicious activity on your card, then they can lock it? Well, if you head off abroad without informing them that you’re going away, your bank may presume that your card has been stolen and will block it to prevent further fraud. So if you want to ensure that you have full use of your account while you are away, it’s essential that you contact your bank beforehand to let them know that you will be going away. Otherwise, midway through your trip, just as you’re about to pay your bill in a restaurant, your card may be declined as the bank has locked it. It’s best to avoid the embarrassment and let your bank know in advance that you are planning on going away.
Avoid cash machines
While it might be perfectly safe to use cash machines in your home country, that doesn’t mean that it’s safe abroad. Every country’s cash machines work differently, for a start, which means that your card could easily get swallowed. Then there’s theft and crime to think about – when you don’t reside in a country, it’s hard to know whether their cash machines are safe to use. If you need to gain access to funds, it’s much better to head to a bank. That is if there is a branch of your bank in the place that you are visiting.
When you are on holiday, it’s far too easy to overspend. However, if you want to ensure that when you return home, you haven’t overspent, it pays to budget efficiently. Just because you’re on vacation, that doesn’t have to mean that you spend like mad. To ensure that you are smart about your finances while abroad, it’s a good idea to create a budget before you travel, that details what you can afford to spend over the entirety of your trip, and then breaks your budget down into a daily spending amount. As that way, you know exactly what you have to work with and are much less likely to overspend.
Research ways to save money
Traveling abroad can be incredibly expensive. However, there are usually hacks that you can take advantage of to cut costs and make your trip cheaper. Simple things like taking the time to research all of the most popular sights and attractions beforehand, and then seeing if you can book tickets online. Usually, if you book tickets to famous sights and attractions online in advance, you can reduce the cost of entry by 10 to 15 percent, which means making a fantastic saving overall. Tickets for sights and attractions are always more expensive on the day which is why it’s a good idea to consider booking these things in advance. It might take time to do your research and find the best sights and attractions, but by doing so, you can cut costs and make it much easier to stick to your budget. If you’re stuck for ideas for cutting costs, take the time to read forums about the area that you are going to visit, in addition to researching suitable blog posts and books. You’ll be surprised by the amount of advice that you can find.
Don’t eat out every night
When you are abroad, in a new place, it’s nice to indulge in the local delicacies and try the cuisine that is on offer. However, that being said, if you don’t want to overspend while you are away, it makes financial sense to eat in some nights, if you book accommodation that has a kitchen, that is. Because by eating some meals, whether it’s breakfast, lunch or dinner, in your accommodation, you can significantly reduce the cost of your travel. To be able to cook your own food, all you need is a supermarket nearby, and you’re set for success. Most supermarkets abroad offer a wide range of foods that you’re used to eating at home, and so cooking doesn’t need to be difficult or complex. You can cook just like you would when you’re at home.
When it comes to traveling abroad, the fact is that it’s not always simple and straightforward to deal with the financial side of things. From keeping your funds safe to managing your money effectively, there’s a lot to consider. Hopefully, the above tips and pieces of advice will help to make the financial side of traveling abroad much easier and less stressful for you. It’s never easy planning a trip abroad, particularly if it’s an extended trip. However, the hardest part of any trip is often the financial side of things and ensuring that you have planned your finances as carefully as possible. Once you have got things straight in your head, such as how you should plan for each area of your travel finances, you will find it much easier to manage things effectively.