Traveling Ted is a blog that takes readers along on my adventures hiking, canoeing, skiing, and international backpacking. Many blogs focus on one aspect of backpacking, but I tackle both the outdoor adventure side and international exploration as well.

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One part of foreign travel that scares people is how to manage money overseas. This is for good reason as many people have a difficult time with their funds at home, so the thought of juggling their cash through multiple currencies can be a nightmare.

It does not need to be though as with globalization, banking has gotten easier. With the advent of worldwide ATMs and websites like Paypal, overseas money management can be a piece of cake.  Here are some tips to take the fear out of worldwide financial management and to help manage your money overseas.

Withdraw cash from an ATM

Even in far away destinations like Guyana, ATMs can be found. It always amazes me that I can type in my pin in a far off land and retrieve Guyanese dollars that at home are converted to U.S. dollars and deducted out of my account. Most basic bank accounts for example will levy a foreign transaction fee, but it is minimal and overall the fees are comparable to exchanging money and much better than a cash advance, so I suggest using ATMs as much as possible.

Money overseas in Georgetown Guyana

A scene from the Georgetown, the capital of Guyana

Always have a backup plan for cash

You cannot always rely on an ATM, so it is good to have a credit card or two on hand.  It is also a good idea to have different credit cards because some areas don’t accept Visa and some will not accept Mastercard.  As strange as this sounds, you just never know when you are traveling, so it is best to have a backup plan for accessing cash, and a backup to your backup, and even a backup to that.

Carry a sum of American dollars in small denominations

When I went to Asia for three months I carried $400.00 worth of American cash in my toiletry bag in denominations of $5.00 and $1.00.  I found this currency was accepted in Cambodia and Vietnam.  If American dollars are not accepted, they are most often easily converted to local currency. This was a great option if ATMs were not convenient or not working.

Bach Ma Vietnam

I am smiling because I am secure knowing I have $400.00 of American cash in my shower bag

Get a Paypal account

Paypal is a convenient way to get paid and pay for things while you are overseas.  You can easily transfer money back and forth from Paypal to your bank account. You can also link a bank account with Paypal and if you are short of funds to pay for something in Paypal it will dip into your bank account.

Call your bank to let them know when you are out of the country

Do not risk getting your bank account frozen by diligent bank security.  They do this for your protection. To avoid this contact your bank and let them know your travel plans. They can note their systems to make sure you have access to your funds at critical moments.


The goal of Traveling Ted is to inspire people to outdoor adventure travel and then provide tips on where and how to go. If you liked this post then enter your email in the box to get email notifications for each new entry. Daily travel photos are excluded from your email in order to not flood you with posts. There is no spam and email information will not be shared. Other e-follow options include Facebook (click on the like box to the right) or twitter (click on the pretty bird on the rainbow above).

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