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.
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.
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.
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