Taking a holiday in a foreign land works well on multiple levels.
Travelers get to experience new sights, sounds and smell in just about every place they visit, and they also tend to return rejuvenated.
By planning your finances ahead of time, you minimize the probability of getting nasty surprises, and you also get to make the most of your money.
Create a Budget
Unless you have an abundance of money, making a budget, especially when going on an overseas holiday, is the best place to start.
Account for the major expenses that include airfare, accommodation, and local transportation. You also need to factor in how much you might spend on eating out, partying, and shopping.
Inform Your Banks
Before you leave, inform the issuing banks of the debit and credit cards you plan to take with you about your travel plans.
It is not uncommon for banks to temporarily block cards when used overseas because they view them as suspicious transactions. Informing them in advance ensures that you have access to your cards as and when you need them.
Read Travel Advisories
These advisories provide any applicable information regarding currency restrictions. They also provide up-to-date information about safety and security.
Keep Enough Cash
While most countries the world over are going toward being cashless societies, only a few are anywhere close to being completely cash-free.
Make sure you have enough cash to carry out everyday transactions. In some countries in South America, Africa, Asia, and Eastern Europe, you might also need cash to pay for accommodation, local transportation, and eating out.
Make Payments in Advance
If possible, make some of the larger payments in advance, before you depart. These could be toward your accommodation or local car hire.
This way, you may pay using an overseas money transfer carried out through a specialist company such as TransferWise, OFX, or WorldFirst, and benefit by getting highly competitive exchange rates while paying little to no fees.
Use Cards Carefully
You might be tempted to use your debit or credit card on multiple occasions. However, determine just how much you will end up paying as fees ahead of time.
For instance, using a debit card to withdraw money from an overseas ATM might require that you pay a fee to the ATM operator.
Using your credit card to withdraw money from an ATM is not advised, given the cash advance fee and the fact that you pay interest from the word go.
When you use your Visa- or Mastercard-branded debit or credit card to make payments, you benefit through the exchange rates that these companies provide. If you are asked whether you wish to pay in the local currency or your home currency, always select the latter.
Receive Money Using a Specialist
When overseas, if you need to receive money in a hurry, consider using the services of specialist money transfer companies that have agent locations. Some of your options include WorldRemit, Ria, Western Union, and MoneyGram.
When going on an international holiday, it does not take much to plan your finances in advance. What it does do is provide peace of mind, and you may also end up saving some money in the process.
Jon works as a researcher with iCompareFX. This website gives its users an easy way to compare some of the world’s top overseas money transfer companies. When he’s not working, Jon likes listening to music from across genres.