- First and foremost, don’t carry TOO much cash with you. I know this is obvious, and it sounds like a basic thing that every traveler should know ahead of time, BUT the sad truth is that many people (including myself at one innocent and amateur time) get so boggle-minded with everything else they have to plan and work the details out for (ex. Visa, route planning, booking, etc), that they forget their safety of their safety net. Typically there are ATM’s available in most places of the world.
- The downside of using international ATM’s is that the fees ($7-10 each withdrawal) can add up over time. Considering that most ATM’s allow a maximum withdrawal of (an equivalent to) $200-300, the fees might add up tremendously if you’re traveling for a long period of time. The more unfortunate part is that there aren’t a lot of options outside of ‘Travel Friendly’ debit cards, which most banks have, but may take a little research to find one that qualifies perfectly with your needs and resources.
- There is another option, which is to open an offshore bank account in a country that you will be traveling in for an extended time. Not all banks offer this to travelers who are non-citizens of that country, but there are several countries that give banks the power to offer local accounts, so then you will have no ATM fees typically – click here to research offshore bank accounts.
- Keeping multiple accounts can cut down on unforeseen travel hassles, like if your account were to get scammed and your money drained, then your account might lock up and it could be a couple weeks until everything is copasetic again. Keeping a personal checking, travelers checking and perhaps a third account, like a savings, might be a good idea, so that you can have multiple cards available – for example, if someone were to steal your wallet. You would be safe in either instance of someone lifting your wallet or scamming your card number, because you have multiple accounts as a safe backup and multiple cards which you can keep safely in different places on your person or within your belongings.
This post isn’t so much to be a definitive guide, but I thought it would be prevalent to talk a little about some of the banking options that new travelers should consider before going abroad. Some of these tips are varied and random, while others may sound simple or whimsical, but I encourage you to consider your options, research a little and do what works best for you...
(Photo by epSos.de via Flickr)
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