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You have likely been there before – standing, tired and in a foreign country trying to figure out the ATM in front of you. How much do you need to withdraw? If you take out too much, are you going to become a target for theft? Is it a good idea to exchange your cash for the local currency? All of these questions are common when travelling internationally; however, there are a few tips that can help you manage your money regardless of where your travels take you.

When you are travelling internationally, there are a wide array of options for managing and handling your travel money. When you use the tips and information here, you won’t have to worry so much about this aspect of your travels.

Credit Cards

One of the most convenient ways for you to pay is with a credit card. This is the ideal option for larger purchases such as fine dining, shopping, hotels and flights. However, this is a convenience that you have to pay for. The company that issued your card is going to charge you a conversion fee. This is typically going to be a percentage of every single purchase that you make. You won’t even notice this fee until you receive your statement. Even though these fees can be quite annoying, you should keep in mind that they are typically going to be less than what you would have to pay to exchange your case at a change bureau.

Like many other things in life, it will pay for you to do your research and plan ahead. Make sure to call your credit card company before you take off and ask about the fees that you are likely going to incur. There are some issuers, such as Capital One that offer cards that have no currency conversion fee and others that will give you points. This may be worth looking into if you are a frequent traveller.

ATM Withdrawals and Cash Exchange

There are pros and cons to each option. You need to factor in the commission for using a foreign ATM; however, you are still likely to get a better rate than you would if you were to exchange your case. Also, much like with your credit cards, you should contact your bank prior to leaving and let them know where you are going to be and for how long. If you don’t use one of the “major” banks, make sure that the ATM card you have offers international support.

When you are withdrawing cash, make sure to take out the maximum amount that you are comfortable carrying around. Each time you use the ATM you are going to be hit with more fees, so you need to make sure to minimise them as much as possible.

Plan But Relax

While this may seem like an obvious tip it is one that is often overlooked. Before you fly, make sure to look at the current exchange rate and determine how much money you are going to withdraw when you land. This will ensure that you aren’t too low or too high. After all, if you are going to be on a plane for 12 to 15 hours, your brain may be a bit shot when you land. You need to figure out what you need prior to landing.

Taking the time to use the tips and information here will help ensure that you enjoy your travels and that you manage your money properly. If you don’t plan ahead, you may not have a successful trip. 


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Tips for Managing Your Money While You Travel
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