What to do with the money you take with you when you travel abroad

Travel Plan and Preparations

When travelling abroad, money management is a concern.

While some people talk about how to put together a budget, it is also important to know what form of money to take with you.

You might think that credit cards will be accepted everywhere these days, but in some countries and regions, it is difficult to use cards.

In this article, we consider the money you take with you when travelling abroad and how to manage it.

Money for travelling abroad: cash vs. credit cards

Credit cards, international debit cards and other cards are a convenient way to make payments without having to touch cash when travelling abroad.

They are now quite commonly accepted in larger cities around the world, especially in high-end hotels, restaurants and shopping malls.

However, there are still some places where cards are not accepted.

Even within the same country or city, there are places where credit cards are not accepted, such as street stalls, budget guesthouses and youth hostels.

In such cases, you need to carry cash to use the shops and services.

Risk of carrying cash

So, you might think, “Cash is the best after all.”

However, cash has its own weaknesses.

Firstly, it makes you more vulnerable to theft and other crimes. In particular, flashing cash in public is like asking people to target you.

Then there is the disadvantage that every time you exchange cash for local currency, you are charged a commission and are subject to the exchange rate.

Another problem is that cash itself can be physically bulky, depending on the currency.

We carry cash, cards and other valuables in a money belt, but depending on the country or region, the paper money can be bulky and make wearing your money belt more uncomfortable.

Which cash currency to take with you when travelling abroad

If you are taking cash with you when you travel abroad, there is also the question of which foreign currency to bring.

“If I’m going to travel abroad, shouldn’t I have US dollars?” You may think.

It is true that there are many countries where it is easy to use US dollars.

In most countries, you can exchange US dollars for the local currency, and in some countries and regions, US dollars can be used as is.

On the other hand, there are countries where the US dollar is difficult to use, or where the exchange of local currency from the US dollar is expensive.

Of course, if you are touring around Europe, Euros are more convenient.

Exchange foreign currency less often when travelling abroad

In some Asian countries, it is easier to exchange Japanese yen directly into other currencies. In such places, carrying Japanese yen is another option.

The important thing is to minimise the number of times you exchange money from foreign currency into local currency because the more times you exchange money, the more commission you pay.

Do your research on where you are going

Ultimately, the best way to do this depends on the country or region you are visiting.

It is therefore important to do your research on the places you plan to visit before you go.

  • Is it a place where credit cards and other cards are easy to use, or is it a place where you can’t manage without cash?
  • What currency is in circulation and what foreign currencies are easy to exchange?

Do your research well in advance, as it is too late once you have travelled there.