There are few things more satisfying than a trip to the cash exchange before a big travel adventure, and walking out of there with a fat envelope filled with enough with enough stacks of cash to see you through a six-week trip to Thailand is one of the only times in life you can feel like a true baller.
However, despite cold, hard cash being by far the most popular form of currency for travellers across the world, it certainly isn’t the wisest. The risk of a robbery in which you lose all of your money is high, and the risk of being unable to recover that money is even higher. Here are some top alternatives for carrying your money around with you on your global adventures.
1. Travel Money Cards
Pre-loaded cards, which you can fill up with a local currency before you go, are usually freely available from your bank. However, there are some more recent versions of travel cards that are superior and more suited to 221st-century globetrotters. The Post Office (UK) runs a free service you can order online from anywhere in the world, in which you can receive a card you top up via an app in the form of a currency of your choice, and can cancel it immediately in the event of a theft or an accident. Similarly, you can use services like Transferwise to move money seamlessly across borders via a user-friendly app. The kicker for both of these options, besides convenience, is that you avoid transaction and conversion fees entirely.
2. Check, Please!
Traveller’s checks have been a backpacker staple for decades, and are still a hugely safe and reliable form of payment that is commonly preferred over even cash in certain establishments such as youth hostels and tour companies, due to how much of their business model has been moulded around this form of payment. This option has gotten even more straightforward is 2018 with the advent of e-checks, a hugely convenient and mobile friendly way to safely spend money abroad. It is also very widely accepted, with even online casinos now accepting e-checks as one of the preferred alternative payment methods. It means you can enjoy the conveniences of using a check-book, but entirely from your computer or smartphone – definitely one of the most secure ways to spend abroad.
3.Credit is Best
The principle of using a credit card when travelling is similar to the reasons to use checks. The money you’re spending with it is an insured guarantee, and you’re own bank account is doubly protected in the event of fraud or theft, as the money will not be automatically taken from you. This is why many seasoned travellers choose to travel with nothing but a credit card, so that the chance of them taking a personal hit from theft abroad remains at almost zero, and your money remains protected.
If you have any tips on protected your money abroad that haven’t been covered here, let us know in the comments below!