Whether for business or pleasure, traveling may be in your near future and if so, you might want to think about travelling financially smart. You could be attending a business conference in Europe or seeing the hills and castles of Ireland but no matter what your destination is, it’s best to be prepared and learn a few traveling tips that could make or break your piggy bank.
Before you go
Research. You’ll cut your expenses in half by doing a little research yourself. When choosing a place to stay, you want to find the best rates. Shop around. Reading reviews of other traveler’s visits can be beneficial when determining a quality place within your budget.
Also, be sure to research currency conversions. It is important to know and understand how your money will translate while at your destination. This way you won’t be short changed.
Trim your Wallet. Cutting down on the ‘extras’ in your wallet will help lighten your load while traveling and be less to replace if pickpocketed. Will you need your library card while looking up at the Eiffel tower? No, so leave it behind.
Notify your bank. When leaving the country, it is important to notify your bank when and where you will be travelling. At Community Bank of the Chesapeake, we take care in providing security for our customers. Therefore, we decline all foreign transactions unless you have notified the bank. By informing us of the dates of your trip we can make sure your transactions are cleared and confirm your identity has not been stolen.
Money belt. Unfortunately, traveling increases the chance of having thieves and pickpockets steal your belongings. Most people traveling to a new place look like tourist and thus attract unwanted attention. Get a money belt to put cash, credit/debit cards, your passport and other important items in to protect your possessions.
You may also want to consider dividing your money into different places. Keep some in your money belt, in your briefcase or backpack and some at your lodging location (only in a safe provided by the facility). This way if your belongings are stolen, you have other finances to keep you going. Make money preparations a part of your morning routine to have a stress free trip. This includes separating your money, keeping smaller bills handy for purchases and knowing your daily amounts.
Exchanging currency. Avoid exchange agencies that do not show both your selling and buying rates. If you can only see the selling rate, they are most likely hiding higher rates.
It is hard to say whether using cash, credit or debit cards is the best option when exchanging currency but it is advised to limit the amount of times you do exchange money. You lose money every time you convert your bills. It is smart to think ahead and take larger amounts out at a time.
Maps and transportation. Buy maps at your actual destination. They will be half the cost than buying from America.
While traveling, consider using bus transportation versus a train. Many people forget to include transportation in their budgets. Traveling by bus will help you save money along the way.
Tipping. Don’t over tip. In America we learn to tip 15-20%. However, this is not the case in Europe. Ask for local advice and not from your waitress!
Where will your next adventure take you? Next time you head to an interesting and exotic destination, make sure to pack these financial tips.