Best Ways To Spend Your Travel Money

What's the best way to spend your money on vacation? There are so many ways to pay for things when you travel. When it comes to traveling, you should keep the following factors in mind:

  • Convenience
  • Fees
  • Safety

Not one form of payment is going to address all of your needs. Cash is convenient, but the currency exchange fees can be expensive. Your debit card information could end up in the wrong hands. If you use your credit card, you could end up paying more in fees. Traveler's checks aren't accepted everywhere.

This blog post will address each of these options and show you how to use them on your vacation. The best solution is to combine several payment methods for added safety and security.

Credit Cards

Credit cards are the best way to travel anywhere in the world with money. Using a credit card can help prevents you from going into debt while on vacation. There are certain things you can pay with a credit card such as airline tickets and car rental services.

Some major credit cards for international travel have additional benefits such as a travel rewards program, travel insurance, no currency exchange fees, airline mileage points, and more. The travel rewards program can get you a free flight, hotel room, or other travel needs.

The major forms of credit that's accepted almost everywhere include:

  • MasterCard
  • Visa
  • American Express
  • Discover
  • Citibank
  • Capital One

Always check with your credit card company before you intend to use your card when you travel.

Debit Cards

Debit cards are the next best option if you don't have a credit card. However, you may be hit with ATM fees, currency exchange fees, or foreign transaction fees when traveling abroad. You may also increase your risk of thieves lurking around the corner.

You could attract thieves if you use an ATM to withdraw money. Withdraw in small amounts to limit fees and reduce theft. Contact your bank so you know what fees you'll be hit with for ATM usage and foreign transactions. Ask for additional ways to protect your personal information while traveling abroad.

Another option is to use your debit card as a credit card, but again, you could be hit with fees. Always ask your bank before you bring your debit card with you on vacation. In most cases, it may be best to use hard cold cash or a credit card.

Hard Cash

If you're traveling abroad, exchange your American money for the local currency. You can order currency from your bank or travel agent prior to your trip. You can also get currency online, but you may end up overpaying. If you choose to carry a large amount of cash with you onboard your flight, you may be approached by a TSA agent.

Cash is easy to use and doesn't have fees, but there's always a risk of theft involved. Store your cash in a safety pouch or bag, leave most of it in a safe in your hotel room, or split it up among your traveling companions.

Travelers Checks

Traveler's checks can help you budget your money while on vacation. You can't use traveler's checks to pay for everything. However, if your traveler's checks are lost or stolen, you can replace them.

Traveler's checks are still popular today, although they're not as widely accepted. You may have to convert your traveler's checks at a bank or a currency exchange kiosk before you can use them. Cashing traveler's checks give you a better exchange rate on your money.

Prepaid Travel Debit Cards

Prepaid travel debit cards are the new forms of traveler's checks. However, they come with more fees. Prepaid cards allow you to pay for things with plastic instead of exposing your credit card or bank card information. You can reload the card on the company's website or over the phone.

Use prepaid travelers debit cards the same way you would with traveler's checks – as a back-up or for emergency funds. The associated fees prove that this isn't the cheapest way to spend money abroad.

You should combine your options when you travel. Use traveler's checks and intend to exchange them when you reach your destination. Use your debit card to withdraw money from safe ATM locations. Or, use a credit card as back-up when you want to spend money on entertainment, dining, and souvenirs.

Don't go crazy and spend all of your money. It can be easy to get carried away, especially when you're enjoying your vacation. Create a budget for yourself and plan how to use all of your options to reduce the stress that's involved with traveling.

Don’t struggle with deciding on which bills you can pay later, and worry about the late fees or possible cancelation of service.

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