How to Manage Money/Credit on a Long Trip
Is taking an extended trip your dream? Well, it is a dream which can quickly become a nightmare if you don’t have a plan to successfully manage your money while on the road. These tips can help.
Whether you are planning a year-long trip around the world or spending the summer at your vacation house, most people have two main worries when it comes to money: Keeping it safe and keeping their finances simple.
Keeping Your Money Safe While Traveling
No matter where your trip takes you, there may be people there who want to take your money. These tips can help keep your money safe and prevent you from returning home a victim of money theft.
Know before you go.
Education is one of the best deterrents against crime. When traveling abroad, travelers should start by learning about the local currency, the average prices for everyday items and services, and the exchange rate to avoid being cheated. Learning a little of the local language, at least enough to understand prices, is a good idea.
People who are taking a trip in their own country are lucky because they can do much of the planning before they leave home. Part of this pre-trip planning should include locating ATM or bank branches in the cities you are visiting and researching deals online.
Limit your exposure for theft.
A thief can’t steal what you don’t have, so before heading to the airport, give your wallet a good cleaning. You should only have three cards in your wallet: one credit card, one debit card, and your ID. Limit the amount of cash you carry in your wallet and keep plenty of small bills handy in a securable pocket to avoid having to pull out your wallet every time you make a small purchase.
Visitors to areas with a high crime rate should put their wallet and passport in a hidden money pouch and prepare a dummy wallet with a few dollars and fake credit cards to hand over to a mugger if the worst happens.
Simplifying Your Finances While Traveling
When you are traveling, there is already enough for you to keep track of, you don’t want to have to worry about your finances as well. Many travelers find the following tips useful for sticking to their budget and reducing the amount of time they need to worry about money on their travels.
Open a dedicated checking account to use on your trip.
Instead of bringing a debit card which is attached to an account with your entire savings, get a new checking account and only deposit what you think you will need to cover your trip. Travelers who are heading overseas should consider opening a new bank account which has no or low fees for withdrawing funds from abroad.
If you don’t want to go through the hassle of creating a new account, think about purchasing a prepaid debit card and loading the funds you think you will need before you leave.
Arrange for automatic payments of your bills.
It is challenging to keep track of reoccurring bills such as car payments and phone bills when you are not at home. By setting up auto-pay, you don’t have to worry that you are going to miss a payment. Of course, if you are going to be away for an extended period, cancel or pause any subscriptions or services, you won’t be using.
Keep track of your purchases.
It is easy to go overboard on spending if you aren’t careful. Use a budgeting app on your phone to help you keep track of the money you spend.
With the proper planning and money management, the only thing you will need to worry about your trip is where are you going next.