Traveling Overseas? Don’t Bring Money, Send It!

Canada By Janaina Da Costa Sep 20, 2022

When vacationing in other countries, deciding ahead of time how you’ll manage your money and daily purchases can give you more control over your overall spending and ease daily money hassles. Whether you choose to rely on credit1 cards, local currency, or a combination of the two, using cash has its advantages.

With cash, you can comfortably buy without figuring conversion rates or accumulating credit1 cards’ extra fees for every purchase. Spending local money means you avoid credit1 cards’ foreign exchange fees, those surcharges on your bills that appear when you make any purchase that either passes through a foreign bank or is in a currency other than the Canadian dollar (CAD). These fees are charged by many credit1 card issuers and typically range from 1% to 4% of each transaction. That percentage may sound small but can transform into double or triple digits after a week’s charges of hotel bills, transportation, dining out, sightseeing and entertainment fees, and local shopping splurges. Do some investigating beforehand to see your credit1 card issuer’s policies and fees for overseas use. Or, rely more on cash instead.

Send Money Via Western Union Ahead of Time

Check finances off your travel prep to-do list by lining up money for pick up in the local currency when you arrive. Easy to use on any smartphone, the Western Union app lets you transfer money to your destination before your trip, provides a currency converter, and can track your transaction to over 200 countries and territories. Or stop in any of our convenient Canada locations for setting up the transfer, if you prefer the personal touch.

This type of money transfer is reliable and easy, and it takes one thing off your to-do list before you leave. Your money will be waiting in the local currency for pickup at the site you select from our 500,000 worldwide locations.

Cash Is Always Good to Have on Hand

When you travel to a major city or resort, many businesses will accept a credit1 card and some will accept digital wallet payments like from Google Pay or Apply Pay. But if you’re going off the beaten path, want to tip in the local currency, or see a gift to buy from a kiosk on the street, cash may be the only payment that’s accepted. Cash lets you lunch on Cornish pasties in Cornwall or easily grab a snack from one of the hundreds of famed New York City food trucks. And certain countries, like Mexico, still have many small businesses that prefer cash over credit1 card purchases.

Airport Exchanges Can Be Costly

Yes, you could always bring cash from home and exchange it once you land at your destination, but then you have to worry about it getting lost or even stolen as you move your bags from spot to spot through airports, cabs, and train stations. Plus, exchanging currency at airport kiosks often means unfavorable rates and higher fees than you’ll find elsewhere.

International money transfer services like Western Union can help you easily send money to another country ahead of time, with more than 500,000 locations worldwide, Western Union can assist you with your money needs no matter where your travels take you.

1 If you’re using a credit card, a card-issuer cash advance fee and associated interest charges may apply. To avoid these fees or for reduced fees, use a debit card or check other payment methods.