How to manage your money when travelling

Receivers By Dear Alyne November 9, 2018

WU Brand Ambassador Dear Alyne is a World Citizen and has been to 72 countries around over the Globe. She is a WU customer and guest blogger who we’ve teamed up with. Follow along with her adventures, here:   

Not having money. Losing your bags. Surprise prices. Bad things happen even to the best of us while travelling. Sometimes there’s nothing you can do to stop it, but what you CAN do is be prepared for most situations and know the best way to bounce back.

1.) Not having money. This is one of the worst things that can happen anywhere, but it’s always especially difficult abroad – in a new place where you don’t know how to do anything! It’s always important to do your research before you travel. Make sure you call your credit or debit card company before your trip to tell them what countries you will be traveling and when. Otherwise your cards may get frozen or rejected from ATMs. Check to see if the places you’re visiting are cash countries or if they tend to use cards more. If cash is needed, it’s nice to know the exchange rates ahead of time so when you arrive you don’t make any mistakes and overpay with a new currency. You can get cash from ATMs or you can use local banks or cash conversion counters. I personally prefer ATMs because it’s clear cut and time-efficient.

2.) Losing your bags. In case your bags are lost or stolen, it’s critical that you have copies of important documents available. This will make going to the embassy for replacements a less difficult and stressful experience. Color copies are best. Also, many credit card companies can ship replacement credit cards abroad but be aware that some countries have difficult customs agents and processes which might hold up your card. You can always have a friend or family member send you emergency cash through Western Union until you’re back on your feet.

3.) Surprise prices. Many people plan trips without taking the extra time to check prices in the country or region they are heading to. Specific things you should know the price of before you go include transportation (car rental, public transport, car-share prices), hotels/accommodation, and food. These are the three major categories that will eat up your budget. For example, in Europe, if you plan far enough ahead, you can often get train tickets for under $30. But if you wait until the last minute these prices can skyrocket to over $100! Doing your research really pays off in these situations. If you hate to plan ahead, just know that your mobility may be limited or that you’ll have to take less desirable modes of transportation (long distance buses or overnight ferries) in order to travel at a better price.

Life has a way of throwing unexpected things at us, which can also happen financially. As I’ve traveled the world I’ve run into a lot of unexpected expenses that really hurt my wallet and frustrated me. It really helps to go into travel with a budget for “THE UNEXPECTED”, maybe 10% of what you plan to spend overall. That way when it happens, you are PREPARED, and when issues do happen, they will cause you less mental and financial strain…HAPPY TRAVELS!