There once was a time when travellers checks were the safest means by which to have money at your disposal while travelling. In recent years, however, more and more travellers report that they have a lot of trouble with these tried and true checks.
These days, trying to cash a traveller’s check can be met with a brick wall; especially in Europe and Africa. American banking institutions are also shying away for dollar-denominated checks as well, and are promoting “travel money cards.”
The travel money card works much the same as a debit card. You can use it to make purchases or withdraw money from an ATM machine. Of course, the type of money you get will depend on what country you are travelling in.
Travel cards are only pre-loaded with either sterling, dollars or euros, and it should be noted that some travellers have had their travel cards denied at restaurants and retail shops. As infrequent as these claims are, it’s still a consideration when trying to determine what the best means of having access to your money is when you travel.
Many travel agencies agree that the good old credit card is still the best method available as a means of paying for your expenses and purchases while travelling.
Two credit cards are recommended as one can serve as a backup should something come up with the first one. Some credit card companies will charge for currency exchanges, but the peace of mind a credit card brings with it is well worth the fees. It’s also recommended to take your debit card along with you as well as a way to have access to cash.
Many travellers worry about losing their debit card or having it fall into the wrong hands. One solution to this is to create a separate account for your debit card while travelling, and only put a certain amount of money in it.
There’s no fail-proof means of addressing your financial needs and wants when you travel. Being prepared, though, is important no matter where you’re going.