How to manage the money that you need to travel.
If you’re on the road frequently, you rarely get the time to manage your finances wisely.
You need to know how to access your funds safely and cheaply, how to avoid running out of cash, what to do if something goes wrong when you’re halfway around the world, etc.
Here are seven useful finance management tips for frequent travelers:
- Open a bank account with zero or low fees for international transfers
The easiest and most convenient way of accessing your funds while traveling is via ATM machines with a debit card.
ATMs are everywhere and can be used to withdraw money any time of day or night. They eliminate the need to carry around a lot of cash. However, most banks will charge you exorbitant fees for withdrawals done outside the country.
It’s therefore important to check your bank’s fees for international withdrawals and if they are too high then switch to another bank before you leave.
You’ll save a ton of money in the long run if you’re a frequent traveler with an account that doesn’t charge extra fees for international withdrawals.
- Use mobile check deposit
What happens if you receive a check when you’re miles away from your bank or ATM?
You don’t have to cut your travel short and rush home to deposit a check. Your smartphone or tablet can simply scan the check and make a deposit to your account with just a few clicks.
This is mobile check deposit, a feature that every frequent traveler should use.
- Carry along some cash
Having some cash when traveling abroad will help you minimize money transfer costs.
US dollars are universally accepted and can be used to make small purchases at the local vendor without incurring transfer fees every time you want to buy something.
However, there’s a risk when carrying cash around in foreign places.
If your cash is stolen or lost, it cannot be retrieved. It’s gone. Your best option would be to keep the cash in different places on your person and luggage.
Distribute the cash in your pockets, socks, in your bag, and even hide some in your hotel room. Have some cash to fall back on if you lose whatever you had in your pockets.
Sometimes the unfortunate happens and you end up losing your cash and cards. If you’re far away from your home, you may consider getting a quick emergency loan to deal with the emergency before you can access your funds.
- Use Prepaid Travel Cards
Prepaid travel cards help you manage your finances more efficiently when you are away from home.
A good example is the Visa Travel Money Card. Remember to check the pros and cons of prepaid travel cards from different companies to ensure that you get the best deal.
Some are a bit expensive while others have low fees and additional perks.
- Online finance management
As a frequent traveler, you’ll need to stay updated with your finances when at home or away.
You’ll need to go online after you pay using your credit card to verify the payment or ensure that the transaction went through.
If you use a laptop or tablet to connect to the Internet, make sure your passwords and other important financial details are well protected from online security threats.
If you use an internet café abroad, remember to sign out of all your accounts before leaving. Delete web browsing history and never leave the computer without closing the entire browser first.
We recommend setting two-factor authentication when accessing finance-related sites.
- Let your bank know you’re traveling abroad
Protect your finances from fraudulent activities when traveling abroad by letting the bank know of your travel plans ahead of time.
You can even inform the bank that you expect to spend a given amount of money in specific companies while traveling and possibly set a cap to your withdrawals.
If they see any other transaction besides the ones you’ve stated, then request them to hold the account and inform you before proceeding with the suspicious transaction.
Most banks provide this kind of service to their customers.
- Check your company’s reimbursement policy
It’s important to check and know your company’s reimbursement policy before you go overboard on your travel expenditures.
There are employers who’ll not refund for money spent on activities such as transportation to the airport and or expenses incurred after you land back to the city.
Knowing how much you can be reimbursed beforehand will help you manage your finances efficiently.
Managing your finances as a frequent traveler may seem a bit daunting at first.
However, with the tips discussed above and some precautionary measures, the process will become almost instinctive.
Do you have a few tips you’d like to share with us? Please do so in the comments below.
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