International Travel: 3 Important Money Matters

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Traveling abroad is one of the most exciting things you can experience. It teaches you a lot about the world and about yourself. It can also teach you some practical lessons as well that can help you enjoy your trip a bit more, as well as minimize hassles and frustrations. While I still have a lot left to see and experience, I have done my fair share of globetrotting and I like to share some tips and advice gleaned from my own experience in hopes that it will help others on their journeys. As far as money goes, there are three things that I have learned that I think are important considerations to enjoy your trip to the utmost.

Make Sure You Have Pins for Your Credit Cards

When it comes to credit cards, the typical piece of advice is to make sure you tell the company about your travel plans so that you do not experience issues with it being rejected for suspected fraud. That is definitely important but I would like to add another tip: make sure you have pin numbers for your cards. If something happens with your debit card—such as leaving it in the machine by accident and not realizing it until you are sitting in the airport en route to another country, or your bank locking it even though you gave them your travel plans and you cannot call because it is the middle of the night back home—you will want an immediate source of cash to take care of things that you might not be able to charge, like a three dollar taxi ride, cheap street stall food or the budget hotel that only takes cash payments. True, you can go to most banks and get a cash advance with your card, but if you are not near a bank, or it happens to be closed, that pin number will come in handy.

International Travel
When you received your card, you got a pin number; if you do not remember what it is, make sure you make arrangements to get a new one before you leave—they will only mail it out and will not give you one over the phone; it can take up to 10 business days to get to your house.

When It Comes to Value, Do Not Just Think in Terms of Money

Unless you are able to spend willy nilly, you are probably considering cost to varying degrees when it comes to making your travel decisions, especially when it comes to things like accommodations and transportation. When deciding on these facets of travel, I suggest that you do not just consider cost in hopes of getting everything as cheaply as possible since it can really interfere with the enjoyment of your trip. If you are traveling long distances, for example, consider splurging on the cheap flight rather than spending 20 hours on an uncomfortable bus if you  can truly swing it; the latter is tempting because it may only cost 10 dollars, but it will probably also come with a lot of frustration and you are spending time on a bus that could be spent exploring the new area. Spend a little extra to get the hotel that is more centrally located instead of fighting the traffic that comes along with taxis and public transportation options in many areas. If you are staying in hostels and are sick of communal bathrooms, kick in a little extra to get the ensuite room—you will be glad you did.

Avoid Becoming Obsessed with Getting Everything for as Little as Possible

One of the great things about traveling in certain parts of the world, such as Southeast Asia, is that many things cost a fraction of the price that they do at home; your money can go really far sometimes and it can amaze you how  inexpensive things like food, clothing, wellness treatments and hotels can be. In many places I have been, you can get a meal from one of the street vendors for as little as a dollar, sometimes less. A bed in a hostel may cost as little as a few dollars a night, though my hostel days are behind me so I cannot attest to their condition! The idea of trying to spend as little as possible because you have the opportunity to purchase such inexpensive things can grow into a bit of an obsession however that can put an unnecessary damper on your trip. Do not miss out on the amazing Italian restaurant run by an actual Italian chef that you really want to try because you know that you can eat for a dollar elsewhere. Do not pass up that really nice hotel that costs a mere 30 dollars a night because there is another one up the street that only costs 10, but is a crap hole. This is not to say that you must spend more money simply because you have more to spend, but if you can travel in style a bit more, do not deny yourself the opportunity simply because you have become intoxicated with the low prices.

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Kelli Cooper
About the Author:

Kelli Cooper is a freelance writer who is passionate about travel and enjoys sharing insights and advice based on her own experiences; if you are interested in Canadian travel insurance, a sites like Kanetix are great for getting quotes from multiple carriers.

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