Funding Your Fun

While traveling to new and exciting places can be one of the great joys in life, finding yourself stranded and penniless in a place you are unfamiliar with can be not only annoying but dangerous.  In addition to allowing for amenities and souvenirs throughout your trip, access to finances are essential in providing for your basic mobility and resulting safety.  Of course, a lot of less experienced travelers expect for the same general checking and withdrawal processes to hold true, even overseas.  Before you leave home, follow this general money guide to be sure you’ve accounted for the necessary funds to guarantee your fun.

Know Key Info About Travelers Checks – Travelers checks, contrary to some people’s popular belief, are not as good as gold.  Actually perhaps the best analogy would be credit cards, as there are several different brands of travelers checks, many of which are accepted in different places, others not so much.   First, find out what types of travelers checks are accepted within the country you’re visited, not to mention how common they are/ widely they’re used.  Major tourist destinations are more likely to take travelers checks universally, but if you go off the beaten path a bit, be sure bring auxiliary payment methods with you.

Let Credit Card Companies Work For You – Having a credit card denied is uncomfortable whether you’re across town, across the country or across the ocean.  Unusual spending habits, as often occur on vacation, not to mention credit card use in unfamiliar locations, is a code red for your plastic protectors.  Be sure to notify credit card companies where you will be and how long you will be gone.  In addition to dialing back security precautions, the company can also let you know approximately how widely their credit card is accepted in your destination and if it is accepted at specific venues.

Use the ATM wisely – ATMs, in foreign countries especially, may not be as prevalent or easy to locate as you are accustomed to.  Make sure to stop by before you are out of money as not to find yourself thirsty for cash with no watering hole.  Also, ATMs will dispense cash in local currency so stay up to date on conversion rates to be sure it makes sense to withdraw as opposed to paying with dollars or charge.