travelling abroad, handling finances always remains the topmost concerns. While there are no exact guidelines for this, following certain thumb rules can help you manage your money abroad.
Plan well in advance, about the amount of money you are likely to need. You can ask your travel advisor, other experienced travellers or even research online. Go through your trip itinerary and list down the amounts you are likely to need. A back of the envelop calculation should give you good number to start with. Consider an additional buffer of 20-30% and you should so well. Remember, at times, you might need to carry USDs or Euros as the secondary currency and convert locally as and when you need.
Carrying Cash - Forex cards and Travellers Cheques
You must realise that affiliating with your current bank will not be a cost-effective option internationally. Credit unions as well as banks charge hefty foreign transaction fees on debit and credit cards. In such a scenario, Forex cards can be a great option. If you are not good with carrying cash, travellers’ cheques can be a good option too. This way, you will budget as per your requirement and have enough money by the end of the week.
If you are planning to live abroad for a longer time, it is advisable that you open an account with a local bank.
Know the Exchange Rate
Every time you buy something, attempting price conversions and calculations in your head can be daunting. Take the initiative of knowing the local currency's value vis-à-vis your home country. Once you get a hold over the basic price elements, compare the rates with your new location to evaluate whether an item is inexpensive or costly.
Safeguard Your Cash
When travelling to foreign lands, most travellers rely on cash. However, a shrinking wallet will tell you how much you have spent and will always keep you on your toes. When you are out for sightseeing, make sure you carry only enough cash for a day and keep the remaining amount at a secure location. Preferably within a password protected vault at your hotel.
Overseas Health Insurance
Ask anyone who has fallen sick or met with an accident when travelling abroad. He or she will tell you that footing a hefty hospital bill was the last thing they expected. A medical condition can throw your finances off-track, leaving you in an extremely tight spot. Some travellers are smarter. They opt for overseas health insurance. Some regions and even foreign universities have made it mandatory to carry health insurance while visiting them.
Visiting foreign lands is exciting and memorable. Plan well to ensure that you don’t face undue financial challenges.
Disclaimer: Insurance Awareness initiative.
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