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How do you look after your money while travelling?

Travel and MoneyI receive lots of travel related questions from readers of The Travel Hack but I was sent one last week that stumped me and it’s a question that I should really know the answer to:

“What’s the best way to look after your money while you’re travelling?”

I travel all the time, I should know this!

Of course, I began with a trusty Google search, confident that I’d find the answer there. After hours of research I was even more confused about the best way to look after your money while you’re abroad.

Personally, I exchange a small amount of cash (usually at the Post Office) before I leave and make sure I have enough for taxis and emergencies. I then simply withdraw cash using my regular debit card from an ATM. Whenever possible I use an ATM that doesn’t charge but this isn’t always possible.

Travelling with my money in this way is simple and hassle-free but I’m sure I’m losing out on exchange rates and withdrawal fees. When I was in the US I was being charged up to £4.50 for each withdrawal due to my bank charging me and then the ATM charging me too.

I’ve asked around and everyone seems to use a different method to look after their foreign currency.

Some people will use a pre-paid travel card, others use bank accounts that don’t charge (even if it means changing banks or opening a new account), some people just use cash and many use credit cards. But which is best?

So I’d like to put this to you. How do you look after your money while you’re travelling?

Let us know in the comments below and hopefully one solution will stand out as the best!


Monday 28th of July 2014

When travelling in EU I use the Caxton fx currency card (its also available in dollars). You load your money before going or whilst there with the app. They give a better exchange rate than other cards or the banks, plus you don't get charged when withdrawing money!


Monday 28th of July 2014

I've heard a lot about the Caxton FX card and that app sounds really handy too.

Things to Think About When Planning Your Trip | The Travel Hack

Monday 30th of June 2014

[…] Money and budgeting is probably your next most important thing to consider. Having enough cash to cover a cab to your accommodation is definitely a good idea, but travelling with more than that is probably unnecessary. Cash is helpful, but most often a credit card will do, just remember to call ahead and alert your credit card company. Save yourself the ten-minute game of charades with the concierge about how you do have the money, and call ahead to make sure Visa doesn’t cancel your hotel payment. […]


Friday 6th of June 2014

We keep a bank account open just for travel that doesn't charge for any international withdrawals, it's with Norwich and Peterborough Building society. For people that travel a lot it's a perfect solution. We also have a back-up credit card from Halifax that does the same thing. I never get money exchanged beforehand, just wait until we arrive at the airport and get it out for free.

Adam @ Round the World we go

Tuesday 10th of June 2014

Fantastic idea, I'm going to look into this - I've heard about the N&P card before but not thought about getting money out at the air port for free

Deia @ Nomad Wallet

Monday 26th of May 2014

If you travel a lot, it's worth the trouble to open new accounts just to avoid fees. All you need is a credit card with no currency conversion fees, a debit card with no ATM fees, and you're set!

Alana - Paper Planes

Saturday 24th of May 2014

How you handle your money depends on where you go - in Southeast Asia you can't use a credit card for most things (unless you're only staying in high-end places and spending a ton) so you need a good ATM card, but in other places like the States, everyone just pays by credit.