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Why You Need Cash When You Travel

On almost everyone’s packing list are the essentials, clothes, shoes, toiletries, camera equipment and battery chargers. One thing we almost never have on our list is cash or foreign currency.

Do you really need to carry cash with you when you travel?

Today, we are so used to just using plastic for everything. This doesn’t work so well in some countries where business can’t take card payments. If you end up in a small town and where there is no working ATM machine, you could be in trouble. Having some cash on your will tide you over until you find a way to get money from an ATM.

In cases like this, you really need to have some cash on hand. It will get you out of a sticky situation as cash talks.

On arriving at a new country, taking a cab or bus from the airport will be your first purchase. These services may be able to take payments by card but they most certainly will take cash. If you are a bit jet lagged after getting off the train, it’s not a good idea to do mental arithmetic to work out of your taxi fare was fair or not. Ask at the information desk at the airport and get the cash ready. How to safely carry cash when you travel?

It can feel unsafe to carry cash around with you when you travel in a strange country. There are ways to carry your cash that makes it safer.

You can split the cash into different bundles. Make sure that you carry some in your pockets and some in your bag. So that if the worst should happen, you have not lost all your money.

If you are staying somewhere that has a safe, leave some cash in the hotel and carry around just enough for the day.

When you buy foreign currency online from Xchange of America, it’s a good idea request an amount in small notes. Nothing is more attractive to crooks than an unsuspecting tourist waving around big notes. Be inconspicuous and use the small notes.

Most developed countries are used to taking payments with plastic. Even so, you really need to have an amount in emergency cash with you for your peace of mind.

If you run out of cash when you are traveling, you can always take more out at a local ATM. Depending on your bank, you usually get quite a good exchange rate doing this. However, you don’t always know if the cash machine is taking a fee or if your bank or card will charge you a foreign transaction fee. All these costs add up. Better if you had some dollars on you from home.

Alternatively, you can also buy foreign currency at a local bank or exchange with a credit card. With these transactions, you don’t normally get the best exchange rates.

You will almost always get charged a transaction fee for using a card while you’re abroad. Make sure you find out what the fee is and it might make it worth your while to take out cash and buy your currency with that instead.


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