After saving for months, you are finally ready to set sail and go on that well deserved vacation. Hooray! However, if you’re not careful, you can end up mismanaging your money and going over budget. Speaking from experience, this has happened to me on several occasions. In this episode, I share how to manage your money while traveling abroad and domestically. Tips include picking the right credit card to maximize travel rewards, carrying cash, monitoring your spending daily, using currency converter apps, and more.
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- Read my ebook Affording Travel: Saving Strategies For Financially Savvy Travelers for simple tips for prioritizing travel in your budget.
- Oanda Currency Converter
How To Manage Money While Traveling
1. Pick the right credit card
One of the first things that I want you to consider doing is picking the right travel rewards credit card. You want to pick the credit cards that offer you maximum points and miles — 2x, 3x, maybe even 5x cash back on key spending categories. What are those categories? Those categories are travel (transportation, hotel, lodging, airfare, taxis, parking, and car rentals), dining and groceries. Figure out what are the most common type of expenses you’re going to have on the road and make sure that you bring a credit card that allows you to maximize as many points and miles as possible.
2. Notify your credit card company
Notify your credit card company that you are going to be traveling either out of state or out of the country. What you do not want to happen is for your credit card company to assume that there’s no way you’re going to be in Washington when you live in New York and they pause your credit card. If that’s the only credit card that you brought with you, you’re going to be out of luck.
3. Carry cash
While I am always trying to maximize earning as many points and miles as possible, I understand that there may be an emergency where I’ll need cash. Perhaps I may not be able to run out to the ATM, so always carry cash.
4. Daily money check-ins
When I was younger, I would overspend while traveling and had to spend months doing damage control. So how do I mitigate that risk now? I try to do daily check-ins with my travel finances. I log into my credit card account and I pay off the balance immediately. I love this strategy because I get to use my credit card as a debit card. I know daily may be difficult for a lot of people, but it can be beneficial. Give this strategy a try on your next vacation.
What are the best ways to manage money while traveling? What tips would you add to this list?