How to Get Money Overseas
You're heading overseas! You've planned, saved, prepared, packed, made countless lists, bought tickets, and booked accommodations. When you're on the ground on your international travels, and need to ensure that you have a steady flow of money to finance those travels, how do you access your cash? What do you do? While it can seem confusing (especially with exchange rates), it's not that difficult. You just need to be aware of your options.
Here are our top tips for getting your money overseas:
1. Make sure your bank knows that you'll be overseas. You should call your bank beforehand, and let them know where and when you'll be traveling. They'll flag your account, and make sure to watch for unexplained charges (in case your ATM card gets stolen). Also ask about currency conversion fees - so you're not surprised.
2. Make sure your credit card companies know you'll be overseas. Ditto for the bank information, above (including currency conversion fees). And, ask if you can use your credit card in certain countries. My brother was surprised to find out he couldn't use his credit card in Colombia. He had to find lots of cash a few days beforehand, and carry it with him.
3. Find an international bank. You can exchange traveler's checks there, or perhaps arrange for a wire transfer of funds. Ask around for the most reputable international bank wherever you are, and head there. Traveler's Checks, while not as popular nowadays, can be replaced if lost or stolen. GREAT idea.
4. Bring Cash. While this is always an option, you still need to exchange the cash (unless the country you're in operates on the US Dollar). Try to get the best exchange rate you can. And, be very careful - you have a big dollar-shaped target on your back, when you have a fat wallet.
And have fun! You'll be prepared to buy what you need, eat well, explore the country, and have the time of your life. Bon Voyage!