We value our editorial independence, basing our comparison results, content and reviews on objective analysis without bias. But we may receive compensation when you click links on our site. Learn more about how we make money from our partners.
How to organize your travel money before you travel
Looking to organize your travel money like a pro? Use these tips and tricks.
When you are preparing for a vacation, you might plan for vaccinations, passport applications and flight bookings. But one of the most important aspects of travel planning is knowing your travel money options and what you’ll need to get around so you don’t run into financial trouble. After all, being in a foreign country without access to money can be the difference between a good and bad vacation.
Follow these 10 easy travel money tips and your vacation cash flow should be all set!
Once you figure it out, spread out your funds between different travel money options. For example, pay for necessities and large purchases using a rewards credit card and use a debit card for ATM cash withdrawals. Don’t forget to put aside some cash for emergencies.
2. Research and study
Browse our country-specific travel money guides for more information on which countries accept which credit card networks.
3. Fund your trip
Consider credit cards with generous welcome offers. With your travel expenses getting close, you can easily clear the welcome offer and pay for your flights or for future trips.
4. Consider travel insurance
This can save you the hassle of securing your own insurance and save cash in policy fees. Before applying though, make sure you’re eligible for the complimentary insurance and know exactly what it covers.
5. Compare and combine travel money options
And there’s always the travel-friendly prepaid card with free international ATM withdrawals and zero currency conversion fees. Always bring along cash too, it’ll likely be accepted everywhere and can help out in a pinch.
6. Start applying for the card(s)
Apply for your card sooner than later so you’re not receiving and activating it at the last minute. Once you receive your new card, set up a secure PIN. And if you receive a backup card, be sure to keep that somewhere safe.
Compare travel credit cards
Why we like: Travelex Money Card
Load GBP, EUR, CAD, AUD, JPY or MXN onto this prepaid travel money card and use it at millions of locations worldwide.
- Not linked to your bank account for safety.
- Convert currency with a 5.50% Foreign Exchange Fee
- Contactless payments
- Reload, withdraw, or replace your card for free.
7. Load funds on your card
Don’t wait until the last minute to load funds because it can take some time for them to appear in your account, depending on how you load the money.
8. Exchange foreign currency
Don’t wait until you’re at the airport to change your money because those exchange desks tend to charge the highest margins and fees. Either buy some foreign currency before leaving or use an international ATM when you arrive at your destination.
9. Call your bank
While you can contact your bank to request for the account to be unfrozen, you’ll save a lot of time, inconvenience and potential embarrassment if you just contact your bank or set a travel alert via your bank’s mobile app.
Contact your issuer immediately if your credit, debit or travel card is lost, damaged or stolen during travel.
10. Pack for your trip
With a good dose of common sense and awareness, you can have a great, stress-free vacation. Consider taking multiple money options, such as travel credit cards for purchases and debit cards for ATM cash withdrawals. The more prepared you are with money, the more likely you’ll be to have a smooth and easy trip abroad.
Ask an Expert