Today we have a guest post from Gavan with iCompareFX. Take it away Gavan.
Travelling overseas brings with it a range of positive experiences. However, people who’re new to holidaying internationally might find dealing with money matters a little daunting. The good thing is that paying attention to a few simple aspects can go a long way in helping you make the most of your money.
The number of people who buy travel insurance cover and make subsequent claims continues to rise globally. While travel insurance comes at a cost, it also provides considerable protection in different scenarios. Depending on the type of cover you purchase, you may get cover against medical expenses, lost or misplaced baggage, flight delays and cancellations, as well as emergency evacuations. Incidentally, several premium credit cards come with complimentary travel insurance.
Matt Says: I can't stress enough the importance of good travel insurance. When I had my near-death experience in the US, my medical bills came to over $300,000! If it weren't for good travel insurance I could have lost everything. You can read more about my experience here.
You can’t do much with your debit or credit cards if you want to deal with businesses that don’t accept card payments. As a result, make sure you carry enough cash in the local currency. While it makes sense to pay for smaller purchases using cash, you might also need cash to pay for large-value transactions depending on the country you plan to visit. For instance, finding merchants that accept card payments might be problematic in small towns and villages across several parts of South America, Africa, Eastern Europe, and Asia.
Paying for your accommodation and local car hire before you leave your home country might work well for you. This way, you don’t have to worry about getting unfavourable exchange rates or paying steep fees in the country you visit.
When sending money overseas, consider comparing specialist international money transfer companies instead of turning to banks. This is because the former typically rate better when it comes to cost effectiveness, speed, and customer service. Depending on where you live, you may choose from alternatives such as TransferWise, WorldFirst, OFX, and XE Money Transfer.
Before using your credit or debit cards when overseas, determine if you will need to pay international transaction fees. If all your cards charge this fee, think about getting one that does not.
To withdraw money from an ATM, use your debit card instead of your credit card. Using a credit card attracts a cash advance fee, and you also need to start paying interest from the date of the transaction. Some debit cards require that you pay international ATM fees. In addition, local ATM operators might also charge separate fees.
If a merchant asks you if you wish to pay in your home currency or the local currency, always pick your home currency. This way, you avoid dynamic currency conversion (DCC), which typically results in poorer deals.
Before you think about bargaining, consider if it is appropriate in the situation. For instance, while bargaining when shopping for jewellery at the Chopard Boutique in Switzerland is not the best way forward, you can expect it to yield great results in a flea market in India. If a merchant lowers the price of an item you wish to purchase ever so slightly, it’s an indication that you can put your bargaining skills to the test.
Saving money when going on an international holiday is not that difficult, provided you know what to do and what to avoid. Simply paying attention to the nuances, in some instances, can lead to savings. Getting an international roaming plan for your phone and avoiding going overboard with tipping are two basic examples. So, keep your eyes open, and try to make the most of any given opportunity.
About the Author
Gavan Smythe is the founder of iCompareFX. This website lets users compare the world’s best international money transfer companies across offered services and features. When he’s not busy with work, Gav likes spending time with his family.