Money and Travel

Money is the biggest part of planning any trip overseas. It is the most important resource that will be needed when travelling and it comes in many different shapes and sizes. People have different ways of using their money while overseas on holidays. It can be used in cash form and the other common one is plastic known as cards. Money can make the difference between having a great time or having to ask family for more money. Running out of money before the end of a trip would not be good for anyone.

Before traveling to certain countries you will have to make arrangements by looking at what the exchange rate is especially when they are vastly different between countries and currency converters will tell you how much you will have or how much in your money something will be and then make a decision based on the cost. The biggest factors to any travel overseas are flights, accommodation and transport.  Before leaving the main group to inform is actually the banks. They keep a watch on strange occurrences through your bank cards like if they are being used overseas. So long as they know then you wont have problems with your money. Don’t have too much cash on your person as some countries frown on you having large amounts like $10,000 on your person. There are sniffer dogs that can detect money.

Some of the best deals can be done if things can be booked in advance especially several weeks. You may get discounts on train or bus fares. In the UK there are certain times of the day when the train is cheapest to travel on and sometimes you might have to get there by 4am. New Zealand you can book a seat on the bus for as little as $1 depending on where you want to go. The highest bus fare ended up being $30. Most of the advance bookings is peace of mind and knowing where you are going, which means tours can be organised. All you have to do is research and keep an eye out on various websites to see what is happening. Sometimes you can get caught out though. What could be a cheap airfare turns into one that is a little more expensive with the inclusion of baggage especially with easyjet and extras.

When I am away traveling to different countries like London, Paris or New Zealand, I am aware of the currency I need. I used to get some money converted by the post office weeks before I left. Now I change money while at the airport as it is easier. I also keep some money in the Australian dollar as I want to buy some snacks or water before leaving the country. The plane also has a choice of currency to be used between your country of travel and the one you have left. I use cash for small purchases like food and also have one credit card and a direct debit card, which both work. Today the cards come with chips, which do help. It is annoying when you have to sign as your card does not have one. I was caught out once when having to fly from London to Copenhagen. I thought I needed Euros when it was not part of the countries that hold Euro. Luckily the currency people sorted it out.

Depending on the country the ATMs are plentiful and easy to use even in Paris as they have an English language option. They usually dispense small notes and I have been told many towns do not like large notes, especially the £50 notes. London has no problems, but many currency agencies at airports and back in Australia do hand over larger notes. When buying products and services from machines like tickets for the train make sure you wait for the change to come out. People in Paris are gifted at putting their hands into the coin dispenser and taking your change before you have stepped away. The MRT in Singapore, which is their underground rail have a system where you return the cards after your travel is complete and you receive around $1 in return. While away I keep a close eye on my spending and also my bank account since I use internet banking, which means I can transfer money over if I need it from one account to another.

The laws of countries can leave you out of pocket for various reasons. Sometimes there are airport taxes for departing countries. One was New Zealand, although I don’t think they do this any longer. Not holding a ticket or even correct ticket may result in having to pay for another and maybe a fine as well. If a person pays by concession for two tickets and they depart from one stop and you continue on then you need a new ticket as the card holder needs to be present especially in the UK. Singapore prides itself on being a fine city known for fining people for anything from spitting on the streets to consuming food on the MRT. Depending on the country there will be revenue people wandering around asking for tickets and they can inform you if you are on the wrong train.

One of the biggest tips about overseas travel is not to give people money and make sure whatever holds your money is secure. It goes for your passport as well as it can be easier to have on your person and your room could be secure. People will ask you for money on the streets and many are professional beggars especially the Gypsys that are around in Europe and seem to always dress in similar clothing. Trinkets like rings dropped onto the ground will have people wanting a reward, Notes handed over asking for money in English or asking if you speak English and then handing notes over. While eating a donut and a drink in hand while in Copenhagen a lady wanted money and I told her no money. She badgered, but this never worked as I wasn’t encouraging more people to try or lose my wallet. In Kuala Lumpur at Sentral station I had two people with notes and I suspect the same note asking for money claiming they were deaf. Don’t hop into strange cars with people who claim to have lost all their money gambling, but don’t want money except for you to fill their car up with fuel.

Many things cost you in different ways. Doing your laundry does have a cost and not usually built into where you are staying or there may be a Laundromat nearby. Internet is not always free and while you can visit the local McDonalds it is usually convenient to get it where you are staying. Some hostels charge per megabyte or by the hour, just depending on the company used. Hiring a towel also has a small charge, along with breakfast.

So long as you have money for the services that are available and take care on how you spend the money then you should have no problems with traveling. The money has to last for the entire trip even if you are getting paid through work or something else. No one would be able to bail you out if there is any difficulties financially as it might not be possible. Be aware of visa conditions as the country may talk to you and explain you may not have enough money to stay or anything could occur.

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