Means of paying on the go

  • Written by  BPP
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Illustration Illustration By 401(K) 2012 (Own work), via Flickr, Creative Commons Licence

Unless you are one of those people who somehow magically manage to go through life without a single coin, you will have to reach down you pocket to travel. Not very deep, if you follow the advice on on this site, but still.

Besides cash, which is always the preferred method of paying (because it is accepted everywhere), there are few more ways you can buy stuff. We will set aside the big expenses like an airplane ticket and focus on paying the smaller amounts like souvenirs, food, local transportation, etc.

Travelers Cheque

Travelers Cheques
This used to be the best way to carry travel money, but since ATM machines and cards became widely available, they are not so widespread. Nevertheless, it can be worthwhile taking some money in this form in case you happen to lose your wallet with all your credit and debit cards or if you find out upon arrival that your cards do not work on the local ATM.
The beauty of travelers cheques is that they can be replaced if lost or stolen so it is wise to keep a copy of your cheque numbers somewhere safe (not with the cheques).
Most widely accepted cheques are from American Express, Thomas Cook and Visa. It would be wise not to use anything else since they might not be recognized or accepted by many people. Also, for currency, try to buy them in British pounds, US Dollars or Euros since those currencies are accepted in most countries.
You should check which kind of cheques does the destination country accept before you go on the road. Another tip worth knowing; you should carry a purchase record with you since it might be needed as a proof for cashing them or claim refund if stolen. And the last tip, make sure the signature on cheques matches your signature on your passport.

Credit CardsCredit Cards
Most travelers own at least one credit card so this should also be mentioned as a good way of paying for goods. One of the advantages of a credit card is a favorable currency exchange rate. Also, spending more than you really have is possible, depending on your cards limits.
Credit cards are often tied to some of the Airlines so every dollar you spend counts towards your free miles for the next trip.
As for owners protection, many credit card companies have some sort of identity protection plans so it would be wise for you to contact them before you go letting them know which country are you travelling to since your card might be declined at your destination.

Debit Cards
This is really the best way of carrying money with you. It is safe because you have to enter PIN to use it, you can spend just the amount you have on your current account and most of the ATM machines accept it (although this should always be checked before you go).
Prepaid Cards
Excellent choice of a card for travelling since you can prepay the amount you want to be available for spending (so it works as a debit card).

Money and CardSo, to sum up, for plastics:
- for all the cards you should always check if they will work on the destination
- check the expiry dates on all cards
- make sure all cards are signed and the signature matches your passport
- Don't rely on just one card on your journey since they sometimes get swallowed by ATM's for no apparent reason and there s no way to get it back
- if you're on a limited budget, try to keep track of your expenses. You don’t want to be left broke half way around the world

At the end, be sure to check out our guide for protecting your money on the go.


Which Method of paying on your trips do you prefer?

Only cash
Credit Cards
Debit or Prepaid cards
Travelers Cheques
Combination of few or all of the above
Total votes: 1

Last modified on Tuesday, 20 August 2013 19:42


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