Four travel tips for managing your cash and cards abroad

12/08/2014 - Jessica Whyte

At Gap 360, we are often asked for advice about what money you should take with you when you travel, and also what are the best ways of managing your travel money when you are abroad. We’ve put together our top four tips to help make taking money abroad as hassle-free as possible:

1. DO take a debit card

We recommend that you take your debit card with you when you travel, as most destinations have ATMs available where you can withdraw cash. Make sure you inform your bank of your travel plans before you travel, so they expect you to use your debit card abroad. If you have online banking (which is highly recommended for any traveller) then you may be able to let your bank know about the countries you are travelling to using your online account. Check with your bank what they charge each time you withdraw cash abroad, and also double-check if there is an extra charge applied at each individual ATM machine. Keep a record of your bank’s emergency numbers in case your card is lost or stolen.

2. DO consider getting a pre-paid travel cash card

Some travellers choose to take a credit card with them as a back-up, but an increasingly popular and much safer way to use credit is to get a pre-paid travel cash card (like Caxton FX) for use when you are abroad. A cash card is one of the most secure ways of managing your money and can be loaded with as much money as you need, either online, by phone or by text message, in Pounds, Euros or Dollars. It works in the same way as a credit card but without the added commission. You can pay using a travel cash card in millions of outlets worldwide and as it isn’t linked to your bank account you can be sure that your funds will stay safe. You can also withdraw money in local currency from ATM’s all across the world using your cash card, with great value exchange rates. It is not advisable to use a regular credit card to make cash withdrawals from ATMs. A cash card is one of the safest ways of carrying currency and offers a hassle-free solution to your money concerns.  It’s a flexible and easy way to carry money while you travel!

3. DON’T take travellers’ cheques

Travellers’ cheques were once the preferred method for exchanging money while you were travelling, but they are no longer the recommended way to manage your money abroad. We do not advise that you take travellers’ cheques, as it is now often difficult to exchange them in many destinations. You don’t want to find you are carrying unnecessary travellers’ cheques on you and yet can’t find anywhere to exchange money! It’s much safer and easier to get a prepaid travel cash card as a back-up financial plan.

4. DO take some cash with you when you go

We advise that you take some cash with you when you go travelling so you have a cash cushion for any urgent costs. You may choose to take some cash in local currency, or alternatively take some Pounds Sterling or US Dollars, which are both sensible alternative currencies to carry. When you are carrying cash abroad it is best if you don’t keep all your cash in the same place and don’t carry a lot of cash with you at any one time. If you do choose to wear a money belt, keep it well hidden and don’t flash your cash!

For more advice about managing your money abroad visit the Foreign and Commonwealth Office advice pages at



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