How to save money while traveling? Sharing our best practices

How to save money while traveling? Sharing our best practices

Losing your only bank card while traveling can result in dealing with an empty wallet instead of a vacation. We talked to Danis Sahabutdinov, founder of the Telegram channel Travelhacks, about avoiding this and preparing.

What to choose: bank card or cash?
A bank card is always preferable to cash. The latter is still worth taking with you – no one is safe from losing a wallet or phone. Also, it is not possible to pay with a card everywhere abroad.

Please keep them in a safe place: in the inner and protected pockets of your clothes or a safe. If you forget to withdraw money in advance, you can do it in the country of arrival. Even with the fee, the loss will not be so significant.

What currency should I bring?
In Europe, it is better to take the euro. In the rest of the world, more valuable American dollars. Different places for exchange have their advantages and disadvantages.

01- ATMs
Good for whom. Those who don’t want to spend much time or don’t have it left.

Pros. No need to look for exchanges or banks. You can cash out at the nearest ATM.

Cons. Not all ATMs dispense currency, and in most cases, it is only dollars or euros. Also, there may be no banknotes of the required denomination.

02- Banks
Suitable for whom. For those who do not want to lose the value of currencies.

Pros. You have the opportunity to compare several currency prices and choose the most favorable offer.

Cons. The difference between the exchange rates is usually 1-2 rubles, and you will not save much. Also, this option is inconvenient because you have to go to the bank – probably more than one.

Who is suitable for this option. For those who want to take currency at the lowest prices.

Pros. The exchange rate in the exchangers favorably differs from the banks and is below their average value.

Cons. There is a risk of encountering fraudsters, so find out which bank the exchanger belongs to before exchanging money. Because of the lack of statistics, it is not possible to compare different rates in advance.

04- Currency Card
Who is suitable for it. For those who do not want to overpay. With these cards, there are fewer conversions, or none at all, if the local currency coincides with the card’s money.

Pros. It’s worth opening a foreign currency account in a bank, where you already have a ruble account, and linking the card to it. In this case, if you need to transfer money from the ruble card to the foreign currency card, you will lose practically nothing.

The disadvantages. Often you have to have a separate card and pay for its maintenance.

How do you protect your money when you travel?
Open accounts at several banks and link them to different SIM cards. You should have one or more backup accounts that you can use in case you lose them.

It is helpful to put spending and cash withdrawal limits on all cards – for example, 10-15 thousand rubles. If you’re getting close to that limit and still need the money, increase the limit.

Scammers often copy cards and try to withdraw money from them. Sometimes, online stores do not require confirmation of transactions by SMS, so it is possible to remove large sums of money from the card virtually unbeknownst to the cardholder. Restrictions help: if the purchase amount exceeds the limit, the bank will immediately block the card, considering the operation suspicious.

What to do if you are left abroad without money?
If your wallet and cash were stolen but still have your phone, the situation is correctable. Try not to take all your cards with you. Then, after the theft, you can use your phone to buy a ticket home or pay for a hotel. And block the stolen cards afterward.

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