5 Most Common Travel Money Mistakes & How To Avoid Them

Even the most seasoned travellers can fall into trouble when it comes to managing money the right way on the go. Although you may have a plan for your money and have budgeted for big-ticket items, you may have forgotten smaller costs like public transport, parking tickets and even tolls.

To avoid spending more than you have to and keep your travel savings intact, take a look at these most common travel money mistakes and learn how to avoid them.

Most Common Travel Money Mistakes & How To Avoid Them

Travelling without a budget

Do you find yourself stressing about money during your trip or worse running out of money during a trip? Some of you may not have experienced such situations, may be good with money and already have a plan on how you’ll be spending while on a trip. Even for them, a travel budget is great tool. It helps you have a solid plan and enjoy a stress-free holiday. No matter at what stage of trip planning you may be at, a travel budget will help you create a more realistic travel plan.

A travel budget will help you set realistic travel savings goals and make the best spending choices on the go.

Learn how to create a realistic travel budget now.

Exchanging money at the airport

lost baggage travel air claim

If you’ve travelled abroad, you’ll already know that the biggest drain on your pocket will be through foreign exchange conversion fees. And these fees are the highest at airports. There are many reasons why this is the case. Airport kiosks incur higher operating costs and fees, which are passed on to travellers in the form of high margins of even up to 15%. There is also not much incentive for these exchange kiosks to offer competitive exchange rates as travellers have limited options in the airport.

Withdrawing money from a local ATM is the best and most cost-effective way of converting foreign exchange. Also, exchanging at a branch of a reputable bank comes a close second. Read more on how to get the best exchange rates while travelling.

Travelling without an insurance

This is one of the biggest and most common mistakes that travellers make to save a few pennies. Most often, they end up losing out a chunk of money from their trip fund because of not being insured. Some countries have made it compulsory for travellers to take out a travel insurance. However, even if you are travelling to one that doesn’t make it mandatory, you’re better off with an insurance.

From trip cancellation to accident claims, medical fees, lost baggage, cancelled flights and travel delays, a travel insurance can cover a huge spectrum of situations. If you travel frequently, investing in an annual plan may turn out cheaper for you. Also, if you’re travelling with a lot of equipment or costly items, you should definitely get insured.

Read more about how to choose the best travel insurance for you.

Using public Wi-Fi for financial transactions

Given that a lot of countries offer free Wi-Fi at airports, public spaces and public transport, it is best to avoid using them to do financial transactions online. Avoid checking your bank balance, making online payments or logging in to financial services using sensitive passwords. Sometimes you don’t even have to proactively log in to a banking-related service. When your device connects to the Wi-Fi network, many applications running in the background may go online. So even if your sensitive information may not get leaked, some other useful information like email address, birthday, bank name etc can be leaked.

So how do you stay safe online? Keep your device software updates. Use internet on a data plan. It is always safer than a public Wi-Fi. If you cannot avoiding making an online payment when connected to a public network, then opt to pay with your credit card than your debit card. Switch off the option to connect to networks automatically on your devices. Or, even try using a VPN while travelling.

Paying high fees for ATM withdrawals

Agreed that we just told you that the best way to save unnecessary fees on foreign exchange conversion, but don’t lose the money you just saved by paying high withdrawal fees on your cards.

In this day and age of smart travel, you have no excuse for not having a travel card that allows you to withdraw money abroad for free. Unlike prepaid travel cards that give you great exchange rates, travel cards like Starling, N26, Transferwise and Revolut offer free ATm withdrawals and give you cards that have your name on it. These cards can also be controlled by their respective apps, that notifies you of every transaction completed with the card and even allows you to freeze the card if you lose it.

Read more in this huge list of the best travel credit and debit cards.


Your personalized travel assistant

Being in control of your money isn’t easy, it’s hard work. Especially when you’re excited, you may be prone to spend more than what you can afford. The Wallet app can help you better organize your money ahead of time. You can sync your bank information, set up travel budgets, and view custom reports to see how much available spending you have left.

Over to you

Have we left out any common travel money mistake in our list? Do let us know if we have and let us know your ideas and suggestions to avoid these common travel money mistakes in the comments section below.

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