Prepare your money matters before embarking on a long-term international trip. Travelers, especially travelers with children, need to have their bank accounts and budgets sorted before getting on a plane or boat.
Planning in advance will save you from money woes while you're in the middle of enjoying your vacation or stuck in another country without access to your bank.
Get the Right Bank Account
Even if you prefer to use physical currency when out of the country, you'll face moments when you need to pull out your debit or credit card. When that occasion happens, you want to know that you won't face exorbitant fees for using your card internationally. Seek out a bank account without international withdrawal fees. Some of the best accounts will remit ATM service charges.
Look for Banking Apps and Savings Links
Your bank account needs more features than simply low or no international fees. One major feature is a mobile app or at least an internet banking option. With this option, you can check your funds while you're traveling.
If you're unfamiliar with the local currency and exchange rate, checking your bank account will give you your spending in dollars. You also want a link between your checking and savings accounts. If you run into unexpected expenses while traveling, the savings account link is indispensable.
Set Up Auto Payments
Asking yourself to remember to pay the bills from your long-term vacation is asking too much. To keep any bills from being delinquent and affecting your credit score, set up auto payments through your service providers. Many cable, electricity, and utility providers have auto-debit options, so connect your accounts and set up automatic payments before you go. You'll thank yourself when you don't have to fear coming home to no lights and no air conditioning because you forgot to pay the electric bill.
Plan for Emergencies
You have someone watching your house and your car, right? If something happens, make sure that person is able to handle any issues. Leave secure checks with a friend or family members in case an emergency happens at home. If a pipe bursts, you don't want to wait for funds to transfer between time zones to pay the plumber.
Shop Local Currency Before You Leave
Before you go, research getting the local currency in the countries where you'll be traveling. Chances are you can exchange at least some currency at home for a lower rate than you could abroad. Plus, once you arrive at your destination, that currency will already be available to you. At home, you can look for the best rate before exchanging, since different outlets will offer slightly different rates. Abroad, you may be stuck with the nearest currency exchange, which could impale you with terrible exchange rates.
Plan for more expenses than you think you'll incur; budget extra for what you can't foresee. Planning your travel finances does not need to be complicated. The goal is to make money matters simple once you're on your journeys. When you take time to set up the right accounts beforehand, you'll be fine during your travels.