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Traveling a Foreign Country: Should You Bring Cash?

Have you ever wondered whether or not you should bring cash when traveling to a foreign country? Is it safe to carry cash, or is a credit card better? These questions have likely crossed your mind before purchasing plane tickets and researching flights and destinations. While seasoned travelers tend to know what to pack, it can be difficult for first-time travelers to decide what to bring and what to leave behind. This post will cover both sides of the story and, hopefully, leave you better positioned to make your decision.


Traveling a Foreign Country


Cash Isn’t Necessary

The first half of the argument says that you don’t need to take any cash with you, primarily because you can open accounts in different currencies with the help of technology. Nowadays, you have access to several “borderless” bank accounts that enable you to change your native currency to that of the country you are traveling to. Once you arrive, you can use your debit card to withdraw from almost any ATM or local business. Some options, like Payoneer, enable you to set up an account easily, deposit funds from your local bank account, and convert the currency from within their application. If you’re looking for a good review about Payoneer, you can check online, but the fact that it allows you access to online payments in over 200 countries and 150 local currencies should be enough to convince you of its value. Moreover, you can request a debit card that you can use in any country that accepts Visa or Mastercard. Nevertheless, there are upsides and downsides to reducing your reliance on cash. 


Pros Of A Cashless Vacation

  • It can be safer: Carrying large amounts of cash is a recipe for disaster. While most sensible travelers won’t carry around their entire trip’s budget, you still need to consider storing it safely in your hotel or guesthouse.
  • It is more convenient: Some countries have highly inflated currencies, meaning that you often end up carrying wads of cash around with you. Paying by card circumvents these issues and allows you to travel much lighter.
  • You might get a better exchange rate: When you exchange your native currency for the currency of your holiday destination, you often lose out due to poor exchange rates and commissions. However, when you use options like Payoneer, you often get the day’s exchange rate and perhaps a nominal fee.
  • You can easily top it up: Nothing is worse than running out of cash, and once it’s gone, it’s gone. However, as long as you have money in your bank account, you can continue spending and enjoying your vacation.


Cons Of A Cashless Vacation

  • Your card could get rejected: If you haven’t informed your bank, you may find that your card is denied at ATMs and merchants.
  • It might be more expensive: Some foreign bank ATMs will charge additional fees for processing foreign transactions, meaning that the cost will be higher than if you had paid cash.
  • Losing your card can be stressful: If you lose your card, it could mean the end of your trip. While getting a replacement in some nations might be straightforward, it may not be possible in some countries.


Bringing Cash Is A Good Idea

If you are on vacation, it can be an excellent idea to carry some cash with you. There are several reasons you should carry some money while away from home:

  1. It’s easier to buy items in smaller quantities with cash. You don’t need to worry about the card not being accepted or your card not being accepted at the store.
  2. If you lose your card or it gets stolen, you’ll still have access to money if you keep some cash in your wallet or purse.
  3. If the country you are traveling to doesn’t use the same currency as yours and there is a fee associated with converting currencies, then having cash will save you money in the long run.


Pros Of Using Cash

  • There are no transaction fees: When you pay with cash, you are literally paying the exact amount required. The process is far more straightforward since there are no hidden fees or transaction costs.
  • Some vendors only accept cash: Because some countries are slightly behind in terms of technology, some vendors only accept cash or cashless payments using local solutions.
  • Support the local economy: When you pay a local merchant in cash, the money goes directly into the local economy.
  • You know how much you spend: Vacations are expensive endeavors, and it pays to know how much you’re spending. While most financial applications make it easy to check your balance, cash makes it easier to see at a glance.


Cons Of Using Cash

  • It’s less secure: Carrying cash puts you at risk of losing it or even being robbed.
  • You may end up with lots of useless currency: You might find that you cannot bring certain currencies out of the country or convert them back to your own at the end of your trip, leaving you with lots of unusable local money.

The debate around cash or cashless vacations depends on your destination. In the United States and most developed nations, many businesses accept all major debit and credit cards, so there’s no need to carry cash. However, other countries are less developed and only accept cash.



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