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Ask John V Cain /// Vinjatek

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Ask: What’s The Best Way to Get Money Abroad?

Ask John V Cain /// VinjatekASK is a series of posts answering questions asked by readers about the operative, survivalist and nomadic lifestyle. Contact us to ask your own.

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I’ll be going overseas for the first time next month. It will be several different countries for 6 months. I’ll be bringing some US dollars for exchange but… What’s the best way to get my money out while traveling abroad?

-Joel G.
Irvington, United States

ANSWER ///

There are quite a few ways to access (your) money while overseas but I only utilize 2 methods; ATM withdrawals and currency exchanges from the leftover cash of the previous country. These are generally the most convenient and cost-effective ways.

ATM withdrawals should be your primary source of money. ATMs are available everywhere, even in the least developed of areas around the world.

As expected, you’ll be charged a fee for using the machine and most likely another fee by your bank. What you may not expect is a slight conversion fee from your home currency to theirs.

With these triple fees it’s ideal to pull out a fair amount of cash to minimize transactions. ATMs charge a flat fee, never a percentage.

Direct currency exchange is the least costly way to get money abroad but it won’t be a common occurrence. The cost consists of a transaction fee and a “conversion fee”. Unlike ATMs, these fees will vary greatly from shop to shop, so shop for the best rates. In most cases, the airport will offer the worst deals.

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Traveler’s Checks are decent backpack up funds if you happen to have them but otherwise a hassle if it’s your primary source of money while abroad. They’re not widely accepted and completely unnecessary.

The Best Way to Get Money Abroad?

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Kicker P

    10/13/2014 at 2:39 AM

    haha travelers checks. I’m surprised people still use those things for travel.

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