Before I set out to travel back in 2007 one important resource I throughly researched is banking. Without studious research the traveler may experience high ATM fees and the freezing of your account due to a foreign transaction.
The most costly foreign transaction fees by withdrawing money for an ATM are from Local Banks. Some banks will fleece your budget with high fees. An online bank differs greatly from a local bank, and mostly always provides lower transaction fees. An online bank avoids the high overhead of branches around the country, thus can offer a checking account with lower foreign transaction fees.
Should You Use a Credit Card?
I used a fool proof process when traveling deciding when to use cash or a credit card. Be careful with credit cards abroad, I never made purchases with a credit card nor my debit card when traveling except online, I always got money from the ATM. I did always use a credit card when making purchases online. For an example to pay for web hosting or buying a plane ticket. I never used my debit card for online purchases. I did buy a Mac computer and used my credit card and the company froze my account. I always had to call the company if I used a credit card except for online purchases.
It is also best to keep a savings account with an ATM card with the bulk of your money, and use a Travel Checking Account that is linked with a debit card. Then just transfer online the funds you need for the week. If someone would steel your debit card there is not much they can do if you don’t have much money in the account. If you lose your Travel account ATM or might not work, you can fall back on your savings account ATM card.
Many travelers hide extra cash inside money belts that are worn under their clothing, but I never used one. These removable pouches are uncomfortable and it’s easy to forget them somewhere. I always kept my day pack with me unless I had my own locked hotel room or the hostel had a locker for my bag. If the hostel did not provide lockers I carried my day pack with me. When going through borders I never allowed my day pack to sit anywhere solo.
Banking the correct and wise way can make a huge difference in your travel success.