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man sitting at a cafe planning to pay with a credit card

A trip overseas can be one of the most memorable journeys of your life – it helps you grow, be more understanding, and take in new abilities. But everything requires money, so you have expenses as you travel just as you would at home. Don’t ruin your entire vacation by finding yourself unable to pay for dinner or the train fare while you’re away. The ever-expanding ATM fleet worldwide and the emergence of smartphones have made paying for things abroad easier than ever. Apps, for instance, allow for the quick conversion of any currency into any currency; they even locate the nearest ATM that takes your card. 

There’s no point in exchanging your dollars for local currency anymore. In a transition expedited by the COVID-19 pandemic’s predilection for cashless payments, you can travel abroad and hardly ever handle a physical bill or coin. Ethereum (and other cryptocurrencies) can be used to buy various products and services. Always take note of the Ethereum price USD history before buying it. Even if your favorite merchant doesn’t directly accept crypto, you can still use it to get away. As technology advances, you’ll most likely run into cashless communities while exploring the world. Travel suppliers and service providers have streamlined online transactions and payments, so paying with your phone is possible. 

Five Good Reasons to Go Cashless When Traveling Abroad 

Gone are the days of carrying a large wallet full of bills and travelers’ checks. It’s becoming more common to see storefront signs saying “No cash accepted” to tell people without bank accounts or cryptocurrencies they aren’t welcome. Indeed, the move to cashless travel didn’t start with the global health crisis, but it certainly helped shift the trend toward that direction. During that time, people started ordering more things online and by cellphone, not to mention there was a repugnance to handling physical money, notably when little was known about the virus. In Sweden, FinTech payment solutions are so widespread that the nation is on its way to becoming the first cashless society. 

1. Safety Concerns

Carrying cash while traveling overseas poses a significant safety risk as it makes you a target for theft and pickpocketing. Unlike digital payments or credit cards, stolen cash cannot be traced or blocked, and once it's gone, it's usually gone for good. Therefore, limiting the amount of cash you carry helps reduce these risks.

2. Unfavorable Exchange Rates

Using cash abroad often means you'll need to exchange currency either before you travel or at your destination. Currency exchange counters, especially at airports and popular tourist spots, typically offer less favorable exchange rates and may charge high fees. This can add unnecessary costs to your trip.

3. Lack of Convenience

Carrying and managing large amounts of cash can be cumbersome and inconvenient. In contrast, credit and debit cards are accepted at most venues worldwide and offer a simpler and more streamlined way to pay. Additionally, digital payment methods are increasingly accepted globally, providing further convenience.

4. No Consumer Protections

Cash transactions lack the consumer protections that credit cards offer. Credit cards can provide valuable benefits such as fraud protection, insurance for travel accidents, rental car coverage, and the ability to dispute charges. Using a credit card can offer peace of mind that cash simply cannot match.

5. Difficulty in Tracking Spending

Managing and tracking your spending can be challenging when using cash, as it requires keeping receipts and manually noting each expense. Credit and debit cards, on the other hand, automatically log every transaction, making it easier to monitor and manage your budget while traveling. This can be especially helpful in avoiding overspending during your trip.

You can worry less about carrying cash around. No matter if you’re for or against the idea, it’s always useful to check the facts, so to bring you up to speed, here are some reasons to consider traveling without cash: 

Cashless Options You Can Use When Traveling Internationally

These days, you don’t need physical money in your pocket to travel the world. Being prepared can help you avoid a lot of trouble and missed opportunities, so whether you’re heading to the next town or the other side of the world, careful planning can go a long way in ensuring your trip is a success. Cashless payments can be made using various methods, including but not limited to: 

Credit/Debit Cards

Both credit and debit cards allow you to obtain money and make purchases. While a credit card is linked to a line of credit (a flexible loan from a bank or other financial institution), a debit card is connected to the funds in your account and is limited by how much money is there. Instead of paying in cash for goods or services, you can use a credit/debit card to make payments without cash in person, by card swiping, or online. International merchants typically require chip cards that are more secure; you can cancel your card if it’s stolen. 

Cryptocurrency 

Cryptocurrency can help you avoid your bank’s exchange fees or international fees, but it’s not widely accepted worldwide. To make a payment, you just copy and paste the wallet address into the right field, enter the payment amount, and confirm the transaction. While using a QR code, it’s even easier – you scan the QR code and proceed with the transaction. You’ll have to eat on your voyage, and you already know you can buy pizza with Bitcoin. Don’t fret because you don’t have to spend 10,000 BTC. From your morning coffee to your luxurious dinner, the options are expanding if you’re looking to spend your crypto assets. 

Prepaid Travel Cards 

Prepaid travel cards are accepted globally, to say nothing of the fact that they’re safer than cash. You can load a specific amount of money onto the card ahead of time in the currency of the destination. The prepaid travel card can be used at ATMs just like a normal credit or debit card, but there may be fees or withdrawal limits; use the card issuer’s app to check your balance. Prepaid travel cards tend to be more secure than cash, as they can be canceled as soon as they’re gone missing. Plus, you can get the balance transferred to a replacement card.  

Final Considerations 

All in all, it’s recommended to have some cash on hand, just in case, even if you use credit/debit cards or cryptocurrency. Transportation services, such as buses and taxis, require local currency, so you’ll need money to navigate the surroundings. There’s no denying the fact that we live in a digital era where cashless transactions are preferred, but it’s almost impossible for the world’s economy to go completely cashless. It’s best to do some research prior to your trip to see what payment option you should better use. It’s wiser to be cautious and careful than to be rash.