People who travel abroad are often torn between bringing along credit cards or the local currency. Having credit cards alone can be detrimental if you end up loosing them or if they are stolen. Bringing local currency alone is problematic and impractical. Especially, if you plan to make a lot of purchases or if you will be moving from one country to another.
You need to bring local currency. It will come in handy if you go to stores and establishments that do not accept credit cards. It is perfect for making bargain purchases. You also need cash to pay for local transportation. Having the local currency handy is also necessary if you want to experience the food scene. You will also be using the local currency to tip waiters or other service personnel that cater to your needs.
If you plan to bring a lot of cash during your travel abroad, leave the bulk of it in your hotel room or in the hotel safe. Take only what you need. When it comes to Forex, make use of the hotelís Foreign Exchange services. If you are not able to avail of this, go to a bank or another reliable source. Exchange only what you need.
Credit cards come in handy for accommodation payments and big purchases. It is also smarter to pay for meals at restaurants by using credit cards. That way, you will not be stuck with small change. Tip your servers with the local currency. Credit Cards may also be used to pay for emergency medical services or for plane tickets.
You should not take more than three credit cards to avoid problems if you accidentally misplace your items or if you loose a card. You should also bring internationally accepted credit cards like those with VISA or Mastercard logos. If you do loose your credit cards while traveling abroad, contact your service provider immediately and have them frozen or cancelled.
A LITTLE BIT OF BOTH
The Solution to the Credit Card of Currency dilemma is to bring a little bit of both. However, you should keep in mind that Moderation is Key. You should not bring too much cash around with you. Nor should you take more credit cards that you actually need. Two or three internationally credit cards is enough.
When travelling abroad, it is advised that you have no more than 300 USD (approx. 14,000 PHP) at one time. Leave the rest in your hotel room or at another safe place. This ensures that you are never short of money and that you do not have too much to loose. Make use of your credit card when purchasing expensive items.
When travelling abroad to countries with a high cost or living such as Switzerland, Japan, UK, France, etc. It is important if you bring a bit more of the local currency. However, you should keep it below 1,000 USD.
DEBIT AND ATM CARDS
It may also be helpful if you take along an international a debit card or an ATM card when travelling abroad. This ensures that you have funds to turn to when you run out of local currency or if you max out your credit card. Keep in mind that you may have to pay some international charges when you withdraw from your ATM or Debit Card abroad. Keep these two only as emergency options.