How online banking can ease your travel troubles
When traveling, one of the key considerations that one has to take is whether or not they have the finances to make it from point A to point B. And where there should be a careful examination of one’s personal expenses to determine if such a venture is realistic, the physical presence of money in the purse or wallet is not mandated for travel. Quite to the contrary, online monetary access has allowed for the wallet and purse to become somewhat obsolete. Here are a few alternatives to the standard cash options in traveling.
Paypal and The Square
Paypal and The Square are both globally known means of conducting business, especially small business. As more and more companies are integrating Paypal into their ways of commerce, it is not uncommon to see that you can pay for goods by logging into your paypal account. Additionally, Paypal does offer a credit card which can work alongside your online account (for those places which are remote and do not have internet connections). Square works similar to Paypal in that it allows for transactions to take place by plugging the device into any phone with internet access. For the traveling artist who wants to sell a few pictures in Prague to the singer in time’s square, the square allows for anyone with a credit card to swipe and pay for your services.
Why is this important? Paypal and the square make it easy to have a universal currency. It eliminates the need to covert your money from one country to the next. Furthermore, with paypal the account can be set up to only take funds which you have available, meaning that you will not overdraft your account, you just won’t be able to pay for services. The positive to this is that you are more flexible, the negative is that unless you keep a tight eye on the site, you can quickly diminish your funds.
Online banking is an option for every continent on the planet. Depending on the home bank, you may have several locations throughout one country. In most cases, even if you do not have that specific branch in a specific country, you will still be able to access your funds. This is great for the traveler who has the capital to invest in various activities but does not want to run the risk of being robbed of cash. It is also great for those who plan to spend a few days away from their hotel on a hiking path camping, or away from the general populace. Just ensure that you have enough money on you to go to those rural areas. Online banking does tend to carry a transfer fee if going from one account or one bank to another. However, unlike ATM machines, the online banking system allows for the user to access, transfer, and withdraw funds from anywhere that there is an internet connection and a means to collect such funds.
Credit Cards over Cash
According to Forbes, nearly 66 percent of all point-of-sales are done with plastic. It is estimated that by 2017 only 23% of sales will be done with cash. Because of this, it becomes important that the traveler have at least one credit card or debit card in order to conduct business transactions. For the traveler it poses a convenience and safety factor as well. One credit card can be carried easily on one’s person without the need for a purse or a wallet. This minimizes the risk for someone to steal. If they cannot see that you have cash on you (whether in the bulging of a wallet in the back pocket or from a purse slung over the shoulder) they are less apt to attempt to take it. Furthermore, if you do not want to have the credit card in your pocket, but wish to secure it elsewhere, such is easily done.
Do not abandon a little spending money
Where you do not need to have a wallet or purse to travel, it is important to have a little cash on hand. Not every business will accept a credit card, and not every location will have access to online banking, Paypal, Intuit’s GoPayment, Wepay, or other financial sites. When using cash, keep it minimal as possible and in small bills. Yes, larger bills take up less space, but it is far more of a risk (which is easier taking £100 in bills or one note?). You do not need a wallet or a purse to go on your trip, and such may even be cumbersome in some spots. Take considerations on how you wish to keep your finances in check when you are traveling, how you wish to access it, and how you wish to secure it.