Traveling is fun, exciting, enlightening, and jam-packed with new adventures – as well as plenty of laughter. And we haven’t even mentioned the sun, sand and Vitamin Sea yet! So, why don’t we just hit the road and live in vacation mode permanently?
Oh yeah, there’s that thing called “money” that seems to get in the way.
Yes, we need to work, earn money, and pay bills. And while we’d love to think like the real world completely stops the moment we step on a plane for our next vacation destination, money is still a big part of our lives wherever we travel. There’s also nothing that can kill the vibe of your vacation faster and create a monumental hassle than something going terribly awry with your bank or money while you’re far away from home.
Don’t worry – All World’s got ya covered! Here are five more amazing banking and money tips for travelers:
Don’t trust a fixer
A what? Who is fixing something? For those of you who’ve never touched even a toe in the Third World before a “fixer” is an unofficial title for someone whose job it is to expedite through the red tape, long lines, and probably bribes whenever handling official business. For travelers, that can include visas, immigration papers, travel tickets, lost passports, and even some banking functions. However, you’re better off not messing with a fixer unless you live there and REALLY know the lay of the land. More than likely, you’ll be scammed or even robbed, and for that reason, most banks and establishments don’t even allow them.
Contact your credit card before you leave.
We instructed you to call your bank before you leave to tell them that you’ll be traveling, so do the same thing with your credit cards. A travel alert should still keep the card active without red flagging any transactions in this new foreign country. But you may want to set a spending limit with them for better security. While you have them on the phone, ask about travel insurance and any advantages if you book rental cars, hotels, etc. with your credit card.
Don’t log in from an unsecured account.
Ahhhh you finally found a place with free wi-fi in your vacation destination, so you take out your laptop or smartphone and start logging into the websites for your banks, credit cards, PayPal, and other investment accounts, just to check balances and make sure all is well. However, while you’re doing that, hackers are sitting at the next table over, easily recording your logins and passwords and helping themselves to your accounts once you’re gone. Yes – it is that easy for hackers to steal from you if they have the technology (a device called a ‘pineapple’) and the know-how. To protect yourself, don’t log in from public wi-fi networks and even add security protocol software before you leave home.
Don’t use your debit card indiscriminately!
Back home, we all use our debit cards for virtually every transaction, no matter how big or small. In fact, we almost eschew cash altogether. However, while you’re traveling abroad, you should do the opposite. Putting your debit card in the hotel safe and not touching it again is ideal. That’s because it’s WAY too easy for someone to help themselves to your bank account, too. When travelers use their debit cards at restaurants, to buy tickets, or (gasp!) to buy gum and water at a shop on the street, they’re setting themselves up for some serious theft – without the protections that a credit card offers. Use cash instead.
Make sure your bills are in good condition.
In the U.S., a bank needs to take a bill even if it’s ripped in half (at least 51%) of it, and stores and merchants will take just about any worn, dirty, or written-on bill. But when you’re abroad, any slight rip, marking, or even wear and tear might cause a vendor to reject your money. So, make sure you get bills in good condition at the bank or when changing money, too.
Almost everyone loves a good vacation if they have the time and the means, and traveling abroad for weeks or even months has almost become a rite of passage for young people in many cultures, especially when they are of college age.
But there’s another group with significant numbers that actually live abroad – expats. In fact, the U.S. State Department estimates (as of 2016) that there are around 9 million United States citizens living abroad. Many of them reside in places like Ecuador, Mexico, Costa Rica, Thailand, Vietnam, and definitely in Europe.
A good portion of them are retirees who have worked their whole lives back in the U.S. so they can live comfortably without working in a different nation, presumably where the cost of living is lower, and the quality of life is a little more enjoyable for their golden years.
However, there’s an increasing surge of younger expats living abroad. Whether it’s young families, middle-aged people choosing a life of adventure and exploration abroad, or those college kids who visit overseas and never want to go back, the population of U.S. expats is swelling. They also need to work while they’re abroad, making enough money to survive – or hopefully thrive – abroad.
So, in part one of this blog we brought you the first of our five things you can do to make money abroad, and here are five more:
Social media manager:
Just about every company, brand, and entrepreneur is marketing online these days, and that almost always includes a social media marketing campaign. For that reason, it’s one of the most popular new jobs for people living abroad, as they can really do it anywhere as long as they have a solid wi-fi connection.
Professional photography is more important than ever with social media and online bookings for hotels and vacations, but the field has also expanded to video work – and now, drones. If you have a drone, some professional video equipment, and know how to edit and produce it, there’s unlimited opportunity to work for high end and luxury resorts and make some cake.
To go along with the social media managers, there’s always a need for people to write (and edit). Whether it’s scribbling text for websites, maintaining a blog (either for yourself or others), reviews, special reports, or ghostwriting books, there’s always work for those willing to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard).
Teach English (locally or online):
Teaching English to others abroad is one of the fastest growing cottage industries abroad, especially since business keeps taking on an international paradigm. There are plenty of options for teaching Englishwhen you live abroad, like tutoring someone locally, teaching classes face-to-faces, or acting as a professor for an online virtual school. In fact, that last option is usually the most lucrative as long as you do your homework, find the right school, and gain some experience.
Hotel/rental property booking:
I have a good friend who’s lived in Costa Rica for about a decade now, and lives like a king with only a few hours work each day. To make a living, he simply built a website and some marketing systems like mass emails that advertise rental properties, hotels, and vacation packages there in Costa Rica. When they book through him, he automatically gets a 10%-20% finders fee – without doing any more work. The great thing about is business is that he gets repeat customers as the same clients come back for vacation every year.