Travelingpanties Q&A: How Much Cash Should You Carry When Exploring a City?

If you’re a regular, you know that I recently started a new section on this blog called Travelingpanties Q&A. Each traveler has unique needs, but it’s generally a good idea to carry at least some foreign currency cash with you. How much really depends on what you’re doing and where you’re going.

As a rule of thumb I like having the equivalent of about $100-$200 USD on hand. This can handle most emergency situations but isn’t so much that if I lost it I couldn’t replace it. I also a like to have small bills, which are good for tipping purposes and easier for vendors to make correct change from. It’s also a good idea to stash a little extra cash in a piece of your luggage in case of emergency.

Here is a little video I did about how Much Cash Should You Carry When Exploring a City.

How much cash you need really depends on many factors. Here are some more tips about how to decide how much money you need while traveling.

How much cash to carry when traveling abroad

How much cash you choose to carry also depends on how readily available ATMs are. You have to balance recurring ATM fees with the risk of loss if you choose to take out a large sum at once. If ATMs are easy to find I carry a smaller amount of cash and take more out as necessary. The less cash you carry means less possibility for disaster to strike–like losing your wallet or getting pick-pocketed. There is also less temptation to spend it with less cash on hand–can you say shopping problem!?! However, you don’t want to constantly be hit with ATM fees as I said so weigh the ATM fees with the risks of loss or robbery. Typically, I’d rather incur another $10 of ATM fees rather than risk losing one lump sum.

When I travel, I try to put as much as possible on plastic.  Remember though to check your credit card’s policy on foreign transaction feessome charge upwards of 4%. So, If you’re going to be traveling abroad for an extended period of time or often, it pays to get a card without any foreign transaction fees. Plus, this way I get all the credit card points, which gets me ready for my next trip!

How much cash do you travel with when you travel abroad? Let me know in the comments.

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  1. Beth
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