Managing Money whilst Backpacking

When you are far from home and all your worldly possessions are in your backpack and a bum bag, security of your money and credit cards is vitally important. No backpacker likes to hear the horror stories of people who have lost their passport, cash and credit cards or worse, have had them stolen. And even though computer fraud often occurs today, the digital age offers a great deal of financial support to people on the road.

Many basic credit cards are acceptable around the world. But it's now possible to have a credit card which accepts multiple currencies. You can plan your spending and cash withdrawals using the local currency or the currency of your homeland. The term for these pieces of plastic is multi-currency cash passport. You can buy them simply for your backpacker adventure. You can buy them in specific denominations such as $100. And one of the main benefits of these cash passports is that they are not linked to your bank account so that if you lose your cash passport or it is stolen, nobody else can access your cash. And it's also relatively easy to obtain a replacement card. Another benefit of a cash passport is that they qualify for cover in many travel insurance policies.

Time marches on

Today such things as international cash transfers arranged by most banks and travelers checks are no longer top of the pops. And just as the information superhighway has made communication so much easier, so too are the benefits when managing your finances on the road. For instance you can have now what is known as an online savings account. You link your account with a nominated ATM and can then draw cash from this account as and when you require it. No credit card to lose or have stolen and so long as you remember your PIN and password and have online access, which today is ubiquitous, you are able to manage your money with ease and security.

Currency conversion is always an issue for backpackers arriving Down Under. Do your homework because it might be that the best rate to convert your currency is in your own country. When you arrive in Australia and certainly when you wander around the financial district in the major cities, you will find a variety of money changers. Check to see you are getting the best deal possible.

Remember too that the changing currencies almost always involves a fee. Check the cost of any free before you hand over your cash. And it goes without saying that carrying cash and credit cards should always be done with the utmost care. Many a hostel has a safe for the safe keeping of valuables. When out and about, carrying your cash and credit cards in a concealed bag beneath your clothing is always a pretty good idea.

One of the best pieces of advice concerns cash. Sure you need it on certain occasions but if you’re not carrying cash it’s impossible to lose it. Don’t carry large amounts and use EFTPOS or some other form of plastic wherever possible. We are heading towards a paperless and a cashless society which is good news for backpackers and anyone on the road. Don’t have your PIN or password details in the same container as your cash and cards and even store them in the computer on your shoulders. Carrying a clue about your PIN and passwords is fine so long as it’s not bleeding obvious.

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