International travel is always fun and adventurous, but it’s also expensive. 

Choosing to travel overseas on an extended trip will be a major financial decision on your part, and simply spending your money carelessly will be the very last thing that you want to do.

Here are the top five financial strategies for international traveling:

Strategy #1 – Pay Your Bills Automatically While You’re Gone

It’s very easy to forget about your normal bills and expenses when you’re away on your trip. So to ensure that you don’t miss any of your monthly payments of anything like that, you can have your bills paid automatically.

Everything from your house mortgage to your car payments to your insurance to your utilities and so on can all be paid by setting up automatic payments. You can either contact each company yourself to set up the payment, or you can use different kinds of software to complete the payments as well.

Strategy #2 – Set Up An Account With A Remittance Service

You’ll need to use a third party remittance service to convert your money into the currency of the country you’re traveling to, so you can easily pay for certain things in cash. Even if you plan on using a credit card during your trip (more on this in a bit), it’s still a wise idea to have cash on hand.

Setting up an account with a remittance service is incredibly easy. As Remitly notes, it’s as simple as creating an account using your email address and then entering the amount of money that you want to convert or send.

One thing to watch for is the exchange rate between the two currencies, as you’ll have to pay a small percentage of the rate as part of your fee. The wisest move will be to choose a remittance service and research the currency of your country at least one month before you leave. The exchange rate is always changing, so keep an eye on it.

Strategy #3 – Be Selective About Your Credit Cards

Not all credit cards can be used for making foreign payments, and many of those that can will charge a 1% to 5% fee for every single transaction that is made outside of the United States. That may not sound like a significant amount, but it adds up quickly.

To prevent this from happening to you, you can use a travel credit card that won’t charge you for any transactions made overseas. Many of these kinds of travel cards will often come with excellent sign up bonus offers as well. For example, you may win a certain number of travel points (50,000 or so), if you spend a certain amount of money within a certain period of time (such as $3,000 in three months).

Strategy #4 – Be Covered With Travel Insurance

Investing in travel insurance may seem like an unnecessary added expense, but in reality it’s a way to stay financial afloat should anything go wrong on your trip: you may have to return home early and cancel your hotel rooms, a valuable possession of your could become lost or stolen, or you may suffer a medical emergency and need treatment.

Chances are extremely high that your existing healthcare insurance plan is not going to cover any medical expenses you incur overseas, but you can contact your provider just to confirm one way or the other.

It’s also important for you to read the fine print of your travel insurance plan as well, because the terms can vary drastically by plan. At the very least, you absolutely will want your travel insurance plan to cover most or all medical expenses incurred overseas.

Strategy #5 – Budget Yourself

Last but not least, and while this may seem like a cliched piece of advice, you do need to budget yourself accordingly.

Fortunately, setting a budget is as easy as creating a spreadsheet and tracking each of your expected expenses. Otherwise, there are a number of budgeting apps and software that you can use as well, including some that actually track your spending for you for things such as transportation, lodging, and food.

Financial Strategies For International Traveling

You don’t have to let the expense of international travel prevent or dissuade you from doing so. You just need to make sure that you can afford to travel and make smart financial decisions both before and during your trip.