Going Broke Abroad | When making travel plans, most people are fairly confident about organizing all the necessary requirements such as making sure they have a valid passport or visa, international driverâ€™s license if needed, hotel and travel reservations and sufficient funds to avoid going broke when abroad. However, the most carefully prepared plans can founder, particularly if an unexpected emergency or crisis occurs and this may have expensive consequences. Here are a few tips on how to avoid a financial disaster when travelling.
In an unfamiliar country itâ€™s easy to stray accidentally into an undesirable neighborhood, where there is an increased likelihood of getting mugged for cash. Itâ€™s better to be sure about where you are going and to venture to the places advised by guides or officials that can be trusted or perhaps the owners of hotels or guest houses providing accommodations. If everything is stolen or lost â€“ cash as well as debit cards â€“ a US Consular office may be able to help. The American Citizenâ€™s Services and Crisis Management (ACS) division can contact the family of a destitute person, or their friends and business associates, in order to raise additional private funds. If there is money in an account back home, use Trans-Fast to access it quickly online. The service is available 24/7 and security and privacy of the transaction is guaranteed.
Travel insurance is a must, particularly for people who have a condition that means they need regular medication or treatment, but of course accidents do happen and an unfortunate incident or a serious illness might mean expensive drugs are needed or even a stay in a foreign hospital. In many cases it will be necessary to pay the costs of health care, on the basis that costs can be recovered when back home, however, this might leave a traveler completely out of funds. Itâ€™s possible to trade some possessions in return for cash and selling some books or clothes, electronic gadgets or jewelry might make sufficient funds to pay for food and a place to stay while waiting for new funds to be transferred from home.
If there is one thing that is guaranteed to swallow dollars itâ€™s eating out all the time in fancy restaurants â€“ overpriced food plus tips will soon empty a wallet. Finding good quality local food that is reasonably priced should be a priority and in most places itâ€™s possible to get perfectly nutritious food from local markets or in the cheaper stores, rather than eating in beach cafÃ©s or in the parts of town designed to attract the tourists. By all means have the occasional treat â€“ maybe when visiting a new place for the first time â€“ but any trip runs the risk of being cut short if food eats up a larger than planned portion of the budget.
Today itâ€™s easier than ever before to get help for those unfortunate enough to find themselves broke when abroad, but with a good plan, a sensible attitude to money and access to funds back home itâ€™s perfectly possible to avoid such a predicament in the first place.