11 Common Travel Cash Mistakes to Avoid

Whether you’re planning on escaping the chilly depths of Melbourne’s winter or the hustle and bustle of Sydney life, your travel planning needs to be exemplary. There’s so many common avoidable mistakes made by the underprepared among us. Believe us, we were once captain of the underprepared. But where do you start? I’m glad you asked.

When budgeting for a trip, we often discount the hidden avoidable costs, only concentrating on the big-ticket items- airfare, lodging, hotel, car rental, attraction tickets etc. But when you start tallying the small costs, it really adds up; think airport parking, ridiculously priced bottles of water at the airport, and travel to the airport. And that’s before you’ve even boarded the plane! Once you land, you’re in for a world of fun- we mean that both literally and sarcastically.

Once you set foot on your destination’s soil, say hello to the much-anticipated holiday life, and also a big hello to more avoidable costs! We’re talking mobile phone charges, bank fees, hotel Wi-Fi, and ATM fees- to name a few. Luckily for you, we have you covered.

To avoid spending unnecessarily, check out the following travel cash mistakes to avoid.

Step 1 - Exchanging money at the airport

Exchanging money at the airport

Start by checking our bank-beating exchange rates, select the foreign currency and amount you wish to exchange, make the payment and enjoy your travel cash savings.

Step 2 - Travelling without insurance

Travelling without insurance

Problem: Emergency situations such as lost luggage, medical fees, accident claims, travel delays, flight cancellations may occur. If you’re not covered, the cost of these inconveniences may be extensive.

Solution: If you’re travelling frequently, carrying costly items, or are just plain clumsy, taking out travel insurance is a must. Peace of mind is priceless.

Step 3 - Stash Your Cash in Safe Places

Stash Your Cash in Safe Places

Stashing your cash in multiple locations is only safe, if you do so in secure places.

Solution: Research your travel cash options before you leave. You’ll find that exchanging cash with First Eastern FX is the most viable.

Step 4 - Not telling your bank you’re going away

Not telling your bank you’re going away

Problem: If you do choose to use your debit or credit card overseas, your bank may perceive your overseas transactions to be fraudulent activity- resulting in your account being frozen.

Solution: To avoid this pickle, simply alert your bank of your travel plans. A simple fix to avoid a complicated situation.

Step 5 - Exchanging money with overseas street vendors

Exchanging money with overseas street vendors

Problem: Whilst seemingly convenient, it’s not so convenient when you realise just how much they’ve royally ripped you off. Don’t let them make a quick buck off your hard-earned money!

Solution: What’s actually convenient is having your travel cash delivered right to your door! You’re in luck, First Eastern FX provides just that. Also, with branches all over Australia, Sydney, Perth, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide – you name it. Exchanging foreign currency has never been easier!

Step 6 - Failing to plan transport to and from airports

Failing to plan transport to and from airports

Problem: Neglecting to research your transport options, distance to your hotel, and fair ride prices, results in immediate money loss and stress. No thanks!

Solution: Simply research your options, your hotel may provide a free airport shuttle, there may be simple bus or train rides instead. Taxi rides aren’t always the only option! Use that extra cash for all the tasty treats you stumble upon instead.

Step 7 - Using your regular debit and credit card

Using your regular debit and credit card

Problem: Again, convenience may be in the forefront of your mind here. But between the fluctuating foreign exchange rate, transaction fees, interest rate charges, and cash advance fees, your spending money will deplete at an exponential rate.

Solution: Carrying cash is a simple, sure-fire way to avoid those unappealing fees, leaving you more cash for delectable dining experiences abroad. Exchange foreign currency with First Eastern FX before your trip to avoid all those nasty fees. Our bank-beating rates are sure to sway you.

Step 8 - Leaving valuables unsecured

Leaving valuables unsecured

Problem: It may be easy to slide your wallet in your back pocket, or leave it rustling loosely in your purse. But it’s also the easiest way to expose yourself to the risk of being pick-pocketed.

Solution: There are so many nifty items designed specifically for this, but for simple solutions, simply stash your cash in various locations, in hidden pockets, or wear a slim money belt. For extra security, avoid looking like a tourist; don’t take big maps or guidebooks out in the middle of the street etc.

Step 9 - Using Public Wi-Fi for financial transactions

Using Public Wi-Fi for financial transactions

Problem: Whilst convenient, using public Wi-Fi can also be detrimental. Avoid leaking your sensitive information by abstaining from checking your bank balance, making online payments, or logging into financial services using sensitive passwords.

Solution: Stay safe online by using internet on an international roaming data plan organised with your service provider before you leave.

Note: Be sure to explore your data plan options before you leave to avoid a large phone bill once you return. Better yet, exchange foreign currency with First Eastern FX before you travel, to avoid this altogether.

Step 10 - Not comparing flights

Not comparing flights

Problem: Sure it’s easier to book the first flights your come across, but you’re leaving a lot of money on the table if you don’t shop around first!

Solution: Compare the prices of multiple airlines, booking websites, and flight dates. It’s also important to note that prices can fluctuate in a matter of hours due to cookie tracking, so consider opening an incognito window or clearing your cookies to prevent targeted pricing.

Step 11 - Staying on the beaten track

Staying on the beaten track

Problem: No matter where you plan to travel, you’ll pay a great deal more if you dine or shop near major tourist attractions and squares.

Solution: Wander off the beaten track. Simply walk a couple streets over, for cheaper rates and the very same quality cuisine and shopping. Which are sometimes (especially in Europe) cash-only establishments; exchange currency with First Eastern FX beforehand to avoid being caught without cash.

Made any of these mistakes before? Don’t worry, you’re in the majority, we’ve all been there! To avoid these common mistakes, use our tips, do your research, compare your options, and you’ll travel seamlessly through your much-deserved holiday.