I'm travelling to Oz in June 2013 and I've got most things figured out except how to carry my money??! I don't know what to do? Do I take travellers cheques or get an Australian bank account and transfer the money or just use my MasterCard or visa out there? Could really do with some advice please
best is to use ATM while travelling, as you would not like to carry too much money in your money belt. I have been traveling for almost over a year, so ATM has been the best way so far. Exchange rate is awesome, but you do pay a small fee, usually a few bucks. I do have 2 debit cards with me, in case one is lost.
Safest way is to have a dual account, while you debit card can only access one of them. I simple do an online transfer from one account to the other before heading to the ATM machine.
Good luck on your travels in OZ
That's good advice. To add to it...
Forget travellers' cheques, they're difficult and expensive.
Australian bank account may be a consideration if you're working out there and need to be paid by cheque or transfer.
For normal travel, ATM seems to be the cheapest way, using debit cards not credit cards. I echo the advice of keeping only a relatively small amount of money in the account in case the card is lost or stolen, and online transfer from your main account into the card account(s).
Splitting your money/cards is also a good idea. Eg having a main wallet, a day wallet, and a 3rd hidden stash. Main wallet can stay somewhere relatively secure when you're not moving on - eg hotel safe or padlocked in locker in your dorm. Day wallet contains just the cash you want for that day and one card. Hidden stash could contain one card and emergency money like a A$100 note or two.
Cheapest is to use the ATM for as large a withdrawal at a time as possible, as you probably get charged per withdrawal.
I can only second the above!
Traveller's cheques are leftovers from a distant past - better go without - they are expensive and a hassle...
My alternative version of the two-wallet tricks:
I prefer having one with only a few dollars (in local currency) and a debit card to an account without money on it (I can always transfer if I need it).. Add some pictures and old receipts and it will look real enough to fool most thieves and pickpocketers..
A second wallet with your daily budget, which you only use in safe surroundings (inside buildings an so on). That usually includes my credit card...
Depending on my spendings any given day I can leave this in the hostel's safe or bring it with me...
Third stash consisting of about 300 emergency dollars and the money the ATM spat out... I take a little every morning and put it in my daily budget wallet...
I keep it in a secret pocket I got tailored into my trousers.. So if there's no safe in my hostel (or when travelling around) they are fairly safe..
Note if you get robbed any serious thief will know about moneybelts and hiding stuff in your socks.. It is just a matter if he got the time to make you take off your shoes and shirt...
I generally don't like leaving/travelling with money in my backpack.. I travel light and mostly alone, so it is a pretty easy steal...
I have to say you're all wrong, the only thing I had go missing while in Australia was sun glasses.
Most people are respectful of your stuff. The number of times i left everything out i lost count. For the first 3 wks i went from packing to unpack every morning, yet everyone else left things out, from Mobile phones to passports.
Of course be safe with your stuff, travellers cheques and an Aus bank account are your best bet.
It's fair to disagree about stuff, and admit most of my travels are in places where "white guys" are a lot richer than most locals, which of cause isn't the case in Oz, but....
You can't honestly think 'leave everything out' is good advise? Sorry to be blunt, I'm just a surprised...
It only takes one (local or fellow traveller) to not 'respect your stuff' before it is gone... I mean, feel free to do so, but why gamble?
Re-reading the thread I see Buck is only away for a month, "June 2013".. So opening a bank account my be overkill...
I'd still say a credit card and a debit card should do it, plus a few hundred Australian dollars of places that doesn't accept plastic...
Most people are respectful of your stuff.
Yes, most but not everyone! I never had anything stolen in Australia either but I met other travellers who did, and the same goes for any other destination. I was robbed in the Cook Islands which is way safer than most other places I've been, so it shows that it can happen anywhere.
[ Edit: Edited on 19-Mar-2013, at 08:05 by bex76 ]
Hi, sorry maybe I was a little short! If its for a month, I would still suggest travellers cheques. They're as good as cash, and replaceable. And you could cash them in stages, Amex can be picked up from most Barclays branches. As for you're stuff, I got this pretty cool safe net for my backpack, it's a wire netting that really safe. I only use it in the airports. Enjoy your travels
Suggesting travellers cheques is crazy advice.
I'd be amazed at finding enough places that accept them to get by using them when travelling.
They went out of mainstream use 20+ years ago for good reasons.
If they're stolen you've got a problem. They were widely counterfeited. You're limited to using them where you find someone to accept them. scams involving falsely reporting them stolen. If they're stolen, what's your backup while travelling?
Prepay debit cards improve upon them in security and useability. Use your debit card at a retail outlet or an ATM. Flexibility to load your card online.
I will echo Andyf's advice.... The cash passport is a good idea. A few supermarkets do them here in UK. I used one with USD preloaded with funds. I don't know if I am allowed to mention the supermarket I used for my card? I wasn't charged to withdraw funds or purchase at local restaurants