Traveling is fun and exciting. But what if something goes wrong? Perhaps your passport is stolen and getting a new one isn’t cheap. Maybe you rent a product that gets damaged and you’re liable for repairs, or you get into an accident and are presented with a huge hospital bill. These are all real-life situations that travelers find themselves in every day. Whether you are traveling for a long or a short time, solo or with family and friends, it’s crucial that you’re fully prepared for any kind of financial emergency that might arise. Here are some top tips to help you make sure that you’re ready.
#1. Have an Emergency Fund:
It’s super important to have an emergency fund to fall back on should anything go wrong when you are traveling and you need some extra cash. There are plenty of reasons to have an emergency fund, even if it’s just for your own peace of mind – but still, many people continue to travel without one. Even if you’ve been lucky enough to travel problem-free for years, this doesn’t mean that it’s not going to stay that way forever. And, running out of money when you’re abroad can have more serious consequences compared to the same situation back home. So, make sure that you put enough away to buy an emergency ticket back home, replace the most expensive item in your case, and cover any costs that may be incurred in an emergency situation.
#2. Know Your Borrowing Options:
Even with an emergency fund, you may find yourself in a situation where you need more money than you have saved up. Because of this, it’s a wise idea to familiarise yourself with your borrowing options and be prepared to take out a loan as a last resort. In a real emergency where you need money quickly, guaranteed payday loans can be a convenient option, as the money will be deposited straight into your account, allowing you to pay immediately with your card or withdraw cash at an ATM. Alternatively, you might want to consider taking out an emergency credit card before you set off, which will be used solely for boosting your emergency fund if needed.
#3. Purchase Travel Insurance:
If a terrible thing happens, such as all your belongings being damaged by a fire or natural disaster, a stolen passport or a serious illness or accident whilst you are traveling, failing to have travel insurance will lead to more stress and worry than is necessary. The last thing that you need is to be worried about coming up with more money to pay fees or replace your belongings when you’re already stuck in a highly stressful situation abroad. So, don’t step onto the plane until you have taken out a good travel insurance policy. This will be your saving grace, should the worst happen. And, always remember to read the small print before taking out a policy – for example, if you plan to take part in adventure sports, make sure that the policy you’re taking out covers any resulting injuries.
#4. Have Multiple Ways to Access Money:
Relying on just one way to access your money when you are traveling can be a risky move. Anything can happen, from all your cash getting stolen to your card getting swallowed by an ATM with no way of retrieving it. So, make sure that you have multiple ways to access your money. If you can, open a second bank account before you leave and set up your bank’s mobile banking app. That way if your bank card is lost, stolen, or swallowed by an ATM, all you’ll need to do is go online and transfer your money across to your second account so you can use that card instead. If you prefer to carry cash, don’t carry all of your cash at once. A good strategy is to keep part of the cash on your person, and part in your luggage or your accommodation. If there’s the option to purchase a safety deposit box at your hotel or hostel, it’s definitely worth investing in.
#5. Find a Way to Earn More Money:
What do you do if your emergency fund is drained, you’ve got no spending money left, and your bank account balance is slowly getting smaller and smaller as you’ve got no income coming in whilst you are traveling? The good news is that today, there are more and more ways to bring in an income whilst you travel, which are definitely worth looking into as a backup plan if you need to make some extra cash quickly. For example, Workaway connects travelers with employers from all over the world, so it’s definitely worth downloading the app to see if there’s anyone in your area who needs a service that you can provide, even if it’s just for free accommodation. It’s a good idea to take your laptop with you when you travel, as if you have a skill as a writer, designer, programmer, social media marketer, or anything else that can be done online, you can do it from anywhere with Wi-Fi as you’re traveling. Fiverr is a great site for travelers who want to find some online gigs.
#6. Have an Emergency Plan:
Last but not least, it’s a good idea to have an emergency plan in mind that’s shared with somebody else, who can help you if you find yourself in a sticky situation. For example, you might want to prepare before you leave by trusting a close friend or relative with enough money to book you an emergency flight home if you are unable to do so yourself. And, keep in touch with family and friends back home who may be able to provide you with assistance if you find yourself in an emergency whilst traveling. Provide them with details of your accommodation and travel insurance policy, so that they can quickly offer help if needed.
Traveling and seeing more of the world is a great experience, so don’t let it be tainted by being unprepared for a financial emergency! The better prepared you are, the easier it will be to get on with enjoying your adventure.