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Pros and Cons: How to Pay When Traveling Abroad?


When leaving home for a long(ish) time, the list of “must-pack” items is pretty long, covering everything from personal hygiene products to prescription meds. But there is one thing that’s too obvious to forget: currency. Money is important for everyday life and even more so when you travel abroad. But how do you take it with you in a way that’s both safe and convenient? Here are the most popular methods and some of their pros and cons.

Credit and debit cards

Credit and debit cards are among the most convenient – and most used – payment methods today, both at home and when traveling abroad. They put you in direct contact with your bank, they allow you to withdraw any currency from local ATMs (the right ones, of course), and they are very easy to cancel in case of theft and loss. They are the perfect method to pay for lodging, dining, and fun in the majority of the civilized world. And you can use it to top up your electronic entertainment accounts, like the one at the All Slots Canada, where you might even win a trip to Africa.

The pros: convenient, easy to use, widespread
The cons: Electronic payments like credit and debit cards are accepted to different degrees in different countries. While in most European countries you’ll be able to buy trinkets, souvenirs, and groceries using a card, in other countries you might be forced to hunt down ATMs to be able to get cash and avoid starvation.

Prepaid cards

Prepaid cards have advantages similar to credit and debit cards but with one major difference – instead of drawing directly from your checking account, they draw on the amount you loaded on them, nothing more. The pros and cons of this payment method are similar to the ones above, too, but once again with one major difference: the fees you’ll have to pay for different transactions are usually higher.


Cash has become much less convenient today than it was ever before – but sometimes you have no choice but to use it when you travel, especially when your destination is far off the beaten path. Most places frequented by tourists have ATMs, banks, and currency exchange offices, making it as easy as possible for you to spend your hard-earned cash. Taking some cash with you – preferably in the currency used in the country you’re traveling to – is important, especially if you want to avoid standing in line for hours at the ATM in the airport. But traveling with a lot of cash is usually not a good idea – it might attract unwanted attention from criminal elements that love to make a living off tourists (the wrong way).

The pros: accepted everywhere
The cons: less safe, exchange rates, commissions

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