The most complicated part of overseas travel is figuring out how to organise your travel money. And there are lots of options from cash, debit and credit cards and international money transfers. It's hard to know where to start without researching first.

So instead of leaving your travel money to the last minute, we've compiled a list of tips on how to organise your travel money to avoid paying additional conversion fees throughout your trip.

Organising Your Travel Money

Here are some of the best travel options for your next overseas trip:

1. Withdraw Cash Before You Arrive

Using local currency or multiple currencies when you first arrive in a new country can be a great way to start an overseas trip. Cash is accepted globally and can be used to pay for meals, transportation and hotels when you arrive.

Before leaving, you should research and compare global exchange rates to Australian dollars. You can exchange currency at different Australian banks or specialist currency exchanges to ensure you're getting the best price.

You should aim for the highest exchange rate so that you'll get the most back when you convert your money into foreign currency.

2. Save on Fees with a Travel Money Card

A prepaid travel money card is a good option for frequent travellers. Australian banks, airlines and money exchanges will let you ‘lock in’ your exchange rate ahead of time when you load money onto any prepaid cards.

Travel money cards are just as convenient as cash but more secure. You can use them wherever cards are accepted overseas and a lot of providers will replace your prepaid card if it’s lost or stolen.

When looking for a travel money card you should try to choose a card that doesn't have any transaction fees, overseas ATM fees to withdraw money and further fees to reload currency.

Instead of travelling with only one card, it's best to have a backup card if your main card is lost or stolen.

3. Access Money on Travel Debit Cards

You can easily access funds overseas using a debit card. The transactions come straight from your bank account and you won't be charged interest on cash withdrawals unless you overdraw from your account.

Your best case scenario is to look for a low-fee or no-fee debit card with a lower exchange rate that won't charge currency conversion fees.

4. Get Free Fees on Travel Credit Cards

Depending on your financial situation, credit cards can be one of the best ways to carry travel money. And if you're a frequent traveller they can be incredibly useful for guaranteeing hotel rooms, covering emergency expenses, and earning rewards points as you travel.

Some travel credit cards even charge low or no foreign exchange fees and can come with other benefits too.

However, you should always be mindful of cash advance fees for withdrawals. On top of that, your credit card interest rates can drastically increase immediately. It's recommended that a travel money card or travel debit card is used to withdraw money instead.

5. Try an International Money Transfer

An international money transfer is a popular method for Australians to send money overseas.

To make a bank transfer internationally you can:

  • Organise to transfer the money in person (paying with EFTPOS or cash)

  • Complete the transfer online at home

The money is then transferred into an overseas bank account or to a local bank branch where it can be picked up in person. The amount of money you pay will depend on the currency in Australia and the currency in the other country.

6. Avoid Dynamic Currency Conversion

Dynamic currency conversion (DCC) also known as cardholder preferred currency (CPC) presents an opportunity for customers to pay in their home country's currency instead of in the foreign currency of the country they're travelling in.

There is also a currency conversion fee (up to 3% of the transaction amount) charged by your debit or credit card processor, such as Visa or Mastercard [1]. This can occur in overseas merchants such as stores, hotels, tours, ATMs and restaurants. The dynamic currency conversion is set by a business's service provider and this includes the exchange rate, additional profit margins and transaction costs.

Unfortunately, the disadvantages of dynamic currency conversions vastly outweigh the advantages and you should decline when presented with this option at a store, restaurant or ATM to ensure that you're not paying more than what you have to.

7. Protect Your Travel Money

No matter your travel plans, it's important that you have an extra layer of protection for your money. Budget Direct’s International Comprehensive, International Essential and Domestic Travel Insurance policies will reimburse cash, bank or currency notes, postal or money orders that are accidentally lost or stolen on your person, or from a locked safe or safety deposit box as part of our.