We were slowly starting to save money for our travel plans. The next obvious step was to come up with a plan for spending it as well.
Our confirmed itinerary (post coming soon) included 17 different currencies across Hong Kong, Nepal, India, Europe (Scandinavian countries, UK & Ireland, EU region, Turkey), possibly Dubai, South America (Brazil, Argentina, Peru, Chile, Bolivia, Ecuador, Columbia) and finally US. We definitely needed a plan to manage travel money.
We researched travel cards that hold multiple currencies such as Qantas Cash Card, Aus Post Prepaid Card, Travelex Card and others from various financial institutes. After reviewing the charges and transaction fee involved (which btw is $0), we decided to go with Qantas Card Card for Hong Kong, Europe (all regions), Dubai ad US. While we are spending with this card, we will also be accumulating points as we go! In theory, it is a win win situation. We started watching the exchange rates and when the time was right, we loaded the card with our travel funds.
For Nepal and India we will be relying on my ICICI Bank Debit Card. We have transferred the allocated funds to my bank account to avoid any recurring transfer fee.
The South American region is a tough one. After loads of research we decided to rely on cash with large amount withdrawals using our Citibank Debit Card. As most of our transaction with be involved around accommodation, transport and meals we assume that card transcations can be tough to be fulfilled, thus the decision of using cash.
We will also be carrying our Citibank Credit Card as a backup / emergency option. Using the credit card will incur large fee so we will aim to keep the usage to minimum.
Do watch for our posts from the road as we document our learnings along the journey.