That's what I want

Brisbane at Night, Qld.  Photo credit: Tourism and Events Queensland


That’s what I want.

There’s the air fare, accommodation, the cost of the visa and your travel insurance. Yet even when that’s all paid for you’ll still need a contingency.

If you’re travelling you could be covering huge distances – and that costs. If you’re planning to work it could be weeks before you find a job. And then there are the experiences, amazing and challenging, that just crop up and need to be paid for.

Here are your best bets for building a contingency fund:

Pre-paid cards

Preloaded with money, and often capable of being loaded remotely by parents with deep pockets. Can be used at ATMs, online and in stores. If you need to make that call home for a bit of extra cash, this is a simple way of getting the money to you.

Joint bank account and credit card

Trust someone back home enough to share your account with them? If so, they’ll be able to pay your credit card bill each month for you. If you ask them nicely.

And should you lose your cards, they’ll still be able to access your funds and make payments.

Internet bank account

It is worth having an internet bank account whilst you are travelling as you can see in real time exactly how much money you have in your account and you are also able to make payments to anywhere in the world ~ so long as you have an internet connection!

Remember though that if you use your debit card for any withdrawals or transactions whilst you’re abroad you will incur a fee, and these can really add up.

Wire transfers

Not the cheapest of options, but money transfer companies such as Western Union can get money to you almost instantly if your money’s stolen.

You’ll need to have someone willing to send you some money from home (hello Mum and Dad). They’ll need to contact the transfer company who will issue you with a number, (it’s quicker to do this over the phone rather than on the internet), then take the number and your passport to a transfer office (usually a shop) and you’ll receive your cash immediately.

And finally…

Keep a note of your bank account numbers and your bank’s international emergency contact numbers with your photo-copied documents.

Don’t keep a record of your pin numbers.

Before you go, talk to your bank

Tell your bank you’re going to Australia. Otherwise, the moment they notice payments being made on the other side of the world, they’ll freeze your account.

Seriously consider opening a second account anyway, just in case. We’ve heard plenty of reports of banks freezing accounts despite being told.

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