As you travel on your gap year, one of your main considerations will be how to manage your money. In many destinations, especially off the beaten track, you may not have easy access to ATMs or be able to use credit cards, so you will have to take some cash with you.
We recommend that you have a little of the local currency with you when you travel. However, some countries have regulations about carrying local currency in and out of the country, so please check each destination's rules before you travel. In many countries it is also helpful to have a few US Dollars with you too. In some countries you may not have easy access to ATMs and you may have to take more currency with you. If this is the case, please follow the safety tips below and remember, never flash your cash!
You should always carry some cash on your person but not in huge amounts. It would be advisable to distribute your cash between your purse, pockets, and bag. You can always carry a secret stash somewhere, for example under the inner sole of your trainer, or in a make-up bag or sock! It's a good idea to carry a money belt but there are some important rules to follow. One thing that can often be seen is travellers going to pay for something and lifting up their t-shirt to access their money belt. This is an open advertisement to potential thieves and shows them exactly where your valuables are kept. Always have a few notes or loose change in easily accessible places so you can access small amounts of cash quickly and safely.
Make sure you have easy access to your bank account so that you can keep track of your money throughout your trip. ATMs are available in most countries and you can withdraw cash using a debit card, or consider ordering a prepaid travel card so you can keep your money secure while you travel. Take care when withdrawing cash at ATMs, always protect your pin and try not to withdraw large amounts at any one time. We recommend you don't withdraw cash alone; try to find a trustworthy fellow traveller to come with you when you withdraw cash from ATMs abroad.
For more advice on how to look after your finances see our financing page.