Money for long term travel and digital nomads

What’s the second most important thing for a digital nomad? No surprise that the most important thing is your health. The second is your money. Without access to money, you will not be a digital nomad. Instead, you’ll be living with your parents and looking for a job or begging on the streets of Bangkok for your flight ticket home.

Money should be simple, and I hope you find this guide useful and that it simplifies your money life! A simple life is a happier life.

 

CASH

I always travel with cash. In a World where many governments would dearly like to ban cash, it’s still undeniably king, and will remain so for many years.

At any one time I will have around the equivalent of USD 500 on me, usually tucked away safely in my room. This will be made up of different currencies. At the moment I have around USD 100, EUR 100, GBP 100 and various amounts in other currencies such as Thai Baht, Singapore Dollars, Australian, NZ dollars etc.

Nearly all the countries that I visit, I know that I will return to, so I never sweat about having excess as I leave the country, and no way would I allow airport currency exchange booths to rob me.

WHERE TO EXCHANGE CURRENCY

Not at the airport, I repeat, not at the airport! It kills me when I see people getting mugged by the currency exchange people in an airport. With a tiny bit of planning, this can be avoided.

The best places to exchange cash tend to be banks and currency booths in downtown areas. Make sure you shop around a bit and take note of the exchange rates.

You are also better off buying currency in the country itself. So buy USD in the USA, Sterling in the UK etc.

However, it is possible to get good rates on any currency, anywhere. For instance, I bought USD in Auckland, New Zealand once, and at nearly spot rates.

Spot rate is the a actual market exchange rate, and you should be looking at getting as close to that rate as possible.

I recommend having an app like XE.COM so you can check rates as you do the transaction. This will also help towards not being ripped off by unscrupulous currency exchanges.

Finally, if you travel a lot, it’s always useful to have a little local currency on you once you arrive at an airport. Sometimes ATMs might not accept your card, for whatever reason, and you could be stuck for paying a taxi fare to your hotel.

CASH – A SUMMARY

– Always have cash on you when you travel, the most useful of which is USD.
– Never exchange cash at Airports. You will always get horrible rates.
– Bills or notes weigh nothing, so always keep any leftovers when leaving a country.

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