How to Access Money Overseas: What you Need to Do Before you Board the Plane

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One of the questions I am most commonly asked by readers is for advice on money matters relating to travel. After the past few years of being on the road I’ve seen many changes in all aspects of travel, but perhaps none more so than foreign currency, travel money cards and credit cards for overseas travellers.

For this blog post I have collaborated with Australia Post to bring it to the attention of my Australian readers of just how easy it is to arrange your travel finances before you go, and just how much money you can save by organising your finances in advance.

Here’s exactly how to arrange your finances before you travel in the easiest possible way (for my Australian readers):

My Travel Essentials

Getting foreign cash before you go 

Before embarking on my first solo adventure overseas I did a lot of research into foreign currency exchange to discover how I could cut down fees and charges when exchanging money.

Most of the big name currency exchangers were charging unreasonable fees three years ago and I recently learned in the Sydney airport that this is still the case (having discovered at the last minute that I needed $50 USD for a landing visa in Tanzania – copping an incredible $12 AUD currency exchange fee for that mistake!)

For that first trip overseas by myself I knew I would feel much more organised and less overwhelmed if I had at least a small amount of foreign currency for the countries I was visiting.

Australia Post Travel Essentials offer currency exchange services with great rates and a $0 commission if you order online or at one of 3,200 participating Post Offices. Yep, no nasty fees! They cover all of the most popular destinations for Australians which makes pre-travel planning a whole lot easier.

How to access your money overseas

Travel money cards vs. Credit cards?

Another question I am asked is whether to load your money on to a travel money card or whether to use a credit card overseas and, if so, which one?

This is another area of travel that has changed over the years and at times can be quite frustrating when you discover your once “no fees” credit card has all of a sudden changed its policy!

For years I was using a “no fees” credit card which did just that, so when I discovered I was in fact being charged fees to withdraw money I started to look at my alternative options.

How to access Money overseas

Pre-arranging a multi-currency travel card

Australia Post offers the “Multi-currency Cash Passport” which allows you to load a different currency to your card and as such avoid currency conversion fees. But better (and what caught my eye) is that they do not charge fees for withdrawals or transactions – and to my knowledge there are no longer any credit cards offering those benefits in Australia.

The Multi-currency Cash Passport and foreign exchange services, along with a range of other travel essentials are located at the Australia Post Travel Essentials site. This also includes travel insurance, pre-paid sim cards to use your mobile overseas and mail hold services. All in all, they’ve made an effort to cover everything you need to arrange before you embark on a trip!

Although this post was in collaboration with Australia Post to highlight their “Travel Essentials” site, all opinions are entirely my own and based on my experiences.


My Holiday Flashback Competition with Australia Post

To celebrate the launch of Australia Post’s Travel Essentials, they’re giving away $5,000 every week for 8 weeks and a trip away in the ‘My Holiday Flashback’ competition.

To enter, just visit this site and upload a photo of your favourite travel moment and a story about why that is your favourite travel story!

Brooke Saward

Brooke founded World of Wanderlust as a place to share inspiration from her travels and to inspire others to see our world. She now divides her time between adventures abroad and adventures in the kitchen!