Are you looking to travel to Australia? Australia, more than most developed nations seize the imagination. It provides a range of beautiful places fun and diverse things to do from beach escapes, adventure tours to cultural city breaks. But other than planning your preferred destinations and things to do while there, planning your travel money options should be at the top of your Australian Vacation prep list.
How to carry money while travelling in Australia
For your peace of mind, always plan to bring various payment options for your Australian vacation. Even if you plan to primarily use a bank card, the golden rule for travel money is to never put all your money in one bag, credit card or wallet. In the event you misplace your stuff or get robbed, you will lose everything. Therefore have a variety of ways that you can access your money in case of emergencies.
If you plan to bring cash with you, you need to be aware of the rules that apply. While there is no limit on how much you can bring in or out, if you plan on arriving with more than AUD $10,000, you will be required to declare it to the Australian Customs at the Airport.
Once you are in the country, always carry a useful amount of cash with you and put it somewhere discreet. You can leave some of the cash in a secure spot such as a hotel room safe.
This is a card you probably use every day in your home country. However, in a foreign country such as Australia, most banks will hit you with a host of fees, including withdrawal fees, conversion fees, and exchange at a bad rate.
If you are going to be using your debit cards, then consider using in-network ATMs. Some banks have sister networks that can save you a few dollars. Also, instead of withdrawing small sums frequently, make large withdrawals sporadically and use your card in stores instead of cash.
You can also carry your money on various credit cards like the American Express, Diners Club, Bankcard, MasterCard, Visa, JCB and UnionPay which are all accepted in Australia. Diners Club and American Express are accepted at most tourist destinations and major supermarkets, department store chains, and restaurants. However, we highly recommend that you carry some cash with you as some merchants may levy credit card fees in some places.
Also, carry a backup card that you can use if your primary one goes missing. Using a credit card can have loads of payoffs. These cards don’t only come in handy when making reservations and large purchases, but they are also effective in case of an emergency.
A Traveller’s cheque is a physical cheque that can be bought in Australia, with fixed amounts of money written on it. However, it is important to note that these cheques are not widely accepted in most areas. However, if you purchase one, make sure they are in Australian dollars. Smaller local restaurants, stores, and other businesses may not know what the current exchange rates are if presented with a cheque in a foreign currency such as British Pounds or US dollars.
Prepaid Travel Money Card
This is basically a pre-loaded debit card that you can use while travelling in Australia. Most banks, post offices and some major airlines offer travel money cards at a fee. All you need to do is choose the amount of Australian dollars you want to be loaded onto the card. You can then use the card at local ATMs to get cash and to pay for things in shops, restaurants among other places.
If you run out of money or all the above options fail, you can always ask someone to wire you money. Moneygram and Western Union have agents all over the world where you can receive a wire transfer from home. However, you will be asked to pay a premium fee for the service.
The Bottom Line
Overall, the best way to carry your money in Australia is a combination of converted cash and a low fee card. Just make sure to give importance to the safety aspect as opposed to the cost factor.