One of the most important things in your business travel is money. Of course, you need the right amount of money to fund your travel, but what I mean is how you bring your travel money and how to send or receive money while you are not in your home country.
Whether you are a budding entrepreneur doing business overseas – business setup, supplier search, etc. – or an entrepreneur living the location independent life, the Tim Ferriss-way, you need to do money sending and receiving somehow.
Here are some travel money issues to consider when traveling for business.
Cash or no cash?
As of for me, I usually prefer to travel with cash converted into local currency.
The good thing with cash is convenience – you are sure that your cash in hands will be accepted wherever you are in the country. Unfortunately, cash eats up space – either in your pocket or in your luggage. Of course, you can exchange a small amount of money into local currency, but that would be a hassle to find money exchanges with good rates, not mentioning a good risk of theft (over-)seeing you carrying those bank notes.
Wire transfer? Could work well, but depending on who handles your wire transfer, things can go bad. I personally use Western Union for my wire transfer needs, but it’s not ideal for businesses. Considering the western union scam issues, you should take extra caution when you have to deal with Western Union. Be sure to partner with top money transfer companies to reduce your risks.
No cash options
There are other options, such as traveler’s checks, debit cards and credit cards.
With all the risks involved in bringing, sending and receiving money, I should opt for traveler’s checks, as it’s probably the safest of all options. But the fees and hassles related to it are turn-offs for me.
Debit cards? Despite they are usually present you with competitive exchange rate, they are not that safe. Plus, not all ATMs overseas can accept yours.
Credit cards might be the most convenient choice of all. You can do any transactions without the need to mingle with exchange rate (done automatically.) Alas, fees are high when the credit cards are used overseas. Just be sure you sign up with worldwide-accepted issuers, such as Visa and MasterCard.
How to bring, send and receive money right
It’s all depending on your situation. Will you be abroad for quite a long time? In which country will you be staying during your business activities? How will you do any business transactions?
There are a lot of questions to answer, but a good rule of thumb is to plan your business travel ahead – buy airline tickets, book rooms and any other your business travel-related expenses before your departure. This way, you don’t have to worry with the exchange rates, fees and charges.
You also need to somehow bring cash, credit cards and traveler’s checks to cover your business travel for a short period of time. If you are staying long overseas, consider bringing enough money in the form of traveler’s checks for an added security measure, while exploring a possibility to set up an account with trusted local financial institution to wire transfer money from your home country. Again, Western Union could be a good option for its convenience – just make sure you have done the needed due diligence.
Business travel money