Stay informed! Visit the SA Department of Health's website for COVID-19 updates:

Managing your money while you travel


Seeing the world is super fun, but it can also be super expensive. However, by using a few simple and effective money management techniques, you can save yourself a lot of stress and unnecessary bank charges.

Authorise your card

Contact your bank in advance to activate your card for use in the specific country that you’re visiting so that you can do transactions while you’re there. This is usually a quick process and some banks can even authorise your card over the phone. 

Draw, don’t swipe

Swiping has become part of our daily lives, but when you’re travelling the casual card swipe here and there can rack up some serious bank charges. Instead, if you find yourself needing money while you’re there, draw cash at an ATM so that you only pay a once-off fee.

Know your cards

Debit cards, credit cards, travel cards … the list goes on and on. But did you know that not all cards are created equal? Be sure to research the different account options, card charges and interest rates to establish which solution offers the most benefits when transacting in a different currency.

Book currency in advance

If you need foreign currency, don’t leave it until the last minute. Book your currency in advance to avoid paying any unnecessary bank charges, and it never hurts to keep an eye on the exchange rate to maximise the bang you get for your buck. 

Avoid the airport exchange

If you don’t have time to exchange in your home country, steer clear of exchange booths at airports or bustling tourist areas, as the exchange fees there are often astronomical. Instead, ask your tour guide or hotel receptionist to direct you to the nearest bank or bureau. 

Keep your bank on speed dial

Before you leave the country make a note of your bank’s emergency contact numbers in case there is suspicious activity on your account. After all, if something happens to your card while you’re travelling, there’s no time to waste, especially not on Wi-Fi hunting and Googling. 

Budget for real joy

When you’re on holiday it’s easy to justify purchases with #YOLO and fill your bag with useless souvenirs. Instead, do a bit of research before your trip and budget for specific experiences and meaningful purchases. Try to stick to it as far as possible.

Stay informed! Visit the SA Department of Health's website for COVID-19 updates: