Monthly Archives: September 2014

The Banking Habits of the Full Time Traveler

travel and banking

I’m not going to get too technical here. In fact, the thing I want to impress upon you isn’t a skill but a state of mind. I want you to take a good, honest look at your bank (maybe the one you have back home, from years ago) and ask yourself, “Is this the bank for me?” I raise this question, dear traveler, because many people like yourself have settled for a bank that keeps their money secure, but not safe. Here’s what I mean.

Happy MoneySince the Financial hullabaloo of 2008, banks of all stripes have instituted fee structures to keep their profits securely in place. This is a problem at some institutions much more than others. If you are one of the unfortunate few who bank with the former, you’ve seen nasty charges arise for such innocuous behavior as having a debit card, keeping a checking account open, or overdrafting once in awhile. I remember the day when overdrafts were covered by my bank, because they were looking after me. One has to look long and hard for this kind of treatment nowadays. But look one must!

If your bank is racking up fees totaling over $100 per year, you know you could do better. That money could easily fund your adventures or be tucked away for some travel or savings goal. It’s the financial rookies who shrug off $100, thinking it’s not good for much. But you are a seasoned traveler, understanding in what money can do, how it can grow. You won’t stand for this.

Here’s another consideration. Maybe you’ve found yourself in an unfamiliar land, with no one who shares your language. Suddenly, you find yourself in a financial bind, and you need access to your bank accounts quickly to cover a visa cost. Can you do it? Chances are, you can’t, and a representative isn’t available by phone because you’re on the other side of the world, and they are all asleep. If this sounds like your bank, it’s time to change to one that has a presence in every peopled continent and 24/7 service available by the usual electronic communication methods.

And these are really just the basics that any international traveler should have covered. Your bank should have an awesome app to automate your saving habits to keep you on track and doing what you love. Even though these apps are free now doesn’t mean that they’re not awesome. And if your bank doesn’t have one, find one that does.

I hope I’ve been able to convince you that you are deserving of a great international bank. You demand it! You’ll stand for no less! Even though changing banks is something of a bother, it’ll pay off over and over. You may keep these accounts open for decades, and you’ll always think back, saying “I’m glad I did that.” I am too, fellow traveler. I am too.