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How Much Cash to Take on Vacation – KATCHING!

Whenever I am planning to travel, I always wonder just how much cash to take on vacation, especially while traveling abroad.

Oftentimes, the answer varies depending on where I am planning to go, the duration of my trip, my itinerary, as well as the environments I am likely to find myself in.

Understanding how much cash you should take on your next vacation is a way to feel secure, prepared, and more confident the next time you plan to explore any destination that is new to you.

How Much Cash to Take on Vacation?

On average, the typical traveler should carry anywhere from $50 to $100 cash daily, depending on where you are traveling or vacationing. The amount of cash you may need each day while traveling will depend on nearby surroundings, whether you are in a tourist trap, as well as the overall cost of living at your destination.


How should I budget my next vacation?

Before you set aside daily cash allowances for yourself while traveling, especially abroad, it is important to budget your vacation in its entirety.

Plan out your vacation and itinerary to get an idea of the overall cost of the activities you have planned and the locations you intend to visit.

Calculate your budget based on the number of meals you will require each day as well as the average cost of each meal, your accommodations, as well as the travel fares you may need.


How do I determine how much cash I will need for my destination(s)?

Research the current cost of living at your vacation destination to get an average cost of standard vacations in your preferred locations.

Not all locations have the same cost of living. While in one country a meal may cost you less than $1.00 USD, another country may require upwards of $10.00 per meal, especially if you are visiting an area known for tourists.

Conduct thorough research to learn more about the cost of living of any travel destination you are interested in visiting yourself.

Because the cost of living varies greatly in so many countries today, $100 may be significantly more valuable in some locations, which can put a target on your back if you are not careful or aware of your surroundings.

Once you have an average meal cost, taxi/subway cost, and the cost of accommodations, you can then calculate what it will cost you to vacation on average each day in the area.


When should I carry cash while on vacation?

Whenever you are traveling, especially when traveling internationally, it is important to protect yourself and your belongings.

Oftentimes, scammers and thieves target tourists visiting their homeland to rob and/or pickpocket them while they are on vacation.

If you are visiting a crime-ridden country or area, it is advisable to take precautions whenever you are heading out into public with cash on your person.

You should carry anywhere from $50 to $100 USD on your person at all times in the event of an emergency or if you need to travel or leave the area at any time, regardless of the reason.

Carrying cash on your person is recommended after arriving at an airport while traveling via taxi, and even when in remote areas or villages when seeking food and drink.

If you are traveling to an international destination, research what type of fees you may be required upon entering the country, especially as a tourist.

You may also be required to pay additional cash fees for visa purposes, taxis, and any other local services you use.


What precautions should I take while carrying cash on vacation?

As with any vacation getaway, it is imperative to take precautions while carrying cash on your person, especially if you are traveling abroad or to a destination that is foreign to you. A few ways to better protect yourself while carrying cash on vacation include:

  • Exchange large bills for smaller bills.
  • Avoid grabbing entire wads or stacks of cash from your pocket or wallet. Showing off money as a tourist is one way to quickly catch the eye of a robber, thief, or pickpocket.
  • Do not carry all of the money you have brought with you on vacation at once. Store your vacation in a safe and secure area, such as your own safe or in a lockbox.
  • Do not show off big purchases when in public, especially if you are traveling in a country or region that is not known for being safe or tourist-friendly.
  • Remain aware of your surroundings at all times. Avoid making purchases if you feel uncomfortable or watched by a suspicious individual.
  • Carry cash and make purchases in public locations that are more secure and more welcoming to tourists.

How can I keep my cash safe on my person while on vacation?

Even if you feel confident in the amount of cash you are keeping on you while traveling or on vacation, there are a few tips to keep in mind.

Whenever you are carrying cash on you, it is best to do so by keeping the cash itself in your front pockets or within a wallet you can also store in your front pocket(s).

Using a long strap with your purse or bag is advisable, allowing you to place the bag over your shoulder and across your body, making it harder for thieves to potentially grab and steal.

Frequently Asked Questions about how much cash to take on vacation


Is it wise to ever take cash on vacation?

While it may seem easier to use an alternative method of payment, having cash is always advisable while traveling, as it is accepted virtually everywhere around the globe. You may require cash when requesting a taxi, purchasing food, or even in an emergency while traveling abroad, which is why it is always advisable to carry.


Should I just use my debit and/or credit cards while on vacation?

It may be tempting to simply use a protected debit or credit card while traveling, but it is not always possible. Some locations, especially international ones, require cash-only purchases. In other destinations, additional fees can quickly add up. Using cash is often the best way to travel, communicate, and navigate your way through new locations while on vacation, regardless of your destination country or region.

What if I do not have enough cash while traveling?

Fortunately, most places around the world today are well-equipped not only with traditional banking institutions but also ATMs. Before finalizing plans for your upcoming vacation, research ATM locations to ensure you have a backup plan if you require more cash on hand while you are away.