7 useful tips to manage your money while travelling

Updated: Mar 1

You’ve been saving hard, cutting unnecessary expenses and you now have a nice pot of cash to spend on exploring the world. Yay!

The next thing you should do is plan how you spend your cash so that no nasty surprises turn up during your massage on a beautiful beach in Thailand.

Where do I get the best exchange rates? How do I access cheap services? What if something goes wrong? And how do I make sure I don’t run out of cash halfway through the world?

Lucky for you, we’ve got some handy and helpful tips.👇

1. Create a budget

First off, you need to know how much money you plan to spend on your travels while taking your financial situation in consideration.

Some travel costs you might want to consider:

  • Accommodation

  • Transportation

  • Food

  • Entertainment

  • Clothing

  • SIM card or portable Wi-Fi

  • Shopping

Having a budget can prevent you from running out of money or stressing about where you can afford something or not. Make sure you regularly keep track of your spending and check how you're doing.

If you're looking for an easy way to track your expenses, download BigPay.

2. Bring two or three payment cards

Just in case you lose your main payment card or it doesn't work.

Having a backup card can be a lifesaver even if it charges high currency conversion fees. So, only use it for emergencies.

3. Let your bank know

If you’re taking your bank card with you, you’ll need to let them know that you’re travelling overseas, or they might block your card as suspected fraud. Sounds old school (we know!)

With BigPay, you won't ever have to do that.

4. Know the exchange rate

A bad exchange rate can cost you a lot of money so make sure you know what the rate is before converting currencies.

Luckily for you, BigPay offers the best exchange rate in the market. We pass on Mastercard's or Visa's exchange rate over to you with charges by the network. So when you pay for things overseas, you won't ever have to worry about whether you'll be getting the best rates.

5. Managing ATM fees

The golden rule when travelling is to exchange currency in the country that you’re visiting. Use the ATMs, avoid money changers unless they have really good rates. But the problem is that it cost a lot to withdraw cash.

That's where BigPay comes in. We charge RM10 per withdrawal overseas and nothing else. That’s how you’ll get the lowest fee. Most other cards will charge you a withdrawal fee and a currency conversion fee.

After your ATM withdrawal, you’ll get an immediate notification on your BigPay app with the amount you withdrew. This makes it easy to calculate exactly what you’re spending in fees for every withdrawal. 💸

6. Keeping your money safe

You don't want to be carrying all of your cash around with you at all times. Take what you need and a little more for emergencies. Even if you were mugged, you'll only lose a day's worth of money.

With BigPay, you’ll get real-time notifications when you spend and it’s super easy to freeze your card in case it gets stolen. 😉

7. Bring some extra cash

Have enough cash for the next 24 hours, for expenses such as a cab or the public transport. Keep some for emergencies. Not all countries are card-friendly especially if you're travelling in Southeast Asia.

The last thing to keep in mind is that you want to get rid of all your cash before leaving a country - the Vietnamese dong, Cambodian riel are valueless outside of their respective countries. 😛


With BigPay’s analytics you can easily see where you money is going - retail, food, transport, transfers and more!

When is your next trip? Which cash travel tip will you be putting into practice this time? Make sure to bring your BigPay card with you.