Got Crypto, Will Travel

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It’s a New Year and that means twelve whole months of new travel possibilities. And if you are someone who is feeling particularly adventurous, that might include trips to foreign countries. 

Whether you’re a frequent traveler or heading out for the first time, it’s always a good idea to brush up on some reminders about traveling with cash. 

Safety First

Even if you’re traveling closer to home, it’s smart to safeguard your cash. One of the basic things to keep in mind is not flashing around a wallet full of cash. Most people don’t do this intentionally, of course. But stowing all of your cash for your trip in your wallet, then taking it out to pay for something lets everyone know just how much cash you have. 

Instead of putting all of your money into one spot like a wallet or a handbag, spread it out. Put some of it in your front pocket for example. Or, purchase a belt specifically designed to hold some cash. Some clothing also has hidden inner pockets, which are excellent places to stash some dollar bills. 

For one thing, placing cash in a few spots means that you won’t have a giant wad of it in one place for everybody to see. It’s also a great backup plan if you run into a sneaky thief on your travels. Hopefully, this doesn’t happen to you, but if it does, they won’t be able to steal all of your money at once. 

Foreign Currencies

If you are venturing abroad this year, you’ll want to keep in mind that you’ll probably need to exchange American dollars for the currency of the country you’re visiting. 

You’ll need to pay some sort of exchange fee for that currency conversion. Some experts recommend you convert your dollars here in the U.S. at your own bank. Generally speaking, this will probably be your best bet for the lowest fees. It does require a bit of planning ahead. However, that bit of planning can save you the “convenience fee” that often comes with exchanging currency at your destination airport, for example. 

What About Bitcoin?

Of course, cash isn’t exactly king anymore. It definitely has its place, but currency has been trending toward digital methods like credit or debit cards. And, these days, you can even pay for things with cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin. 

Right now, many countries don’t consider bitcoin to be legal tender. But there are some notable exceptions. Here at home, the Department of Treasury says that bitcoin is a currency that can be converted into actual dollars. And, of course, bitcoin can be taxed as property in certain situations. 

It may surprise you a bit to know that there are actually crypto ATMs in the United States. We have so many that the country’s overall acceptance of crypto was given a 7.3 (out of 10) rank from Crypto Head--in part because of all those crypto ATMs.

And the European Union gives a nod to some cryptocurrencies, but they aren’t necessarily embracing them yet. Canada and Australia are a bit similar to the U.S. in that they see bitcoin as something that can be taxable, depending on the situation.

El Salvador is actually the single country that recognizes bitcoin as a legal form of payment. That happened as recently as June of 2021. Other bitcoin-friendly places include Denmark, France, Germany, Japan, Mexico, and more. 

On the other hand, some countries have declared bitcoin to be illegal. And some have actually forbidden the use of it altogether. If you’re traveling to another country, it’s best to read up on what countries do and don’t accept crypto before you go. 

Should You Use Crypto While Traveling?

Using crypto while traveling is partially a personal choice. However, there are some pros and cons to paying for your travels with crypto. On the plus side, you don’t need to mess with currency exchanges and would-be thieves on the street are thwarted. 

The downsides are that crypto doesn’t have a set value like cash--it does change. And generally, if you pay for something using cryptocurrency, you’re probably not going to get your money refunded. 

Travel Plans

Whether you’re traveling abroad or staying within the U.S. this year, be smart about cash and payments on your getaways. And be sure to do your homework on crypto if you want to pay for your travels using bitcoin in the U.S. or in a foreign country. 

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