Money Matters When Volunteering Abroad

The US dollar is the easiest currency to exchange anywhere.

Before leaving home, call your credit card company and bank to let them know you will be traveling abroad. (Many institutions have automatic blocks for security when card are used abroad.)

When arriving in any foreign country for your volunteering abroad program, always exchange your cash for some local currency before leaving the airport and walking out onto the streets.

If you need money from home while volunteering abroad, have your family deposit money directly into your bank account, so that you can withdraw the money locally in cash. (The ATM fees will be considerably less than the fees charged by money-transfer companies like Western Union and Moneygram.)

Split-up your cash, travelers checks, and credit cards in different places (pockets, handbag, money belt), in case of theft or you’re forgetful and misplace any of these items.

Become familiar with calculating currency exchange rates quickly in your head (so you understand better what things cost abroad)

Save a few notes and coins as souvenirs to take home with you to show family and friends.