Travelling light comes with its fair share of benefits. Not only can it help you stay more mobile, but carrying fewer material possessions also helps you stay present.

So what if you could enjoy this same peace of mind with your payment processes when travelling? That’s why more nomads and adventurers are embracing the convenience of digital wallets.

But what is a digital wallet, and do you actually need one while travelling?

We’re here to answer these questions today.

Digital Wallets: Do You Need One While Travelling?

What Is a Digital Wallet?

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A digital wallet is a financial transaction app that can be set up on your phone.

It allows you to make payments without the hassle of using cash or scanning a credit / debit card. If you’ve ever used your phone to buy groceries, then you’ve already used a digital wallet.

Digital wallets can also offer more security than physical payment cards, especially when you invest in a VPN for your phone. With a mobile VPN in place, you can encrypt your network connection and safeguard your payment details from hackers while abroad.

Pros of Using a Digital Wallet While Travelling

Convenience on the Go

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Your digital wallet removes the need to carry different bank cards and cash. This means a reduced risk of having your cards or cash stolen when travelling.

Digital wallets also simplify the payment process. Instead of opening your bag and digging around for your physical wallet, you can simply tap your phone. This helps you stay agile and stress-free when on the road.

Easy Currency Conversion

You can use your digital wallet to automatically process payments across different international currencies. This access to currency conversion allows tourists to forego hunting down currency exchange agencies.

This not only saves time but also ensures that you get the most competitive exchange rates when spending overseas.

Streamlined Budget Tracking

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It’s too easy to overspend on a holiday. When else do you have the opportunity for that level of indulgence? But the good news is that using a digital wallet will enable you to track your budget with ease.

This can be done by reading through your wallet’s activity summaries and categorising spending. These features are designed to give you a quick snapshot of exactly where your money is going.

Holding Gift Cards & ID Cards

Digital wallets don’t just hold credit or debit cards. They can also store gift cards, membership cards, event tickets, hotel reservations, and even your driver’s license.

So, if you’re worried about losing any of your IDs, simply load them up onto your digital wallet. 

The ability of digital wallets to hold ID cards and other cards provides convenience and peace of mind. No more worrying about leaving important things back home or in your hotel room.

Just whip out your phone, and everything will be in the palm of your hand. 

Cons of Using a Digital Wallet While Travelling

There are other considerations you need to make when deciding whether a digital wallet is right for you. To help, here are a few reasons why you may not want to use a digital wallet while travelling. 

Digital Wallets May Not Be Accepted Everywhere

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Tourists should keep in mind that digital wallets may not be accepted across all vendors at your travel destination. As a result, you will still need to carry your card or cash around for some destinations. 

Be sure to do plenty of research into your travel spots to ensure that your digital wallet can be of full use. You don’t want to find yourself stranded with no cash in a foreign land.

You’ll Need Access to WiFi or a Data Plan

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Digital wallets rely on WiFi or mobile broadband for their operation. If your mobile device doesn’t have access to a reliable connection, you may not be able to use your digital wallet. 

Your digital wallet also won’t be accessible if your smartphone or smartwatch also runs out of battery.

You can avoid this by carrying at least one bank card or a small amount of cash with you wherever you go and keeping device chargers or power banks on hand. 

Additional Transaction Fees

For many store owners, cash still reigns supreme. Because of this, some merchants may charge additional transaction fees for customers who are using digital wallets. These fees also apply to card purchases, with extra fees for currency conversion as well. We recommend that consumers read up on any transaction and currency exchange fees outlined by their bank and wallet app.

Security Concerns

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If your mobile devices are stolen and not protected by a password or biometric data, there is a chance your digital wallet can fall into the wrong hands. The good news is that this can be avoided in a few ways. 

You can safeguard your mobile device and digital wallet by:

  • setting strong passwords on your devices, 
  • enabling multi-factor authentication,
  • using a VPN, and 
  • reporting any lost or stolen devices ASAP. 

So, Do You Need a Digital Wallet While Travelling?

A digital wallet can be an invaluable tool for travellers or even in your day-to-day life back home. It offers convenience on the go, can help streamline your transactions, and stores membership cards, rewards cards and your IDs.

If you prefer traditional payment methods, you may opt to stick with physical cards and cash. We recommend that you consider using a mix of both for the ultimate combination of convenience and safety.

Ultimately, the decision to use a digital wallet depends on your personal preferences and your spending habits. You may even decide to use a digital wallet for convenience when travelling to big cities and other destinations where you can expect to pay by card.

Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Her husband Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; an online magazine dedicated to opening your eyes to the wonders of the wild & natural world.

Having visited 100+ countries across all seven continents, Megan’s travels focus on cultural immersion, authentic discovery and incredible journeys. She has a strong passion for ecotourism, and aims to promote responsible travel experiences.


Source: Digital Wallets: Do You Need One While Travelling?

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