The extent to which people are moving around the globe; traveling overseas, taking extended stays, becoming expats – well, you’d think the whole world was their home.
Wait a minute, the whole world is our home, isn’t it?
More Travel. More Money Moving Around the Globe.
As we grow older, many of us are traveling more, including internationally. Not only might we have more time to travel than when we were younger; thanks to the internet and laptops, many of us can take our work with us, making even longer stays possible. And, our generation seems hell-bent on global travel. Close to 100% plan to take at least one trip a year; 42% plan to travel both domestically and internationally.
According to the National Travel and Tourism Office, the average number of international trips taken by U.S. travelers annually is about 2.5. In 2017, that translated to 66 million trips overseas.
And, of course, these travelers aren’t all over 60. GenXers and Millennials are traveling in especially high numbers, especially to foreign locations. The world may not be their oyster (thank you, global economy), but the younger generations definitely seem intent on exploring all corners of the world. An impressive 80 percent of Millennials surveyed by the American Society of Travel Agents took at least one leisure trip in 2016, usually more, averaging 2.38 vacations per person in 2016. Gen Xers averaged 1.80, and Baby Boomers averaged 1.65. What these numbers boil down to is that the average Millennial took 32 percent more vacations than the average Gen Xer and 44 percent more than the average Baby Boomer.
All that movement around the globe means money travels around too. Sometimes – maybe often, depending on you and your family members’ international adventures – someone finds it necessary to send money to a loved one overseas.
If you’re called upon to send money to someone in a foreign country, does that mean a special trip to your bank, filling out forms, and paying through the nose for a wire transfer? Not anymore.
Is There a Better Way Than a Wire Transfer to Send Money Overseas?
Oh yeah, there is. It’s called an international money transfer service, and it’s better for four reasons:
#1: It’s easier than a wire transfer. You can do it online. You don’t need to go to your bank to get it done. (Some banks provide for wire transfer orders online; others do not.)
#2: It’s cheaper. A traditional wire transfer usually carries a fee of up to $50 or more even for small amounts of transferred funds. Money transfer services typically cost far less.
#3: It’s faster. A wire transfer typically takes 2 to 3 business days to complete. International transfer service transactions usually are completed within 24 hours.
$4: You yourself could be traveling at the time that an international transfer is needed, and you could handle it quickly and efficiently from anywhere in the world. All you need is internet access.
My Experience With An International Money Transfer Service
One of my daughters lives halfway around the world from me; I’m in Southern California, she’s in South Africa. While she’s self-sufficient, sometimes I want to send money to her, such as at Christmastime when my husband and I, plus my mother and sister give her money for gifts. Everyone sends their checks to me; I deposit the money in my account and then handle the transfer of funds to my daughter. In the past, I went to my local bank in person, jumped through a few hoops to get around the special restrictions that seem to be imposed on all things financial in South Africa, and filled out a wire transfer form. Three days and $50 in fees later, my daughter received the funds.
This year, I instead set up an online account with a service called TransferWise, entered the relevant banking info for myself and my daughter, ordered the transfer, and boom – it was done. The next day the money was in her account and it cost me about $21. I highly recommend ditching banks and traditional wire transfers, and instead using an online service that specializes in international transfers of funds.
Note: When you use TransferWise, you’re likely to pay fees even lower than what I paid; transactions involving South Africa, in my experience, always cost more. In general, TransferWise’s fees are about 1% of the amount sent.
For more information on TransferWise and other international money transfer services, visit Top 10 Money Transfer.
This article was originally published on Sixty and Me.