Top 8 Things I’m Glad I Spent Money on Around the World /How to Avoid International Fees (

Hi, I’m Ruth, and I have an adventure addiction. A serious travel problem. The more I check off my bucket list, the longer it seems to get. After seven years in the grind of Corporate America, I was ready for an adventure! So I packed my backpack for a three-month sabbatical and a trip around the world.

A few things are inevitable when you go on an adventure of a lifetime: a serious list of the best stories to exchange, epic photos, and money flying out your checking accounts. (Insert MasterCard “priceless” commercial), but seriously, you will hemorrhage cash.

The first question I often get asked is “How do you afford it all?” Great question. First, work your butt off, second, (and here’s where people go wrong), make sure you actually enjoy your hard-earned money and prioritize travel and new experiences. You don’t have to be a millionaire, but you must prioritize travel and for goodness sake, do NOT pay fees. I traveled for three months without paying ANY unnecessary foreign transaction fees.

Do you know what that means? More money to do more epic things.

Here are my Top 8 splurges around the world, all while avoiding fees.

1. Northern Lights Chase in Tromsø, Norway: $354 ($39 in fees avoided) northernlights2

2. Renting a Row Boat on Lake Bled, Slovenia: $17 ($5 in fees avoided)bled1

3. A Day Pass to Plitvice Lakes, Croatia: $16 ($3 in fees avoided)plitvicesmallest

4. Two-Day ATV Rental in Mykonos, Greece: $93 ($14 in fees avoided)



5. Wine shipment and tasting in San Giminano Tuscany, Italy $92 ($14 in fees avoided) tuscany

6. Scuba certification in Thailand to dive with manta rays in the Maldives $318 ($36 in fees avoided)scuba

7. Renting a Motorcycle for the day to visit Kulen mountains in Cambodia $82 ($12 in fees avoided) cambodia

8. Overnight train from Hanoi with a Trek (and Homestay) through the rice patties in Sapa, Vietnam $223 ($26 in fees avoided) paddy

Total in splurges: $1,195

Grand total: $149 Saved 

Here my Secret Weapon: Revolut. Send, spend and exchange money abroad easily and cheaply with this Revolut(ionary) app.

Here’s the run down on its 3 major components that makes this app a traveler’s dream:

1) Sending money: Think Pay Pal without fees. Easily convert currency at the best rates and send to friends via SMS/WhatsApp/Email/URL.

Savings Summary: PayPal 2.9% + £0.20 receiving fee vs. FREE with Revolut.

2) Exchanging money: Have you ever wondered how bad it is to exchange money at the airport or a money exchange store? With bad exchange rates and “service charges”, it can be as horrific as 27% higher than it needs to be. Revolut provides the best possible exchange rate, the interbank rate. No hidden fees or spread.  Even better, currency conversion with Revolut is capped at 1% (with a £120 max per year), and you’ll be getting the same conversion rates you find on Google.

Savings Summary: I’ve seen everywhere from 3-27% on exchanges with bad rates and service fees vs. 1% on Revolut with the best rates validated by Google. This is a game changer.

3) Spending Money: Ditch your card with an average of 1-3% of fees plus up to 12.95% for cash withdrawal. Revolt gives you a free international card that let’s you spend and withdraw like it’s a national card in any country you’re in without the horrendous fees. No credit card application needed, this simply allows you to spend the money in your Revolut account, like a tube pass.
Savings Summary: 1-3% of fees plus up to 12.95% for cash withdrawal on regular credit cards vs NO fees for spending or withdrawal on Revolut.

Really EASY sign up: if you download the app now, this link will give you the first £500 exchanges completely free.

Two steps: 1) Simple app download 2) Providing nothing more than your birthday and address. Don’t wait and lose out on £500 in free exchanges, it takes a total of 30 seconds.

Download with the promotion here:


Enter “500” as the code here:

App Store:

Take control of your money and do more of what you want with it! Do the same so you too can taste a Westvleren 12 in Belgium, eat a hearty plate of Bolognese in Bologna, or visit the Maldives before it sinks.



5 responses to “Top 8 Things I’m Glad I Spent Money on Around the World /How to Avoid International Fees (


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s