Getting the Wellness Balance Right, and Taking the Stress out of Paying

Have you noticed how travel trends morph from one year to the next? Well, 2024 promises to add more layers still, this time with a personal twist. And as more travelers seek experiences that resonate on a personal level, the need for meticulous preparation continues to grow.

Living it Long in the Blue Zone

One emerging trend involves stepping into the shoes of beloved fictional characters; so-called “alter ego” or the “inner self” vacations. Imagine a favorite movie character, and go where and how they would go. Or how about embarking on journeys tailored to the traveler’s “Human Design” type. Are you an adventurous “Manifestor,” a more cerebral  “Projector,”  or a mixture of both in the “Reflector” model?

Then there is the already established wellness trail. Consider silent retreats, and visits to the Blue Zones of longevity.  Or Sleep Tourism (yes, it’s a real thing). Whatever the emphasis, the diversity in wellness vacations is vast.

Exotic and Unusual comes at a (cash) price

The allure of high-end vacations, whether it’s tracing the steps of Jack Sparrow or seeking contemplation in Bali, comes with its own set of challenges. Major costs like flights and accommodations are typically settled in advance, and most resorts accept payments by card – but not always. Step outside of the normal and many vacationers find themselves where cash is the only currency. This is particularly true in remote or exotic locales, where card payments may not be universally accepted, and ATM availability can be scarce or non-existent.

So, what makes these unusual vacations work so well? Preparedness.

Acknowledging reality, savvy travelers understand the importance of securing local currency before departure. This approach saves money – they avoid inflated rates at airport foreign exchange booths or hotels – and it  ensures readiness for surprise expenses, no matter how remote the location. This foresight is essential for those indulging in specialty vacations that break from the norm with an immersive experience into new cultures, wellness, and self-discovery.

A Golden Opportunity for Travel Money

Recognizing the growing demand for international travel from the US, financial institutions like credit unions and banks have a golden opportunity to cater to the foreign exchange needs of their customers. Historically, it seemed these businesses only reluctantly provided a foreign exchange (FX) service,  perhaps because of its perceived complexity and labor-intensive nature. However, this view has changed rapidly with developments in electronic transactions and more recently with digitization.

Take, for example, Money 4 Travel by Essiell. This white-label foreign exchange service streamlines the FX process for both customers and financial institutions. It’s easy-to-use; travelers can order the necessary foreign currency from their smartphones or PCs and collect it at their local branch. This convenience is matched by the service’s seamless integration into existing systems, doing away with cumbersome administration for tellers.  Branch staff have more time to focus on providing additional value-added services, such as travel insurance.

A Transformational Service

Money 4 Travel transforms foreign exchange from a logistical challenge into a valuable revenue stream. It shifts the focus back to what truly matters to the customer – enjoying the unique experiences that high-end vacations offer, stress-free. And it strengthens the relationship with those customers too, who are now financially prepared for their vacations, regardless of the destination.

By Declan Morton, staff writer at Money 4 Travel and Essiell Ltd.


For reference

Ditch reality, channel your alter ego: this 2024 travel trend will have you doing a double take, Grazia Magazine, February 2024

Discover your dream vacation: how to use human design to plan your perfect trip, Grazia Magazine, February 2024

The Wellness Travel Trends We’re Here for In 2024, Suitcase, February 7, 2024

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