Specialist credit card recommended for backpackers

Aussie backpackers have been urged to compare credit cards and debit cards and opt for a specialist travel option before venturing overseas.

Offering his list of backpacking "essentials", author and travel expert Ben Groundwater argued that the issue of money exchange when travelling abroad has changed dramatically in recent decades.

"Traveller's cheques are a great idea if you're planning a trip to 1985, but otherwise not of much use," he wrote for the Sydney Morning Herald.

"Instead, you can use one of the many travel cards that banks offer."

Mr Groundwater recommended the 28 Degrees MasterCard credit card from GE Money which is advertised as the only Australian credit card with no annual fees or international transaction charges.

Among the other tips, it was suggested that backpackers invest in a decent smartphone "with the right apps downloaded".

This could mean that travellers do not have to bother lugging guidebooks or phrasebooks around as they can instead simply load them onto the phone, Mr Groundwater said.

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