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Your Travelling Financial Checklist

2012 May 26
by Duncan

Whether you are travelling for business or for pleasure, it’s a good idea to ensure your finances are in good order before you leave. From arranging adequate insurance to finding the best deals for credit cards to use abroad, a little preparation can help ensure that your trip is trouble free.

Always inform your bank or building society of your travel plans a few days in advance. If you don’t do this, the first time you use your credit or debit card abroad could trigger a fraud alert which could lead to a temporary block on all card transactions. Some banks allow you to add details of foreign travel plans over the internet for added convenience.

Local Currency
Although withdrawing currency from an ATM abroad is one of the most convenient – and often cost-effective – ways to obtain your travel cash, it’s highly advisable to have at least a small amount of local currency with you on arrival. That way, if the airport ATMs are not working or your card is subjected to a block, you’ll still be able to get a taxi to your hotel and buy something to eat while you are waiting for the matter to be resolved.

Most banks and building societies provide a special contact number for customers calling from overseas. Make a note of this in advance and keep it with you at all times in case you need to contact them in an emergency.

If you intend to use credits cards for most of your spending while abroad, it may be worth making sure that you have one that provides the most rewards in return. Some cards offer additional miles when used to book flights, discounts on car hire or extra reward points with certain hotel chains.

Other Factors to Consider
Travellers cheques are a great way to keep your spending money safe but another more modern alternative is to use a pre-paid travel credit card. A huge range of products are available so it is important to compare services to see which one suits you best. Such cards are normally free to obtain and load but may charge fees for withdrawals from foreign ATMs.

These cards are extremely secure because the money in the accounts can only be accessed with a PIN and they have no identifying details of the owner – not even a name.

If you travel regularly, consider purchasing an annual multi-trip insurance policy but before you do, compare the cost of this to the cost of upgrading your bank account as many include benefits such as worldwide travel insurance and European breakdown cover that you might otherwise have to purchase separately.

Finally, check your purse or wallet before travelling and make a note of every item it contains. Remove any non-essential items such as gym membership or store loyalty cards as this will cut down on the level of inconvenience should your belongings be lost or stolen.

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3 Responses leave one →
  1. May 29, 2012

    I don’t think travellers cheques are very good these days. I’ve not met anyone recently who still uses them as it’s getting increasingly hard to cash them in.

    I had the issue of bank closing my account (even online) because they thought my card was being used fraudulently. Had to phone them after and let them know. they make some sort of note on the system of how long you’re away for and you can limit it to a country if you’re not moving to a lot of places. So a good tip to remember.

    I have a debit card which I primarily use and a backup credit card. Although I wished I planned my credit cards a bit better now, as you can leverage them to gain airmiles to fly around on the cheap.

    • Duncan permalink*
      June 7, 2012

      Thanks Rob,

      Yea travellers checks are a little dated but some people may get use from them. I think it was Nomadic Matt that mentioned keeping a few 100$ bills was always good, as people always can exchange them..

      Something to consider, anyway.

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