Making smart monetary decisions is a necessary part of traveling. You need to be careful when planning your trip and also when you are actually on your trip to ensure you spend wisely. We have put together a quick list of 5 travel money mistakes to avoid in order to help you have a financially successful and completely fun trip!
Tell Your Bank
While it may seem simple, it is completely necessary that you inform your bank that you will be traveling. If you use your debit or credit card while abroad, or even just in the airport, your bank may see it as a red flag indicating your card was stolen. Your bank may even turn off your card, leaving you with no access to your money. This is quite easy to avoid and can be done in a quick phone call prior to your trip. Call your bank and any other credit card companies you plan to utilize while traveling and let them know where you are going. They can turn off certain fraud detectors on your accounts while you travel, ensuring you have constant access to your money.
Exchange Cash in a Smart Way
Local currency is something you definitely need to have on hand when traveling abroad. However, knowing where to exchange your cash can save you a lot of money. Airports and tourist centers are the worst place to exchange your money as they charge high fees and give poor exchange rates. Instead, use FX Compare – an online currency exchange website where you can order the cash you need before you travel and pay much lower rates that you can find abroad. Not only will you be prepared for your trip with cash in hand, but you will also save a lot on the entire exchange process.
Consider Your Phone Plan
You probably want to make a few calls while you are traveling either to check in on your family and friends or even to touch base with your job. However, your cell phone plan may not include international calls. In addition to charging you for making a call abroad, you can also get hit with cell phone roaming fees or excessive internet charges. Check your phone plan before you go and upgrade it if needed. You can also purchase a temporary international plan or calling cards as well to help combat overseas phone charges.
Make a Budget
Having a budget for your trip may sound logical but it is a step many people skip. Really take the time to think about how much you can afford to spend and make that number your maximum travel fund. Then, consider the cost of your transportation, hotel, food and excursions. Write them all out and see where you can afford to spend more and where you need to cut. Stay on budget as you travel and you will have no financial issues when you return home!
Avoid Public Wi-Fi for Financial Transactions
In order to keep track of your spending while abroad and stay on budget, you will probably need to log on to your bank account once or twice. Before you sign on, make sure you are using a secured internet line and not public Wi-Fi. It is surprisingly easy for someone to hack into a public connection and have almost instant access to your bank account. So before you type in your password, check that your connection is secure- better safe than sorry!
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