A poll on our website currently shows that over 56% of members plan to travel in the next 12 months, and with the all time low prices of international flights it’s a great time to travel.
So the next few blog postings will revolve around one of my favourite topics- travel!!
So I thought I would start on a few travel basics, first of all you will need to be able to access your money while you are travelling.
There are a few ways you can access money when you are travelling overseas which may depends on what country you are visiting, so some research may be involved (personally I have always found Lonely Planet a good starting point!). Each of the following ways of accessing your money has their pros and cons:
- Travellers Cheques: Can be organised at your local financial institution (like ours!). Travellers cheques are safe, as long as you record the serial codes on the cheques and keep them separate from the cheques (in case they are lost or stolen). In most countries it’s easy to find somewhere to cash them.
- Cash Passport: acts similar to an ATM card, its PIN protected and you can use them anywhere. For added security you also receive 2 cards, which you keep separately incase one is lost or stolen then you will still be able to access your funds via your second card.
- Credit Card: can be used worldwide, you must use your credit card wisely though and protect your details from unscrupulous persons. You will be charged a withdrawal fee and also a higher interest rate for cash withdrawals. Having a credit card while travelling is handy for booking accommodation or flights through reputable agencies. But you will need to ensure you notify your financial institution you are travelling overseas. If you do lose your credit card and need it replaced while still overseas this can be costly.
- Debit Card: can be used like a credit card but instead you are accessing your own money, make sure you tell your financial institution you are travelling overseas. You will be charged an ATM fee in most countries. If you do lose your debit card and need it replaced while still overseas this can be costly.
- Foreign Currency: Foreign currency can be ordered through most financial institutions (like ours!). It’s handy to have a small amount of foreign currency for when you arrive at your destination so you can purchase drinks, hire a taxi etc.
I highly recommend selecting a couple of these options for when you go travelling, and try not to keep them all in the one spot. Just recently I met a girl overseas who had her purse pick pocketed out of her handbag. This meant she had no way of accessing any of her funds, luckily her friends all gave her money so she could get home ok.
Keep security in mind when you are travelling, its wise to keep your funds in different locations i.e. cash in your purse, credit card and debit card in the hotel safe etc.
Please keep in mind this is my personal opinion and not that of Companion Credit Union, you will need to research your destination and decide what suits your financial situation best.