Are you preparing for a new adventure? Getting ready to fly away?
Travelling or going on holiday can be wonderful way to spend your time, because you have the chance of exploring new places and discovering different cultures through unforgettable experiences. So, I know you are probably excited to get there and make lasting memories, but you should also make sure that you are being smart with your money and remain security conscious. We know sometimes this is not the first thing on your mind when you’re going away, so we decided to help you with some useful tips on how to ensure your financial security and safety when you’re spending abroad. Take a look below!
1. Make sure you have the right credit card, so you don’t have to worry about extra charges.
One important starting point for managing your finances when you’re preparing to travel somewhere is to check the usage fees for your credit or debit card. Some cards can be internationally used with little or no fees, but if your card charges a commission every time you use it, perhaps it’s better to consider using cash or a pre-paid card, instead. Being mindful of this can help you avoid so many hidden fees and contribute to your savings too.
According to Forbes, “UK debit cards usually debit around 3% of what you withdraw in non-sterling transaction fees as well as a 2% (or £1.50 or $2) ATM fee. This brings with it those £125 million of fees – but that figure doesn’t include the hidden costs such as direct charges at the ATMs themselves or the fees that come with the little known but common practise of DCC, or dynamic currency conversion.”
So, next time you take out your card to pay for something abroad, you can make decisions knowing all of the facts and not spend more than you need to!
2. Take care of your belongings when shopping or walking down the street.
You probably hear this all the time, everywhere you go – but that’s because it is so important!
This is particularly important when you are abroad in a foreign country. If you’re not familiar with the area, you are likely to find yourself in places that may not be the safest and as a result, you may make yourselves vulnerable targets to pocket thieves. If you are carrying money or valuable possessions with you then it may be worth investing in a dummy wallet to hand over to thieves and buying clothes or items with concealed pockets to hide these things! Some people also use their shoes to hide their money – not the most hygienic, but it works!
So, before you go on holiday, do all your preparation beforehand. It’s better to be safe than sorry!
3. Don’t keep all your valuables on you.
Some people think that it may be safer to take all of your valuable belongings and money with you every time you leave your hotel or accommodation – but this can actually be quite dangerous. Keeping your money in a safe is actually a much securer, as well as convenient, alternative. You’ll reduce the risk of getting pick pocketed, and you’ll also be able to regulate your spending behaviour, so you can avoid running out of money mid-way through your holiday. (This is never fun, by the way!)
4. Prepare with some cash before leaving to your destination.
We know you’re probably used to paying with your card everywhere, so having cash in your wallet might come across as old-school. But before you dismiss it, let me tell you why it may be a good idea:
• Using cash to make purchases holds much less of a security threat than credit cards. You can become a victim of fraud from using foreign ATM’s anywhere in the world, and possibly be targeted by local residents if they suspect that you are a tourist.
• Spending money from your credit or debit card when you’re on vacation can come with some additional hidden costs, so if you want to make sure you avoid extra charges, cash is the best option.
• Using cash abroad may be the overall cheaper option. Before you fly away, you will have time to have a look around and find the cheapest deals on the foreign currency in advance.
• Having cash could stop you from unnecessary spending. Seeing your cash physically in person, alternatively to storing it on a card can actually deter you from making impulse purchases as you can see your money decreasing with every use.
So, if you have no idea where to look for a good option, this could be a good starting point!
5. Let your bank know that you are going abroad in advance.
This one is less to do with your financial safety or security and more to do with ensuring that there are no inconveniences and that your holiday runs smoothly.
One of your bank’s purposes is to do everything they can to safeguard you from identity theft. They take this so seriously that if they notice payments being made in an unfamiliar place, they may detect it as fraud and block your card. And you definitely don’t need this to happen when you are living it up abroad!
By informing them that you are going away, this will prevent them from worrying about unusual transactions and causing inconvenience to your holiday!
Sun, Fun, and Financial Security!
All in all, managing your holiday finance and keeping financially secure shouldn’t be something terribly complicated or stressful to think about when you’re going abroad. After all, you’re supposed to feel good and enjoy that much-needed break. Even so, it is important to take some time to plan ahead of your journey. Don’t forget to invest in some products to keep your money safe and do some research on exchange rates before you get to the airport. After that, you can grab your suitcase and hit the road knowing you are going to enjoy your vacation to the fullest, because you won’t have any problems with your finances!