Travel can be stressful, stress depresses the immune system and a depressed immune system is vulnerable to a host of disease. Stay healthy abroad naturally with The Peace of Mind travel tip series. This edition: finances.
Travellers’ cheques have almost gone the way of the Dodo bird. They are heading towards becoming obsolete and are difficult to exchange in many places. So how does one get money abroad?
Debit cards are a convenient way to get the local currency at the best rate. Plan your budget well as each withdrawal incurs a fee. There are 2 major networks that accept most major debit cards: Cirrus, the MasterCard® network and Plus, the VISA network. Look on the back of your card to see which one you belong to and then look for a machine with the name and/or symbol to match. In most developed countries your card should work.
A credit card with a low credit limit that is only used for travel is ideal too. In case the number/card gets stolen, the thief can’t do much damage if the credit limit is minimal. It is also a good idea to alert your bank and/or credit card company that you will be traveling abroad. The duration and destination of your trip are useful details to tell your bank so they can help keep an eye on possible incidences of fraud.
I like to travel with my laptop where I can do secure online banking. It recognizes my IP address (i.e. computer id on the internet) which allows me to access my accounts easily. This way I can keep an eye on my withdrawals, the corresponding withdrawal fee and the current exchange rate.