Planning your first trip abroad? Remember to familiarise yourself with the different payment options while abroad to prevent incurring unnecessary costs.
Anthony Grant, CEO of FNB Foreign Exchange says, “First-time international travellers tend to focus on the trip itself and forget the alternative options available when transacting abroad. However, with a bit of forward planning there are areas where costs can be trimmed before jetting off.”
Money tips for first time international travellers
- Get travel insurance
Travel insurance will cover you in the case of an unforeseen incident, such as a medical emergency or loss of luggage, and cushion you against digging deep into your pockets to cover these costs. Apply for and read through your travel insurance terms and conditions to ensure you are adequately covered for all types of emergencies.
- Order your foreign currency before you leave
Having some currency allows you to pay for the little things in cash such as a coffee at the airport or taxi fare on route to your accommodation. Currency exchange rates fluctuate all the time, so it is more cost effective to get your foreign currency before you leave.
- Consider getting a Travel Card
There are many advantages to having a travel card handy; not only do you mitigate the risk of carrying large amounts of cash, but you can also load various currencies (USD, GBP, EUR and AUD) onto the card from your local bank account. You can swipe at merchants and withdraw cash around the world where you see the Mastercard acceptance mark. It is the ideal budget management tool because you only spend what you load.
- Notify your bank
It’s important to notify your bank about your upcoming trip, the various locations you will be visiting and the duration of time spent away. This will help the bank detect any suspicious activity in your account such as fraud and they will be able to contact you timeously. For example, if you are out of the country and the bank picks up a local transaction, it will be an immediate red flag for them.
- Stay connected
Stay connected via your banking app and continue to transact when you need to by activating roaming and ensuring that you have a secure internet connection. This will also enable you to receive SMS alerts to help you monitor your expenses while travelling.
Source: FNB. Image: