First trip abroad? Five money tips to secure your bank balance

2017-08-29 14:30
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Cape Town - First trip abroad? Travellers should familiarise themselves with the different payment options while abroad to protect themselves from 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.”

SEE: Travel cheap with these money-saving hacks

Here are some money tips for first time international travellers:
  • Get travel insurance

Embarking on your international journey without travel insurance is not only risky, but can also be very costly in the long run. Travel insurance is important because should an unforeseen incident occur, such as a medical emergency or loss of luggage, you will be cushioned against having to dig deep into your pocket to cover these costs. Apply 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 currency as one of your methods of payment makes your life just a little bit easier as you can pay in cash for things like a coffee at the airport while you wait for your connecting flight, or taxi fare on route to your accommodation. Currency rates fluctuates all the time so it works out more cost effective if you get your foreign currency before you leave. Withdrawing cash or exchanging currency while you are travelling could turn out to be quite costly due to changing market conditions between you leaving and arriving at your destination

SEE: How to do a budget Euro trip – and have a unique experience in the process

  • Get 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 load various currencies onto the card from your local bank account.

The 4 currencies available are USD, GBP, EUR and AUD. The card enables you to 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.

An example would be the Multi-currency Cash Passport online and have it delivered to their door and also top up the balance via FNB Online Banking while travelling if more spending money is needed. 

  • 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 notice 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 transaction taking place locally this will automatically raise a red flag.

SEE: Travel packing for dummies – 5 tough life lessons to learn

  • Stay connected

While travelling overseas you can stay connected via your Banking App, all you need to do is activate roaming and make sure you have a secure internet connection. This means you can continue to bank when you need to, as well as receive SMS alerts helping you monitor your expenses while travelling. However, make sure you are aware of the additional costs you could be liable for when activating roaming. 

What to read next on Traveller24:  

- 6 Essential skills for travelling abroad

Going abroad: Tips to take the hassle out of long-haul travel

Travel packing for dummies – 5 tough life lessons to learn