5 Useful Tips When Travelling Abroad

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undefinedNot many people follow their dreams and ambitions when it comes to travel as travel and Finances are complementary topics.  But refocusing on their life's aspirations, goals and managing their finances efficiently will enable them to perfect the travelling lifestyle.

We have been travelling since the very first year we got married, 39 years ago, living in 4 different countries; Mexico, the US, Australia and England. 

For the last 14 years, we have been living mainly in England and Australia and visiting other countries in between.

There are so many experiences that I could cover, but in this article, I will focus on our last encounter.

Ten years ago, my husband started to have some issues with his left hip. With time, his health gradually began to deteriorate.  His doctor in England urged him to have a total hip replacement operation.  The operation took effect in September, and it was successful. For three months he was advised not to travel.  When the three months were over it was December and England was getting cold.

Neither of us likes the cold weather, but this time, we felt that the warm weather was a lot more beneficial to him and Australia was the ideal place to be.

We began organising flights, accommodation and of course financial essentials.  These five useful tips when travelling abroad or when making a permanent move are the steps we follow to manage our financial affairs more efficiently.

1. Keep Your Current Account

Keeping your bank account open is advantageous. You might have a good standing and credit score record that can help you to secure loans or other banking facilities. But let your bank know you will be moving or leaving your country for a while and ask for a letter of reference, which will often help you rent a property.

2. Join A Bank Account within The Global ATM Alliance

Before you go, spend a little time researching international bank accounts. When you use your cards to make purchases or withdraw money there are significant fees; you could be hit with three separate charges (bank exchange rate, foreign exchange rate and withdrawal of up to 3% or a set fee)

The Global ATM Alliance is a group of several major international banks that allow customers of their banks to use their Automated Teller Machine (ATM) card or debit card at another bank with no international ATM fees. Be aware that other charges, may still apply.

3. Use No Foreign Transaction Fees Credit Cards

Credit cards with no foreign transaction fees are designed to help you save money when you're travelling overseas or shopping online with an international retailer. Find a list of cards with no foreign transaction fees on WalletHub or Credit Card Compare

When using your credit card abroad, pay in local currency. Many retailers will ask you if you want to spend on your home currency or the local currency, choose the local currency.

The card’s complimentary covers you with purchase protection when using a valid credit card.

4. Monitor Exchange Rates

Get the best possible exchange rate to make you sure you are getting the maximum return when spending your currency in another country. XE.com or X-rates.com are helpful tools for converting money of any amount and currency.

5. Withdraw Larger Amounts and Less Often

You will save on fees when you withdraw a more significant amount of money.  For security reasons, many banks limit the amount a customer can withdraw at any one time or in a specified period. This amount varies from bank to bank, and some banks allow customers to define their limits.

Of course, this material is just for general information only; please obtain independent professional advice for your particular situation.

I am in Perth, Australia at the moment, but wherever you are, I would love to hear your comments or experiences.

With much appreciation,

Luci