If you’re anything like me, there’s nothing more exciting than preparing for a trip away – where are you going to go? What are you going to see? What should you take with you? There are so many things to think about and prepare….
But, with so many things to think about, it’s easy to forget about important factors, such as finances.
Whenever you go abroad, there are a number of steps you can take to ensure that your trip runs as smoothly as possible, and that you don’t come home to an unanticipated, stressful situation.
Set up online banking
In the UK, it’s easy to keep on top of your spending and budget – you can simply check your balance at any cash point. When you’re travelling abroad, however, it isn’t always possible to view your balance at an ATM.
With this in mind, it’s well worth setting up online banking before you go (if you haven’t already got it, of course) to ensure that you can easily keep track of your spending. This will also allow you to make transfers and payments should you need to.
Take a number of payment options
Although you might only intend to use one account whilst you’re away, it is always advisable to have a number of payment options available. After all, you never know what might happen and, when you’re away from home, it’s not as easy or as quick to resolve any banking issues.
If you currently only have a debit account, you might want to consider applying for a credit card for the purposes of the trip, even if it’s just as a back up in case of emergencies. Of course, if you do decide to do this, you will need to pass a credit check – you can learn more about your credit rating here.
You might also want to consider getting a top-up currency card, which will mean you don’t have to carry around large amounts of cash on your trip. There are a number of cards, providers, and rates available so make sure you research all of your options!
Banks are increasingly on the ball when it comes to fraud and identity theft – which is great, don’t you think? The only downside is that it means that, when you’re in an unusual situation or location, you might find yourself unable to use your credit or debit card, and unable to access your funds.
To protect yourself against any awkward, embarrassing, or difficult situations, always tell your bank where you’re going – this way, it won’t come as a surprise when your card is used outside the UK.
Check your statements
When your trip comes to an end (yes, unfortunately it’s inevitable!), and you arrive home, always make sure you check your bank and credit card statements to ensure that there is nothing unexpected or untoward on your account. If you notice anything suspicious, contact your bank or credit card company straight away and ask to speak to their fraud team.