This is Post #3 in July’s series of money tips for travellers.
Post 1: How to save money in England
Post 2: How to save money on accommodation (without sacrificing comfort)
5 MONEY DETAILS TO SORT BEFORE YOU LEAVE
1. Confirm that your debit and credit cards use chip technology This has messed me up in my month in England. My Visa card has the chip but neither of my debit cards do! No merchants can swipe my debit cards, consequently, I have to use my Visa card. This is not great (see #2)
2. Find out how your Visa calculates the exchange rate if you are travelling abroad. This varies from bank to bank. In my case, the exchange rate is first calculated from GDP into USD then into CAD. Some banks charge a double whammy for those to conversations. All banks (I believe) add an “administrative” percentage to the exchange rate. Mine is 2%. . CIBC is 2.5% This isn’t terribly significant but it’s worth knowing what you getting into.
3. Scan your calendar for the time you are going to be away. Are there any one-off or regular payments going to be made? (what’s that? you don’t have those noted anywhere? Hmm. Need a little help getting your money organized? My biz can help). Ensure those payments are organized (cheques left, funds in account or what have you).
4. Call your banks to let them know where you are travelling. Trust me on this – it will save you the time and hassle of your visa card being suspended for “suspicious” activity. (And if that does happen, don’t get mad at your bank. Thank them for protecting your visa).
5. Get travel insurance. First, check what your employer provides and what your credit card provides and what your regular insurer provides. If they don’t, or strike you as insufficient, shell out the extra $$ for peace of mind.
Photo Credit: Clive C