Top 10 tips for travelling abroad
Travelling the world is always an exciting and fun new experience but it can be costly. These top 10 tips will save you money and turn you into a savvy traveller!
- Inform the bank that you will be overseas
Banks have diligent fraud detection departments who will be alerted to any unusual financial activity. To avoid having your cards suspended, inform your banking institution when and where you will be travelling and to expect transactions from that origin.
- Pay your bills in advance to avoid paying late fees
Preplanning can save a lot of money when travelling. Assess your bills ahead of time and identify any that may arise whilst you are away. To avoid any late fees or interest occurring arrange a direct debit or pay ahead of time.
- Set a budget and stick to it
As simple as it sounds, this is vital when planning an overseas trip. Consider the foreign currency and exchange rates. Itemise various expenses such as accommodation, food, transport, shopping and activities. Whilst you may have money in credit facilities or other savings it is important to avoid overspending to prevent cash flow issues when you return home.
- Avoid bank cards with foreign transaction fees
Bank cards often have hidden foreign transaction fees which can add up. Do your homework ahead of time and enquire with your bank about the best options available to you.
- Get travel insurance
There are many levels of travel insurance to consider when travelling overseas that cover both medical and non-medical emergencies. Whilst it may be considered a gamble to some, the risks involved with not purchasing insurance can be critical. You will likely receive support in a medical or dental emergency, reclaim costs on cancelled or reschedules flights and replace stolen or lost luggage. Some covers will also include vehicle accidents, dependent children and personal liabilities.
- Steer clear of dining near major tourist attractions
The price of food and beverages are often exorbitant in high traffic areas and near popular tourist attractions. If you can plan your meals and find cheaper options, you can save a significant amount of cash across the duration of your holiday.
- Shop around for currency
Foreign currency exchange rates are forever fluctuating. Spend some time hunting around to get the best exchange rate possible. Many travellers are unaware that different institutions offer different rates. Comparison websites can make life easier and help you find the smarted deals.
- Consider traveller's cheques
If bank cards aren’t for you consider traveller's cheques. Traveller's cheques are a tried and trusted way to take your money overseas. You can count on a refund if they are lost or stolen - you have the physical cheque but not the uneasy feeling that comes with having a pocket full of irreplaceable cash. Also, the cheques don’t expire so if you underspend and return home with unused cheques you can use them at home if they’re in the correct currency.
- Do not overtip
Coming from a culture where tipping isn’t particularly a rule-of-thumb, we can find ourselves caught in the trap of overtipping. Whilst there are no hard and fast rules, there is a general ballpark percentage of what to tip in various countries. Travel Channel explains the tipping norms across the globe.
- Stranger danger and pickpockets
Don’t get lost in your surroundings - be aware of the situation and protect your personal belongings. Whilst some countries are more prone to theft than others, it’s good practise to keep personal safety at the forefront of your mind. Valuables can be stored in lanyards beneath your clothing, carry a bag that zips up and wear backpacks on your front if you feel particularly unsafe.
By Jasmine Tan, PKF Adelaide