Traveling abroad is exciting – but it can also be intimidating. Confusing exchange rates, unfamiliar currency and cryptic languages can lead to big money mistakes. It’s important to understand foreign finances before you take off. Here are some tips for safe financial travel.
• Exchanging currency. There are three ways: (1) Convert cash at your bank before you leave (2) Use a currency exchange service in the airport (3) Use your credit or debit card, in which case your money is automatically converted.
• Foreign credit card fees. Be aware that over 90% of credit card issuers charge foreign transaction fees, which inflate the cost of any transaction processed outside the U.S.
• Call your card issuer before you leave. To avoid triggering suspicious activity and temporary holds on your card, notify your creditors of where and when you are traveling. Verify with your creditors and financial institutions that your cards will work internationally.
• Bring at least two forms of payment. The last thing you want is to realize there is a problem with the one-and-only credit card you brought.
• Don’t store important financial documents in your checked luggage. If your luggage is lost or stolen, your financial information could get in the wrong hands. Make copies of your passport, credit cards and itinerary and keep one copy with you and one with a trusted friend or relative you can contact in the event of an emergency. If your hotel room has a safe, leave copies in it.
• Keep your money secure. Purses, backpacks and loose wallets are easy targets for pickpockets. Use a fanny pack, money belt or hang a pouch around your neck to avoid becoming a victim of theft.
• Check travel advisories before leaving home. Check travel warnings from the U.S. Embassy for cities or countries you are visiting before you leave home, like this link for pickpocket warnings in Paris.
For more tips and information on safe financial travel, click here.by sophie