Preparing to Travel Abroad
Posted by Jenny at 6/6/2014 10:21:21 AM
When people travel abroad so much time goes into planning
the itinerary, securing hotel accommodations, and transportation that most
people overlook how they plan on paying for items while overseas. Oftentimes,
we hear horror stories of lost wallets, stolen purses, missing debits cards and
identity theft so it’s always a good idea to create a safe spending plan to
protect you and your family.
There are so many options when traveling and there really
isn’t a one size fits all approach. Before you leave, do some research on where
you’re going and how you will be using money when you get there. Don’t rely
strictly on cash, traveler’s checks or credit cards. In fact, it really is
better to have multiple options so weigh the pros and cons of each depending on
Cash is the least secure option so only carry enough to use
in an emergency, and if possible, plan to bring it in the local currency to
avoid exchange issues. Once you’ve arrived, you can always locate an ATM and
use your debit card to replenish your supply. Debit cards are a good option but
you need to be sure your financial institution knows you’re travelling to avoid
temporary card closure, so don’t forget to contact them before you leave.
During that conversation it would also be helpful to ask if the card is
connected to a worldwide network like PLUS or Cirrus or you may not be able to
use it. Traveler’s checks are another secure option that may or may not work
everywhere you go so be sure to contact a travel agent or the hotel beforehand.
If you choose to bring a credit card you will find they are
more secure than debit cards and that most major credit cards are accepted worldwide.
Contact the credit card company to let them know of your travel plans and to
find out whether they are accepted where you land.
Though credit cards are the most secure option and most
widely accepted you should not just rely on one card. Consider bringing a back
up credit card, a small supply of cash, your debit card and leave them in a
safe or alternate location. It is also a good idea to photocopy the contents of
your wallet, cards, etc. and leave that in a secure location at home or in your
hotel room in the event you lose your wallet or it is stolen.
the Member Solutions Center at 518-452-8183 or 800-727-3328 for more
information about your SEFCU debit card or to inform SEFCU of your travel