After two summers of travel restrictions and staying close to home, many Canadians are feeling the yen to travel once again. If you’re planning on doing a bit of exploring, it might be a good idea to refresh your knowledge on money matters as they relate to travel. Whether you’re off to Banff or Berlin, Bangkok or Buenos Aires, the key for travelling with money is to be prepared.
Here are three things to think about before heading out on your journey.
1. Inform your credit card company and financial institution
If you’re heading off for a getaway, make sure to let your credit card and financial institution know of your plans. This is particularly important if you’re planning to use credit or debit cards or access your account while you travel. Even more so if you’re going to an international destination for any length of time.
Letting them know where you are going and your travel dates will help ensure your purchases and activities aren’t flagged as suspicious. Your security and having protection against fraud are important, but you don’t want to lose access because of something you yourself triggered.
You may also want to jot down or record important phone numbers and websites before you depart – make a list of them and keep that separate from your wallet or save them in your phone. While important numbers and contact details are typically listed on the card, having a separate list is helpful should your card be lost or stolen.
Also make sure your contact information is current and that your email and mobile phone numbers are on file so you can be contacted in case there are suspicious transactions or if your card has been compromised. You may need to verify charges if your card has been flagged, so make sure you can be contacted should that happen.
2. Protect your interests and security
Travel is wonderful and we’re all delighted to see borders and tourism opening up again. But it also means refreshing our skills on being vigilant against theft and fraud. Staying informed and keeping alert to potential problems are your best defense.
Always protect your PIN when using your cards and be wary of generic ATMs – they can be a hot bed of skimming activity and other fraud. It’s always best to use ATMs from well recognized banking brands and reputable institutions.
If you get a suspicious call or email about your accounts, check its veracity before your act – this could be a trick from identity thieves or other fraudsters. Contact customer service for your account instead, either from the number on the back of the card or via methods on their website.
If your card is lost or stolen while travelling, contact your financial institution or your credit card provider at once. They can help protect you against further hassles and offer advice and solutions on managing through the rest of your holiday – and the quicker they know you’ve had a problem, the quicker they can respond to prevent further complications. You may even want to discuss a contingency plan ahead of time should your cards or account become unavailable to you while travelling.
3. Manage cash and local currency with care
When you’re travelling within Canada or the United States and especially if you’re in another part of the world, it’s always wise to have a little bit of cash on hand for your journey. While most credit cards are accepted worldwide and you’ll have debit access across a broad network (learn about ways to bank when you travel via ATM and debit when using your BlueShore Access Card), there are often times when you need good old fashioned cash.
Carrying cash, though, comes with risks. Pickpockets and thieves are common in many popular travel destinations so if you’re relying on cash for your daily adventures, you’ll want to make sure you carry only what you’ll need for that outing. Keep your money – as well as your wallet, all cards, and travel documents – in a safe and secure place where sticky fingers can’t easily reach them. And don’t make a habit of flaunting wads of money or other valuables, especially in some higher risk locations.
If you’re travelling outside of Canada, you might want to have some of the local currency on hand before you take off. BlueShore Financial’s foreign exchange service offers over 80 international currencies at competitive rates. Learn more about exchange rates and how and when to order the foreign currency you need.
Stay safe and have fun
Whether your journey is meant to be relaxing or adventurous, your time away should not be spent dealing with money and card issues. Taking a few steps and precautions before you leave and while you travel can go a long way to making sure you have a safe and pleasant trip. If you still have questions or concerns about money, credit, and protecting yourself on your next trip, contact us or visit a branch near you for more information.
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