Traveling abroad is an exciting venture that requires a lot of thought and preparation. For people who are traveling abroad for the first time, planning for a trip of this size can be a bit intimidating. From nailing down travel plans to protecting finances on the road, there are many important things to remember before traveling abroad. For anyone looking to make his or her first trip abroad a positive one, here are some financial tips.
Limit the Amount of Cash on Hand
One of the biggest fears of travelers is that all of their cash will be stolen or go missing. To help safeguard your wallet, limit the amount of cash you carry on hand and always have a backup, such as a major credit card or traveler's check, in case of emergency. Additionally, if you must carry cash, don't keep it all in one place. Spread it out in different pockets, and never allow anyone to have easy access to your money or wallet when traveling abroad.
Use Traveler's Checks
An excellent alternative to carrying cash while traveling abroad is to use traveler's checks. Traveler's checks are accepted in many countries, and are much safer to carry than cash. Unlike traveler's checks, cash cannot be replaced if it is lost or stolen. Additionally, traveler's checks have two separate lines for signatures. One line you sign upon receipt of the check, and the other line is to be signed when you purchase an item with the traveler's check. The cashier is to verify that the signatures match perfectly and confirm your identification prior to cashing them, thus making it almost impossible for anyone else to use your traveler's checks.
Keep Legal Documents and Important Phone Numbers Safe
Be sure to keep a file containing all of your pertinent information. Many travelers lock their legal documents in their hotel safes and keep copies on their person while sightseeing. When traveling abroad, you will need to have your passport, photo ID and birth certificate readily available.
Additionally, keep a note handy of any important phone numbers, such as the contact information for your credit card companies and the domestic embassy abroad. It is important to have this information readily available at all times, in case of an emergency.
Verify that Your Medical Insurance is Accepted Abroad
Medical insurance is another important, though often overlooked, aspect of traveling abroad. While there are some health insurance carriers that are accepted overseas, verify all the details with your insurance carrier to be sure that your health is properly covered abroad. Often, the policy will cover you at a decreased percentage and a higher patient out-of-pocket cost. Prior to traveling, it is best to double-check all relevant details with your health insurance carrier.
Notify Your Credit Card Company Prior to Your Trip
Before you depart for your trip, it would be a good idea to notify your credit card company that you will be traveling abroad. Some credit card companies will become suspicious if they see international charges show up on your statement. To be safe, let your credit card company know about the trip ahead of time and provide it with important details, such as your hotel information and the length of your trip, so that your credit card provider can contact you if the need arises.
The Bottom Line
Other than your physical safety, there is nothing as important as your financial security while traveling abroad. Traveling overseas for the first time should be an unforgettable and enjoyable adventure. Safeguard your wallet and ensure that financial mishaps don't ruin this once-in-a-lifetime experience for you.