Your Travel Financial Checklist Explained

You’ve got your tickets, packed the bags, given the neighbour instructions to water your plants and you’re ready to embark on your long-awaited trip. Prepping has taken a lot of time and thought, and you may think you’ve covered all the bases. But in nine cases out often there’s one critical planning element that travellers forget. They neglect to create a personal financial checklist. Skipping this step can make or break a dream vacation.

Remember before you say good-bye to your daily routine to take care of your money here, there and everywhere.

Travel Financial Checklist #1 – Be Careful with your Cash

It is always advisable to carry some cash with you while travelling. It’s best, however, to carry only a portion of the money you’ll need as cash. It’s a no-brainer that it’s unwise to carry all or even a lot of your monetary allocation as cash because you may lose or be robbed of it in one unfavourable fell swoop. However, you may still need cash in an emergency situation.

You should carry cash in the currency you’ll use at your destination. Exchange rates might not always be too favourable, particularly at airports. When you’re abroad, you may have to pay extra in conversion fees and other services, so it’s best to take the foreign currency with you from your own country. If you are on a world tour, try to carry small sums of foreign currencies from the countries that you’re planning to visit. If you have an international bank affiliation, you might be able to simply withdraw foreign currency from the bank at your destination.

Read: How To Make Extra Money Effectively

Travel Financial Checklist #2 – Inform Financial Institutions

It is crucial that you inform all of the financial institutions with which you deal that you are travelling overseas. The major reason for this is that many banks and credit cards or debit cards companies will freeze your accounts or cards whenever they notice transactions taking place in locations that vary from your normal patterns of expenditure. Institutions do this to provide account security and at the same time may be misinterpreting that some sort of crime or fraudulent activity is occurring.

When you inform your bank that you’ll be out of town, you may also be made aware of a range of benefits that will change the way you manage your accounts. You can, for example, create online accounts, utilise multiple forms of disbursements and even get a personally managed ATM card. Online accounts and international ATM cards will allow you to get a hold of money, make deposits and effortlessly keep tabs on your account. Online accounts enable an extra layer of security since you will be able to instantly notice any suspicious activity in your account. Note that you might incur new charges from your financial institution with such new service extras.

It’s advisable that when you go abroad you bring along photocopies of all your financial statements so that your identity can be verified in emergency situations. This is especially helpful if, for instance, you should lose your passport.

Another pre-departure housekeeping job for you is setting up multiple payment modes. Having multiple bank accounts with varying amounts of money strengthens security. Different bank accounts also enable you to set up one account to automatically pay your rent, telephone bills and similar expenses. This means that you don’t need to appoint anyone to take care of such responsibilities while you are miles away from home.

You should also carry a range of different debit or credit cards as not all brands are accepted at each and every international location. Moreover, some shops prefer cards like Visa, American Express or MasterCard when offering discounts or, for example, a second item free. In any case, make sure that you are carrying the card that you used to book your flights, hotels and other services at your destination.

Travel Financial Checklist #3 – Research Financial Conveniences Before You Go

Researching the financial conveniences available to tourists at your destination will make your travel more pleasant and cost-effective. Countries around the world have varying policies that may provide you with some financial benefits. For example, there’s a heap of diverse policies on tipping in foreign countries or claiming refunds on VAT paid. Many countries do not customarily tip extra, while there are some regions where tips are specifically fixed.

It’s logical that tourists consult online services or mobile applications that show how much service personnel are customarily tipped at any given location. Many countries do refund the automatically added VAT, which is obligatory on the purchase of all goods and services, so just make sure that you know the situation in your destination country.

Travel Financial Checklist #4 – Connect to Travel Rewards

Travel rewards might be provided by your airlines, debit/credit card companies or banks. Your airlines may issue travel points redeemable for rewards or even loyalty upgrades. Your card companies might allow free or discounted international usage. Your bank may function as do the card institutions. Overall, taking advantage of travel rewards can make your journey more agreeable, fun and convenient.

Travel Financial Checklist #5 – Research Relevant Expenses

It’s suggested that you do your homework and find out which expenses you’ll need to cover specific to your foreign destination. Transport expenses, internet access costs and travel insurance are some of the most commonly accrued expenses that you will need to consider. Determine first of all whether you’ll actually require these amenities.

Transport expenses and travel insurance are highly recommended as part of your expense plan. Internet connectivity should really only be considered for purposes above and beyond your socialising. Certain types of transportation (like taxi cabs) are more expensive than train, motorbike and other options. It’s well worth your while to research the less costly modes of transport available at a foreign destination. Investing in packages that include transportation rentals can be the best way to tackle these issues. Travel insurance is necessary for your personal protection as well as your peace of mind.

Related: How To Save $10,000 A Year By Making Small Changes

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C.E.O @ The New Savvy
Anna Haotanto is passionate about finance, education, women empowerment and children’s issues. Anna has been featured in CNBC, Forbes, The Straits Times, Business Insider, INC and The Peak Singapore. She was nominated and selected for FORTUNE Most Powerful Women conference in 2016 (Asia) and 2015 (San Francisco, Next Gen). Anna has 10 years of experience in the financial sector and is currently a Director in Tera Capital. Her previous work experience includes positions at Citigroup, United Overseas Bank, a regional role in Business Monitor and a boutique private equity firm based in Shanghai. She graduated from Singapore Management University (Finance and Quantitative Finance).