The summer holidays are upon us and the last thing you want is a banking nightmare while you’re away. Here are a few banking tips for those planning trips abroad this summer.
Before you leave
For some this may seem like common sense but when you’re rushed at the last minute to pack all the necessities — sleeping bag, hiking shoes, camera, swim suits — these kinds of technical details, like how you plan to pay for things while you’re away, can get pushed to the wayside or even forgotten.
- Check the expiry dates on all your cards. Be prepared to renew your cards at least one month before your departure if they are due to expire while you’re away on holidays.
- Ask your bank to temporarily remove any daily limits on cash withdraws from ATMs in case of any large unexpected expenses.
- Make sure that your card can be used internationally and that your destination country will accept your card.
- Record your card number and the telephone numbers to reach your bank from abroad (they’re often not the same as the UK ones), in case of theft
While you’re away
Cards instead of cheques
Always use card rather than cheques. You can leave this precious book of slips at home, safe in your drawer because they are rarely accepted abroad. When they are, they generally are accompanied with high admin costs to process them.
Traveller’s cheques instead of cards
For destinations where cards are rarely accepted, traveller’s cheques are a good alternative. Make sure to order them well before your departure. It’s a good way to travel without carrying large amounts of cash on your person.
You’re travelling abroad and you want to check your bank balance (eek!) in a internet cafe or any other public place to plan the rest of your holiday while still sticking to your budget. Follow these steps:
- Never save your access codes to the computer, always un-tick the “Remember me on this computer” box if there is one.
- Always officially “sign out” of internet banking before closing the browser window and leaving the computer.
- Clear the browser history after logging off and leaving the computer.