Thursday, March 8, 2012

Accessing your moola while abroad

Being able to access your bank account while overseas is probably the most crucial thing when you are travelling. The last thing you want is to get stuck somewhere in a different timezone on a weekend with no cash after a foreign auto teller has swallowed your bank card.

I used a Travelex Cash Passport while I was travelling. It was really easy, I didn't have to use my Australian card and it came with a duplicate back up card. So at all times I had three different options for accessing money in case something went wrong. Make sure you dont keep all three cards together... for obvious reasons! Talk to your bank and let them know of your travel plans so they dont think someone has stolen your card. I would recommend transferring to a VISA if you haven't got one already. 

After a day of wearing one of those irritating over the shoulder and under your clothes money belt things and not enjoying it - I decided to make use of it a different way. It became my keeper of all things categorised as back up resources... cash, my spare Travelex card, maps, etc. I would highly recommend a small bag for all your secret stashes that can be easily hidden in a safe place in your pack.  

Another thing to remember is when you withdraw money from an auto-teller overseas, make sure you take out a decent amount. Put enough to last a few days in your purse or day bag, and put the rest in your secret stash bag. Each time you withdraw you are usually charged a fee, so by taking out as much as you can each time you need money you wont waste too much on withdrawal fees. For example, when I was in need of money in Europe, I would withdraw 500 EU, put 50-100 EU in my purse and hide the rest. 

Also, make sure you withdraw money during daylight hours if you can, in a fairly busy public area. Don't put yourself at risk by using the auto-teller down the alley at 11pm at night.

One of my friends recently gave me this advice:
"I found NAB really good for atm transactions. its usually $4 per transaction but if you get the gold card for $10 a month overseas wigthdrawals are free so pays for itself. i did run into some money troubles o/s when my bank card was swiped/hacked and then my back up credit card expired! so think about having a few ways of accessing cash. student flights is the shizz definitely" Thank Jordan =)!!

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