If you’re planning on travelling this summer, you already have a lot on your mind.
But with increasing amounts of security breaches and potential fraud, it is important to prepare for the financial piece of travel.
Here are a few things you’ll want to address before you leave town to ensure a seamless-and enjoyable- travel experience.
- Notify your bank. Most banks err on the side of caution, and if they see transactions suddenly occurring from your account in a different location, it looks suspicious. They could end up freezing your card, giving you no access to money exactly when you need it. Give them advance notice of your travel plans, including where you will be going and how long you plan to be there. Also make sure to have your bank’s customer service phone number in an easy to access spot.
- If you’re travelling to a country with different currency, have some on hand before you arrive. That way you can easily get from the airport (or wherever you are coming in from) to where you’re staying, without having to worry about exchanging or withdrawing money immediately upon arrival. Using cash is also recommended to reduce the risk of identity theft. Since the exchange rate is typically better in the country, and it’s generally not a great idea to carry a lot of cash around, make sure you have small amounts of cash at all times.
- If you need an unusual currency, contact Oak Bank a couple weeks in advance. We typically have common currency, like Euros and Canadian money, but even if you are traveling some place far away, we are happy to make sure we have it on hand for you when you come in.
- Only bring the cards you need. This will be a relief should you lose your wallet or luggage, and will only have to worry about replacing a couple cards as opposed to all of them. It also means you are carrying less stuff, which is also a great thing when traveling.
- Consider a chip card for international travel. The difference in a chip card is that it adds a layer of encryption directly at the cash register. This means an extra layer of security for your information. If you have a card with us, it is likely a chip card as all new cards issued by Oak Bank are. Contact us if you have questions.
- Have a back up plan in case of lost or stolen luggage. Most recommend keeping money and cards close at hand (or at least on your carry-on when it comes to travel). Make a photocopy everything (front and back) in your wallet. When traveling, I typically have one copy of the paperwork in my suitcase and another copy is held by someone back home I can call in case of emergency.
- Bring printouts of major purchases. When you make reservations with hotels, airlines, etc., you are typically issued a receipt. Bring them with you in physical form as sometimes you may have to prove to the hotel clerk that, despite not being in their computer system, you are supposed to check in that night. (While some people like to save things on their phones, you never know if you are going to accidentally zap your phone battery when you fall asleep listening to music on your 10 hour flight so printouts are best.)
- Know where the ATMs are. If you know where you are going, use the internet to find out where ATMs are located at your travel destinations. By searching ahead of time, you may find lower fee or fee free options. ASK JOSH ABOUT IF THEY ARE SAY AN ALLPOINT PARTNER OR SOMETHING SO WE CAN LINK HERE
- Use a travel agent. If keeping track of this is not something you want to do, let a travel agent book for you. Then if something goes wrong, you can call them and they can deal with it.
If you have any other questions about your banking during travel, foreign or domestic, we are happy to help!