As Americans enjoy the first long Holiday weekend of 2017, celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King’s Birthday, many will take the opportunity to travel overseas, preferably to somewhere warm and sunny to escape Winter, and where they can capitalize on the strength of the U.S. Dollar. Here are 5 Financial Travel Hacks to help you get started this weekend.
- In case you have an unforeseen emergency or illness, purchase adequate travel insurance. Also remember that most U.S. Health Plans don’t cover medical procedures outside the U.S, so buy additional medical insurance that covers you globally and includes repatriation of remains and medical evacuation.
- It’s always a good idea to arrive in a country with even a little local currency – enough to get you safely to your hotel. Everyone wants to avoid paying excessive fees on foreign exchange at the airport or hotels, so always try to purchase your foreign currency ahead of time. Buy either online or from your bank. If you’re a frequent international traveler, consider switching to a debit or credit card without international transaction fees, or use pre-paid foreign currency travel cards.
- Consider changing your ATM/Debit pin number to the more globally accepted 6 digits instead f the 4 digit PIN more commonly used in the U.S.
- Always know your daily ATM and POS (Point of Sale) withdrawal amount. Also, confirm with your bank if it is a business daily amount or a daily calendar amount. (e.g. a business daily maximum withdrawal amount of $100 dollars might not be sufficient if Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, a Holiday where banks are closed, were counted as one business day). Adjust accordingly to match your anticipated vacation spending.
- Think about detaching a bit from mobile devices while traveling. Free and accessible Wi-Fi is tempting, and this is what hackers rely on. When checking into hotels, or waiting in cafes or airports, always make sure you are entering the correct Wi-Fi name, preferably with a password. For an additional layer of security, purchase a VPN (Virtual Private Network) to use in tandem with Wi-Fi.