Travel can be very expensive, particularly when you’re going on holiday and have a more relaxed attitude to spending. Here are few travel tips for summer break to ensure you stay solvent and safe.
Do your homework
The adage, ‘an early bird catches the worm’ rings true when it comes to making travel plans. Everything gets more expensive the closer you get to your departure date. Thorough research and early booking can make all the difference to the cost of flights, hotels, hire cars and other items. Search online for the best deals, particularly the ‘early bird’ offers that you get with cruises and other packages.
Whether you’re travelling by train, plane or other means, look for the cheapest fare days and times. There is often a big difference between peak times and off-peak. For flights, booking on a Tuesday seems to be cheapest. Some people claim that when airlines cache your data, prices rise if you make repeated searches. Whether this is true or not, using private mode or incognito mode, will keep you invisible when you search for flights and ensure you are not being tracked and exploited.
Let your bank/credit card company know you are travelling
Why would you do this? The reason is that your bank might block your cards if it notices something out of the ordinary – like lots of cash withdrawals and payments at locations that don’t match your profile. Usually this a good thing, but not if your cards are being used legitimately when you are overseas. Some banks include a travel notification facility with your online account, making it easy for you notify when you will be away and your spending patterns will change.
Be wise with taxi rides
Taxis can take you for a ride in more ways than one – meaning you should always be alert to scams and think carefully before hopping into the first taxi that you see. When you arrive in another country, you would probably be at your most vulnerable. If possible, research your onward journey from the airport before you travel (for example, is there a hotel shuttle?). If you must take a taxi from the airport, always join the queue and use an official taxi line. Boarding the first taxi that comes your way may cost you dear!
Beware of mobile phone roaming charges
Staying in touch while travelling overseas is important but do not forget that you can incur exorbitant bills if you use your phone randomly. Many people return from overseas trips and discover they have racked up enormous bills. While roaming charges no longer apply in EU countries, they will hit you hard elsewhere. The safest solution is to switch off data roaming and only use Wi-Fi, which not only means cheap browsing but also allows you to make calls using apps.
Don’t use public Wi-Fi for money matters
If you are performing any financially sensitive online tasks checking your bank balance or making payments it is advisable to avoid public internet or Wi-Fi networks. They are not safe to say the least and undermining financial risks come at a heavy price.
Avoid transaction fees
If you are regularly spending overseas, it makes sense to use a credit card with no foreign transaction fees. These are often called travel credit cards. Most debit and credit cards charge fees of around 2-3%. There are many credit cards that offer no foreign transaction fees, but often without any other significant benefits, so it might be worth getting one and keeping it exclusively for your foreign trips. Also, some travel cards may allow you to withdraw cash abroad without charging a fee.
Also if you need to receive money when you’re travelling remember that Xpress Money is available across 160,000 agent locations in 160 countries. You have access to one of the most convenient, fastest and cost-effective money transfer methods. Wherever you are, Xpress Money can conquer the miles and provide you with cash.