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Money Saving Tips for Your Next Vacation Abroad— Before & After You Travel

Vacations can be expensive, but they don’t have to be. With a little preparation, you can have a great holiday with money left in your bank account when you get back home. The answers are in preparing for your travels and reviewing your finances when you come back home.
Before your trip:
Informing your Financial Institution
Let your bank know you will be leaving the country. Tell them where you are going and what dates you’ll be gone so your account doesn’t get frozen if you make a withdrawal while away. The same goes for your credit card.
International ATM Networks
Make sure your card is connected to the worldwide Cirrus or PLUS networks. Your bank card will have these symbols printed on them and you can then use international ATMs that have the same symbols.
Transaction Fees
Find out the fees for using an ATM abroad. Transaction fees can range from $2 – $5 depending on your bank. These fees can add up quickly if you are gone for long periods of time or if you’re going to the ATM every day. Plan your withdrawals to avoid paying too many fees.
Currency Conversation
Learn about the currency conversion fees for your debit and credit cards. Fees usually range from 1-3%. Don’t have the currency converted by retailers abroad to American dollars first. You will be paying for 2 currency conversions rather than one.
Lost or Stolen Information
Ask your bank and credit card provider for international customer service phone numbers (1-800 numbers only work in Canada & the US). Also, make copies of all your vital documents including your passport, credit cards and bank cards. Leave a copy with someone you trust at home and take a copy with you. You can also email yourself a picture of your documents if you don’t feel comfortable carrying them in your luggage. This can save a lot of hassle if you need to replace them while abroad.
When you get home:
Reconnect with your Financial Institution
Call your bank and credit card company and tell them you’re home, especially if you came home early.
Reviewing Bank/ Credit Card Statements
Make sure the charges for your overseas transactions were as you expected and look for any unauthorized purchases. Contact your credit card company immediately to resolve any issues.
Being prepared before you travel can save you a lot of time and headaches. Have a great trip!

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