First trip abroad? Travellers should familiarise themselves with the different payment options while abroad to protect themselves from incurring unnecessary costs…

Anthony Grant, CEO of FNB Foreign Exchange says, “First-time international travellers tend to focus on the trip itself and forget the alternative options available when transacting abroad. However, with a bit of forward planning there are areas where costs can be trimmed before jetting off.”

Here are some money tips for first-time international travellers:

1.     Get travel insurance

Embarking on your international journey without travel insurance is not only risky, but can also be very costly in the long run. Travel insurance is important because, should an unforeseen incident occur, such as a medical emergency or loss of luggage, you will be cushioned against having to dig deep into your pocket to cover these costs. Apply and read through your travel insurance terms and conditions to ensure you are adequately covered for all types of emergencies.

2.     Order your foreign currency before you leave

Having currency as one of your methods of payment makes your life just a little bit easier as you can pay in cash for things like a coffee at the airport while you wait for your connecting flight, or taxi fare on route to your accommodation. Currency rates fluctuate all the time so it works out more cost effective if you get your foreign currency before you leave. Withdrawing cash or exchanging currency while you are travelling could turn out to be quite costly due to changing market conditions between you leaving and arriving at your destination

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Withdrawing cash or exchanging currency while you are travelling could turn out to be quite costly due to changing market conditions between you leaving and arriving at your destination

3.     Get a Travel Card

There are many advantages to having a travel card handy; not only do you mitigate the risk of carrying large amounts of cash but you can load various currencies onto the card from your local bank account. The four currencies available are USD, GBP, EUR and AUD.

The card enables you to swipe at merchants and withdraw cash around the world where you see the Mastercard acceptance mark.  It is the ideal budget management tool because you only spend what you load. FNB customers can order the Multi-currency Cash PassportTM online and have it delivered to their door and also top up the balance via FNB Online Banking while travelling if more spending money is needed.

4.     Notify your bank

It’s important to notify your bank about your upcoming trip, the various locations you will be visiting and the duration of time spent away. This will help the bank notice any suspicious activity in your account such as fraud and they will be able to contact you timeously. For example, if you are out of the country and the bank picks up a transaction taking place locally, this will automatically raise a red flag.

5.     Stay connected

While travelling overseas you can stay connected via the FNB Banking App, all you need to do is activate roaming and make sure you have a secure internet connection. This means you can continue to bank when you need to, as well as receive SMS alerts helping you to monitor your expenses while travelling.

Happy travels.