Christmas is a popular time for Australians to head overseas and make the most of the public holidays over the holiday season. When you’re going overseas, it’s easy to focus on researching flights, accommodation and restaurants but don’t forget to think about your finances.
Here are a few tips to see you have a fun, stress-free holiday.
1. Check the currency
Depending on where you’re going, you might want to pre-order some foreign currency for your holiday. And it pays to do your research: not every EU country uses the Euro, so make sure you know which currency your destination uses. There are some countries outside the United States that will accept US currency – knowing this can help streamline your currency purchases pre-trip.
It’s also a good idea to get familiar with the current exchange rate so that you can convert prices in your head into Australian dollars when you’re travelling. It’s all too easy to overpay for something because you weren’t sure how much you were spending.
2. Have a budget
There’s nothing worse than coming back to a massive credit card bill at the end of a holiday. And it’s easy to underestimate how much you’ll spend or to forget to account for currency fluctuations or the differences in price across borders. Spend some time researching each destination you plan to visit to get a sense of the average price of things like lunches, dinners, accommodation and activities. Remember to account for the differences between price in larger cities and smaller towns – New York will be much pricier than a rural town in the US for example.
It’s a great idea to use a spreadsheet or an app to plan your budget and help you stay on track on the road.
3. Tell your bank where you’re going
Make sure to give the Bank Australia team a call and let us know you’re going away. Most Australian banks will track where your cards are being used to help detect fraud. If your card starts being used in an unexpected country, your bank might block it to protect your card from fraudulent activity. To prevent this from happening, call us on 132 888 and we’ll know to expect your card to be used in your destination.
It’s also a good idea to confirm your contact details so that we can get in touch with you while you’re away.
4. Get VIP access to manage your money
If you’ll be using the Bank Australia app or internet banking overseas, we recommend downloading the Symantec VIP Access app before you go! If you use these services regularly you’ll know we use SMS as a second-factor authentication measure.
Using the Symantec VIP Access app avoids any delays in receiving your codes, which can occur when using SMS authentication on global roaming.
The app can be synced with your internet banking, and it then generates the six-digit codes you need to perform tasks like paying a new payee.
5. Make sure you’re covered for emergencies
The old saying: ‘if you can’t afford travel insurance, you can’t afford to travel’ may be a cliché but it’s true. It’s simply not worth risking potentially huge medical bills when for a much smaller fee you can receive insurance cover and peace of mind. Check out our travel insurance offering before you go – you can get a quote and purchase the policy online – too easy!1
6. Know who to call
It’s a great idea to have a list of important numbers and email addresses in case of an emergency. The address and phone number of the closest Australian embassy as well as the details of your travel insurer and bank are good to note down somewhere safe.
If trouble strikes and you need our help, give us a call on +61 3 9854 4666 or contact us via Facebook private message.
The holiday season is a great time to jet off overseas and see a new part of the world or perhaps simply relax on a beach and recharge before the New Year. By taking a few simple precautions before you go, you’ll save yourself a lot of hassle and have a stress free holiday!
1 This Insurance is underwritten by Allianz Australia Insurance Limited (Allianz) AFS Licence No. 234708 ABN 15 000 122 850 and issued and managed by AGA Assistance Australia Pty Ltd AFS Licence No. 245631 ABN 52 097 227 177 trading as Allianz Global Assistance as agent for Allianz. This insurance is arranged by mecu Limited ABN 21 087 651 607 AFS Licence No.238431 trading as Bank Australia. In arranging this insurance mecu Limited acts as agent for Allianz Global Assistance.
Policy terms, conditions and exclusions apply. We do not provide advice on this insurance based on any consideration of your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before making a decision about this insurance please consider the Product Disclosure Statement available at bankaust.com.au. If you purchase this insurance, we receive a commission that is a percentage of the premium. Ask us for more details before we provide you with services.