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5 Financial To-Dos Before Traveling Overseas This Summer

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It’s summertime and you may be getting ready for a big overseas vacation. Before you go, it’s a good idea to make sure your finances are as ready as your suitcase.

One way to do this is to create a financial to-do list so your finances are prepared for your travels. Here are 5 steps you can take to get your finances in good order before you leave for the big overseas trip.

  1. Stay Current on Exchange Rates

If you’re traveling overseas, make sure you’re getting the best deal when you exchange your money for foreign currency. Study the exchange rates on the currency of whatever country you’re planning to visit at least four weeks in advance. You won’t be as easy to scam if you’re prepared and know the average currency equivalent of an American dollar.

Additionally, don’t trust airports to convert your money. Popular commercial spots, like established shopping malls, usually have lower exchange rates than airports. Shop around and do your research so you have as much spending money as possible on your trip.

One way to avoid this situation altogether is to exchange your money before you leave. Use sources like The Wall Street Journal or Bloomberg to find the most reliable exchange rates.

  1. Research Cellular and Data Options

To avoid hefty data and access fees, research your cell service provider’s international options ahead of time. AT&T and Verizon offer international day passes while T-Mobile and Sprint have free international roaming, but at lower data speeds.

If you’re bringing your mobile device abroad but don’t need to use international data options, turn off your phone’s or tablet’s cellular data to avoid access charges.

For texting and video chatting, download free apps like WhatsApp and Skype – all you need is WiFi, not data, to use these. These apps allow you to send texts and photos to family and friends for free while you’re oversees.

  1. Consider Buying Travel Insurance

Accidents can happen anytime and anyplace, including while you’re on vacation abroad. To avoid potential financial catastrophes due to an accident, consider buying travel insurance. Medical expenses, airport inconveniences and even theft are included in most travel insurance policies.

It’s also important to review the insurance policies you already have. In case of a medical emergency, make sure that international hospitals will accept your insurance. And be aware of any restrictions and/or exclusions of coverage.

  1. Find Out If Your Credit and Debit Cards are Travel-Friendly

Most credit and debit cards charge fees when used overseas. Some credit cards’ fees are more than others — most charge from 2-4 percent for foreign purchases — so you should investigate this before you leave. Generally, it’s a good idea to limit credit card usage on vacation because the fees can add up.

If your credit and debit cards aren’t travel-friendly, think about getting new ones before you travel abroad. Debit cards that don’t charge foreign transaction fees or charge for using out-of-network ATMs are usually the best for overseas travelers.

  1. Inform Your Bank Before You Leave

Let your bank know where you’re going before you head overseas. Otherwise, your accounts or cards could be suspended if your bank sees purchases made in another country. This will help ensure that you can access your money safely and easily and give you peace of mind while you’re buying souvenirs.

Meanwhile, if your credit or debit card is stolen while you’re abroad, your bank can probably help you. Write down the toll-free number on the back of your card and keep it in your purse or wallet, and also take advantage of bank text alerts. These will enable your bank to easily contact you if they spot suspicious activity on one of your cards.

Please contact us if you have more questions about getting financially prepared to travel overseas.

The commentary is limited to the dissemination of general information pertaining to Frontier Wealth Management, LLC’s (“Frontier”) investment advisory services. This information should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy or a recommendation for any security, market sector or investment strategy. There is no guarantee that the information supplied is accurate or complete. Frontier is not responsible for any errors or omissions, and provides no warranties with regards to the results obtained from the use of the information. Nothing in this document is intended to provide any legal, accounting or tax advice and Frontier does not provide such advice. This information is subject to change without notice and should not be construed as a recommendation or investment advice. You should consult an attorney, accountant or tax professional regarding your specific legal or tax situation.