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Use these tips to avoid unnecessary expenses and money mishaps on overseas holidays

By Amy Bradney-George, money writer at Finder.com.au

Whether it’s a short getaway, or a long, luxurious holiday, there are all kinds of details to consider when you’re getting ready for a trip overseas. Along with your flights, accommodation and travel insurance, it’s important to decide how you’ll access your money while you’re away. 

So, to help you make sense of it all, here are five top tips that you can use to make your money work for you when you’re overseas.

1. Take a combination of cash and cards

Local currency will be readily accepted no matter where you’re going, so it’s always a good idea to have some foreign cash on hand before your trip. However, cash can also be easily lost or stolen, which is where cards come in.

Visa credit cards and debit cards offer security features such as 24/7 fraud monitoring, and zero liability policies that can refund you for any fraudulent transactions. This can make it easier for you to protect your money if your card is lost or stolen while you're overseas.

You can also use your Visa debit or Visa credit card at any overseas merchant that accepts cards. Not everywhere accepts card, however, which is another good reason to have some local currency.

2. Plan how you’ll keep your money safe

While it’s exciting to explore another country, being in an unfamiliar place can also increase the risk of having your money and Visa cards lost or stolen. Before you head off on your trip, think about the different ways you can keep your travel money safe.

For example, you could decide to get a money belt to wear under your clothes, carry only the money you need, or split your money up so you won’t lose all of it at once. Look into options to protect your cards and cash to find one that works for you.

A young couple putting their surfboards on car roofracks
Make the most of your money and enjoy your holiday.

3. Don’t forget exchange rates 

When you use your Visa debit card or a Visa credit card overseas, the transaction will be converted to the local currency based on the daily exchange rate. This means that you may not know exactly how much it costs in Australian dollars until it shows up on your account, which can make it harder to budget.

4. Watch out for card fees

Whatever card (or cards) you choose to use, there are a number of fees that could apply when you use them overseas. The most common fee for debit cards and credit cards is a foreign transaction fee, which is usually around 3% of each transaction you make with an overseas business. 

No matter what card you use, you could still be charged fees when you use an ATM. In fact, there could be fees from your card provider and the ATM operator, so make sure you plan for these costs. Also keep in mind that if you use a credit card at an ATM, you could be charged a cash advance fee and interest for the transaction.

These four tips should help you keep your money safe, and get more bang for your buck when spending overseas. Taking the time to organise your travel money now, means you can spend more time enjoying the sights, experiences and adventures of your trip.

5. Tell us where you’re going?

Before you go, tell us when you’re planning on travelling overseas. By doing this we can record your travel details and expect to see overseas transactions when we’re monitoring for any unusual activity on your accounts. This will help avoid any unnecessary blocks being placed on your account.

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