1. Put a travel notice on your debit and credit cards
To avoid having your heart sink to your butt because you got an “error, can’t access your funds” message in the middle of a foreign country while trying to withdraw money from a local ATM, you need to make sure that every time you travel, you put a travel notice on your bank cards. If you forget to do this, your bank will assume a rando overseas is trying to steal your money, when in reality, you’re now broke with no access to your own account. Let the bank know where you’re traveling abroad and for how long to avoid living this nightmare. The only thing that’s just as bad as getting robbed abroad is having your cards without being able to actually use them, don’t be that #traveln00bie.
2. Call your phone company to see if you get free data overseas, or suspend your line altogether
Damon and I both have T-Mobile’s simple choice plan (no this is not a sponsored post but is something you might want to look into getting yourself). This plan allows us free unlimited data overseas, aka we’ll be posting our adventures on social media and youtube free of charge, can’t forget free calling on facebook messenger or whatsapp. It also allows free wifi calling to people back home, so if you’re connected to your hostel wifi, your phone will work just like it would back home. If you don’t have a plan that gives you free data abroad, or just want to disconnect while traveling, call your phone company and have them suspend your line. You’ll most likely have to pay $10-15 for suspending it each month, but it’s better than paying the full amount that your bill would normally be. Save the dollars for travel, not unused cell phones!
3. Figure out the best method to manage your money abroad
I’m a big believer in the ATM withdrawal method, which means I just use my debit card abroad and take out local currency there. I also have a Chase Sapphire card (again, not a sponsored post, but I believe in this card) that has no international conversion fees and gives you double points if you purchase items abroad; points I use to buy flights later on. You can also take USD or whatever your currency is, and exchange the money there. Do us a favor and avoid airport money exchange offices, you will get ripped off. To check the most accurate conversion rate, visit xe.com and find a counter that gives you the closest rate to the actual conversion rate at the time.
4. Triple check when your flight leaves
There have been at least five times where I almost missed my flight because I thought that I was departing one time and date and I actually wasn’t… In fact, this just happened to me on my flight to meet Damon in Europe this Saturday; now I have an extra day to kill in NYC, which is better than the first time I made this mistake and ended up having to sleep for two hours because my flight left at 7am instead of 9am, dumb me. I admit that I just get a little flustered when it comes to remembering important things like flights, so I do myself a favor and check three times to make sure when the heck I actually leave and return.
5. Put your passport and important cards in your shoe the night before your flight
This is a great tip, especially if you’re leaving early in the morning when your brain isn’t properly functioning; put your important ids, cards, passport, and money in your shoe the night before your flight. This will ensure that you don’t show up to embark without the necessary documents. In the midst of travel stress, you better believe your anxiety might just overpower your ability to get your $hit together properly. And plus, it’s always exciting going to sleep knowing you’re traveling in the morning by having these little rituals to help you get pumped for the journey to come.
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