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Tips for Traveling or Living Abroad

two women taking selfie by a beach

Spending time overseas can be a thrilling adventure. You’re surrounded by new sights, exotic foods and maybe even a different language. Have you considered how your finances will translate? Make the most of your experience with these financial tips:

  • Find a credit card with no foreign transaction fees. If you’re making a short trip, taking a hit on a few small transaction fees might not be concerning. However, if you plan to stay awhile, consider a credit card with no foreign transaction fees such as a Navy Federal credit card. You may even be able to earn rewards that can go toward travel expenses. For more information, click here.
  • Bring copies of travel and financial information. If you’re visiting, you should have copies of information such as your passport, airline tickets, driver’s license and credit cards. For longer stays during which you plan to work or purchase property, also have copies of your foreign visa, tax forms from the last two years, recent paycheck stubs, a complete list of debts and a complete list of assets.

    Tip: Before signing anything in a foreign language, you may want to have it professionally translated so you have a clear understanding of your agreement terms.

  • Have multiple forms of payment. Do some research on what forms of payment will be accepted in your destination. Outside of cash, credit and debit cards are generally widely accepted, with the benefit of being easily canceled if lost or stolen. Plus, they can be used globally at ATMs if you need to make a payment in cash. Consider carrying at least two cards (not tied to the same account), even if you plan on only using one.
  • Inform your financial institutions. Using your credit or debit card abroad with no previous notice to your financial institution can result in your account being frozen. After all, it’s possible that such use would lead them to presume that your information was stolen and is being used fraudulently. Avoid this situation by letting customer service know where you’re traveling to, your departure date, length of stay and if there are any layovers.
  • Prepare an emergency fund. If you’re moving abroad, set aside about three to six months’ worth of living expenses. Should your situation sour, this will give you an opportunity to bounce back. You might also want to have enough savings for the return trip if your stay isn’t permanent.
  • Automate your payments. If you have car payments or other bills back home, consider making them automatic if they aren’t already. Then there are no worries about having Internet access when you need to make the payment or forgetting to make the payment amid the excitement of a new locale.

Whether you’re making a short trip or planning a longer stay abroad, make sure to plan and prepare financially for travel.

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