An overseas holiday is something to look forward to but it can also be stressful when things don’t go according to plan. Losing money, not being able to access it or running out of money can spoil a dream holiday.
Travellers cheques and cash were once the most common forms of taking money overseas, however there are now much easier methods. Travel cards are prepaid multiple currency cards that can be used in ATMs and wherever credit cards are accepted. They are available from travel agents and banks. Examples are the Travelex Cash Passport, Kiwibank’s Loaded to Travel card and the ANZ, National and Westpac Travel Cards. There are a variety of fees that apply for loading the cards, topping them up and making cash withdrawals so it pays to shop around to get a good deal before you buy your card.
Some of the key advantages of travel cards are:
- You can buy your foreign currency in advance at a known exchange rate
- You can hold up to five different currencies on the one card
- You can top up while you are away using online or telephone banking
- If you lose your card you can cancel it
- Your losses are limited to the amount you have loaded onto the card
- Fees are lower than for ATM cards and travellers cheques.
Take a variety of means of payment with you; some cash for immediate needs, a travel card for general use and a credit card for emergencies. Keep them in different places so you don’t lose everything at once. Make a list of all the emergency numbers you need to call in the event you need to cancel your cards. These simple steps should allow you to have a holiday free of money problems.