Plan and budget early
Although this certainly isn’t something to rush, the sooner you can finalise your itinerary and travel plans the better. There’s no blueprint for doing it ‘right’, of course. Rather, it’s a constant to-and-fro balancing act as you weigh up where you want to go and what you want to do, with how long you can afford to be away and how much you can afford to spend.
Be sure to allow for all expenses you’ll likely need to cover, including: travel getting there, while you’re there and getting back, passport and visas, vaccinations, clothing and equipment, accommodation, food and drinks, and events and entertainment.
Also, it goes without saying that you should consider your safety when planning your itinerary. For current government travelling advice on a huge range of international destinations, visit: www.smartraveller.gov.au
Arrange passports and visas
If your final itinerary does include destinations that will require you to have a current passport and entry visas, be sure to confirm the specific requirements of each asap. Identify where and when it would be best to purchase them and what it will cost. You don’t want any surprises on this front when attempting to enter a country.
And if you already have a passport don’t forget to check its expiry date. It’s a good idea to ensure it will still be valid for at least six months after your planned return, as some countries may actually deny you entry and some airlines may not allow you to board flights if this requirement isn’t met.
Organise your finances
With your budget set it’s worth putting thought into how best to structure your finances.
For example, would you benefit from keeping all travel-related expenses separate from your day-to-day finances by taking out a personal loan that you can repay over time in manageable instalments? Would you like your own Visa Debit Card links directly to your Credit Union SA transaction account, giving you 24/7 access to your own money all over the world? Do you have a credit card to help with the day-to-day expenses while travelling? Will you need at least a small amount of foreign cash to take care of incidental expenses in each destination?
Find out more about how we can help you with our Foreign Exchange services.
Act to protect your health
Travelling is no fun at all if you’re laid up in bed rather than out taking in the sights, so make it a priority to research the recommended vaccinations for every country and region you’ll be visiting. Pay close attention to how far in advance of your arrival you’ll need to get them too.
It’s also a good idea to familiarise yourself with any other health concerns associated with the places you’ll be visiting. For example, should you avoid roadside food vendors in certain areas? Is the local tap water safe to drink? Are any dangerous viruses or other conditions on the rise?
Inform us of your travel plans
Regardless of how many Credit Union SA products (accounts, loans, insurance, etc.) you have, if you’re a member with us it’s very important that you let us know your travel plans before you head off. You can do this using your Mobile Banking App or Internet Banking.
Mobile Banking App
Select ‘Overseas Travel’ from the drop-down menu, then ‘Travel notifications’ and follow the prompts.
Select Cards from the top navigation menu, then click Heading overseas and follow the prompts.
Alternatively, you can call us on (08) 8202 7777 or visit us at 400 King William Street, Adelaide.
We’ll then be able to make educated assessments as to the legitimacy of your financial transactions and notify you immediately if any suspicious activity takes place, whether abroad or locally.
Leave copies of your documents
Finally, it’s good practice to leave full-colour copies of all your key travel documents with someone you trust back home. This includes your travel itinerary, passport and visas and travel insurance.
You should, of course, keep in touch with the person you entrust to update them as and when your travel plans change.
If you misplace your card while overseas, you can temporarily deactivate it until it turns up again, using Internet banking or the Mobile Banking App.
If you suspect your card may be gone for good, you should cancel your card immediately.
This is general advice only and doesn’t take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Conditions, fees and lending criteria apply and are available on request.