How to prepare yourself for travel money emergencies |
How to prepare for travel money emergencies

How to prepare for travel money emergencies

Make sure your finances are in order just in case something doesn’t go as planned on vacation.

We’ve all heard travel horror stories about a friend of a friend who was stranded in a remote location overseas without any money. While none of us expect the worst to happen on our vacation, it could be you who is in a rut and that kind of stress is enough to ruin a trip.

Read through our travel money emergency guide to learn how to keep your finances intact on you next vacation.

Check out our travel money guide before heading overseas

How can I prepare myself for a travel money emergency?

Making sure you’ve prepared yourself financially could save you a lot of grief in the long run. Here are a few simple tips you should consider before and during your trip to ensure a stress-free vacation:

  • Notify your provider that you’re traveling

If you’re planning on using your regular debit or credit card overseas, let your card lender know where you’ll be traveling. This will save you the hassle of having a transaction declined or blocked as a result of a security precaution.

  • Organize more than one travel money option

The saying “never put all of your eggs in one basket” applies here. — take a few spending options. Travel friendly credit cards can be used for large purchases or reservations for hotels and car rentals. A debit or prepaid travel card can come in handy for ATM withdrawals and smaller purchases. Last, but certainly not least, bring cash — you never know where and when your card will be accepted. Storing cash in a secure area, such as your hotel safe or luggage, is another way to ensure that you have an emergency stash should you need it.

Want to send money overseas before you go?

  • Have your provider’s contact numbers on hand

Doing your research on knowing who to call, what the process is and what options are available — whether it be an emergency cash transfer or a replacement card — will save you time and a headache. Make sure to jot your provider’s contact details down before you leave (in both your phone and luggage). All of this information should be available via your cards Terms and Conditions or you can contact the customer service team directly.

  • If you notice something’s wrong, report it immediately

If you notice suspicious transactions on your account or are unable to access your funds, contact your provider immediately. Resolving the issue could take some time, so the sooner you report it, the better. Some lenders may have a policy about the cardholder taking reasonable steps to protect the account and report irregular behavior, if you fail to do so, you may find yourself unable to get the assistance you need.

The bottom line

While it’s not fun to prepare yourself for an unexpected emergency, it’s a surefire way to reduce stress and minimize further issues. The best strategy to use will always depend on your individual circumstances, so make sure to consider what’s best for you before making a decision.

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A comparison of travel money cards

Rates last updated February 18th, 2018
Name Product Foreign Currency Conversion Fee Overseas ATM Withdrawal Fee Overseas Cash Advance Fee Annual fee Product Description
Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®
0% of transaction value
$10 or 5% of the transaction, whichever is greater
$0 annual fee for the first year ($89 thereafter)
Enjoy 40000
bonus miles after you spend on purchases in the first 90 days — that's enough to redeem for a $400 travel statement credit toward an eligible travel purchase.
Simmons Bank Visa® Platinum
of transaction value
The Simmons Bank Visa® Platinum Card offers multiple perks, including one of the lowest available APRs on the market.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® credit card
0% of transaction value
$0 annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
Earn 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants.
BankAmericard Travel Rewards® Credit Card
0% of transaction value
Ditch the restrictions of typical airline rewards cards. Any airline, any hotel, anytime. No blackout dates.

Compare up to 4 providers

Travelex Money Card

Why we like: Travelex Money Card

Load GBP, EUR, CAD, AUD, JPY or MXN onto this prepaid travel money card and use it at millions of locations worldwide.

  • Not linked to your bank account for safety.
  • Convert currency with a 5.50% Foreign Exchange Fee
  • Contactless payments
  • Reload, withdraw, or replace your card for free.

    Kyle Morgan

    Kyle is an editor/writer who lives in Asbury Park, New Jersey. Exploring new places and hoppy beer are two of his favorite things. He doesn't discriminate against buffalo wings — grilled or fried are just fine.

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