Whether flying or cruising, with family, friends, colleagues or by yourself, for business or pleasure, there are a few things to consider before heading off on your adventure.
- How do you plan to finance the trip? Savings? Loans?
- How do you plan to pay for goods and services abroad? Cash? Credit cards?
- Does the country you’re visiting require you to have specific insurance coverage?
- Do you have proof of savings to satisfy embassy requirements?
Don’t just ‘wish’ you could go to the Olympics, World Cup or some other amazing event or destination. You can start a savings plan today that will ensure that, when the time comes, you can go. The first thing you need to do is estimate how much your trip will cost and decide when you want to travel. Then you set up an Automatic Savings Plan.
Here’s how to set up an Automatic Savings Plan:
- Open a high-interest yielding savings account with no ATM card or chequing facilities.
- Divide the total amount required to fund the trip by the number of months before you intend to travel.
- Set up a Standing Order to automatically transfer that amount from your salary account to this savings account every month until the date of your trip.
Another approach is to force yourself to save.
Here’s how to set up a Forced Savings Plan:
- Estimate the total cost of the dream trip you plan to take.
- Ask us for a loan to save that amount and set the term of the loan to be paid off one month before you intend to travel.
- We will place the proceeds of the loan in a savings or investment account in your name. You will have access to the funds after the loan is paid off. This way, by the time you are ready to travel, you will have the funds needed and you will be loan-free.
Can’t wait? Want to go now? You can apply for a travel loan to finance your trip. Actual payments for your ticket and other expenses can be safely made with your credit card. The loan can be used to liquidate the credit card balance in full.
Travel Loan and Credit Cards
Payment solutions when shopping abroad:
The world has gone ‘plastic’, a credit card is almost a must-have travel item. It can be used for booking accommodation, flights, vehicle rental, shopping abroad and providing insurance coverage (see the travel insurance section). If you are taking a family vacation, additional cards can also be extended on your credit card account for other family members.
If you already have a credit card, you may wish to apply for a temporary limit increase to cover intended purchases abroad. Ask for International Credit Cards
Having secure back up funds puts your mind at ease while on vacation. Travellers Cheques are just like cash, only safer. You can use them to make purchases or you can encash whatever amount you need at the time, and keep a balance safely stored.
Why Travellers Cheques? They are easily replaced if stolen or destroyed…something you can’t do with cash! Ask one of our friendly representatives if this option is available to you.
- At the end of the day, ‘Cash is still King’. One should always travel with a minimum supply of cash in a currency that is widely accepted in the destination country. Contact us today so we can supply all your foreign exchange needs.
- While you are abroad, a situation may arise where you need someone back home to send funds for you that you can access immediately. In such a case, you can direct the person to come into any of our branches and send the money for you via our Remittance Services. It is safe, fast and convenient.
- Funds for departure tax and overweight luggage:
You should always have cash in a currency that is accepted in the destination country to pay departure tax and other departure counter expenses. Credit and debit cards are not accepted at the departure counter of all airports so it is safest to assume that only cash will be accepted and stock up accordingly.
Attaining a VisaProof of savings/bank
In order to visit a number of countries, including the United States, individuals applying for visas must demonstrate that they have 'ties' to their home country which they do not intend to abandon, and that they wish to enter the country for a specific, limited period. Evidence that you do not intend to abandon your home country may include proof of property, family ties, employment and a balance confirmation letter from the bank showing your account balance over a period of 6 to 12 months.
Required travel insurance:
To meet certain embassies’ visa application requirements (e.g. Schengen states), you must have travel medical emergency coverage.
Airlines lose bags, car accidents can happen while driving a rental vehicle or you may need medical attention abroad. When you use your Visa and Master Card you are entitled to:
- Travel accident insurance which covers accidental death, dismemberment and paralysis
- Auto rental insurance which covers physical damages to the rented vehicle due to collision, theft, vandalism, accidental fire up to the actual cash value of the vehicle, subject to the maximum benefit provided.
- Coverage for loss, theft or damage to personal possessions and money (including travel documents) Specialized insurance needs
- Coverage for pre-existing medical conditions (e.g. asthma, diabetes)
- Coverage for sports with an element of risk (e.g. skiing, scuba-diving)
Typically, travel insurance for the duration of a journey costs approximately 5-7% of the cost of the trip. However, many of these needs are covered for free if you pay with your credit card. The coverage varies depending on which card you have.
Here's your checklist for travelling:
- Set up an Automatic Savings Plan for your dream trip.
- Call us if you need financing for your ticket, accommodation, shopping, etc.
- Decide how much and what type of insurance coverage you want or is required by the country you are visiting.
- Ask us for a Balance Confirmation Letter as proof of savings history if required by the embassy when applying for your visa.
- Purchase currency of destination or other currency generally accepted in the country/state that you are visiting. Don’t forget to keep some funds for departure tax and other expenses.
- Give yourself back-up payment options for shopping and paying for services abroad.
- Get a Credit Card or top up your existing one.
- Consider holding some of your funds as Travellers Cheques (where available) for additional security.