TRAVEL shots, insurance, and a new swimsuit are usually the first things people think about after they've made that exciting purchase of international flights.
But not carrying the right travel money can quickly turn a dream holiday into a nightmare, Suncorp Bank regional general manager for Central Queensland Troy Constance warns.
About 7.1 million overseas trips were made by Australians last year and many were leaving themselves vulnerable by not getting their holiday finances in order before taking off.
"Outbound travel is up 78% since 2004 thanks to the strong Aussie dollar making overseas travel more affordable than ever. But while most are now shopping around for the best package deal for their holiday for 2012, few are doing their homework on the best options to pay for their trip," Mr Constance said.
"Paying for a holiday doesn't end after you've shelled out for the ticket.
"You need ready access to funds for known expenses and for any little surprise that your adventure might throw at you," he said.
"Being left stranded and cashless on foreign soil is no one's idea of a good time and can be dangerous for those travelling alone."
Mr Constance said there was a range of travel money products available to help protect the financial and personal safety of overseas holiday-makers.
He recommended packing a traveller's wallet with a few financial options including a little foreign currency, a cash passport and a Visa debit or credit card.
"Having a few options available will ensure you are flying high rather than being left high and dry," Mr Constance said.
He said doing your homework could also save you precious dollars that could be better spent on shopping for souvenirs.
- Talk to an expert - speak to your travel agent or your bank's foreign exchange teller to work out the best travel money for you;
- Make a budget;
- Use your calculator - most smart phones have a foreign exchange calculator;
- Tell your bank so they don't cancel your cards due to unusual and suspicious transactions;
- Chat to your phone provider - many people get caught-out with astronomical bills for international roaming
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