So you’re going on a holiday? How exciting! You might already be thinking about all the sights to see (and the places to eat!), but when it comes to travelling overseas, there’s often so much more to prepare for than just packing your bags.
International travel might look a little different than it used to, but we’re still here to help. Here are our top tips to keep you and your accounts safe while you’re on holidays.
Read on for the ultimate travel checklist
Are you up to date?
This might seem obvious, but making sure all your contact details are up to date (with us, and any other financial institutions, insurers or airlines) is a great first step to keep you and your accounts safe while you travel. If we’re worried about any unusual activity in your accounts, we need to be able to reach you. You should also:
Let us know when you’re travellingApart from being excited to hear about your trip, letting us know your travel plans also helps us anticipate any changes in your spending while you’re away. You can let us know by calling us on 138 001
Create a list of important detailsLike the phone numbers for your bank, airline, any pre-arranged transport and insurers. You’ll be able to reach us via email or secure message anytime, but if you do need to call us from overseas, call +61 3 6233 0679
Check your passport and visaMake sure your passport is still valid, and that you have the right visa for all the countries you’re visiting (even the ones you’re transiting through). You might also like to make copies of your important documents to have on hand just in case.
Check your daily limits meet your travel needsYour daily limit is set to $5,000 by default. Do you think you might need more while you’re away? You can change it in settings or by calling us on 138 001
Make sure your phone and SIM card work overseasEspecially if you plan to make payments with SMS security while travelling.
Prepare for expenses
Yes, even unexpected ones! Have you considered the following?
- Travel insurance
- Automatic payments for any bills due while you’re away (like rent, phone or car)
- Alternative payment methods to cash if you’re keen to avoid foreign ATM fees
- Alternative payment methods for any bills or transfers that require SMS verification
- Money to set aside in case things go wrong, like unexpected hotel stays if there are flight delays or changes in health guidelines that require you to lockdown or quarantine
Stay alert to scams
We don’t want to make you feel like you’re looking over your shoulder your whole trip, but scammers can often target tourists and international travellers so it pays to be vigilant.
Here’s what you should keep an eye out for:
Public Wi-FiDon't access personal bank accounts, sensitive personal data, or shop online on unsecured public networks. You’ll know the difference between a secured and unsecured network if a password or account is required before you can connect. Even then, secured networks can be risky. Use your best judgment if you absolutely must access your bank or other personal accounts on public Wi-Fi.
ATMsBe cautious of your surroundings when using ATMs overseas, and if something doesn’t feel right, or the ATM is obstructed or poorly lit, choose another location. Always shield the screen to safeguard your PIN and withdrawal amount, and put your card and cash away immediately. Make sure you keep your receipts so you can check them against your statement too.
Protect your devicesMake sure all your devices are password protected, preferably with two-factor authentication if you can. Keep an eye on your laptop, tablet and phone at all times if you’re using them in public places, and switch off your bluetooth when you’re out and about. Having it on in public spaces can leave you open to cybersecurity risks and hackers. It’s also a great idea to enable location tracking just in case anything gets lost or stolen.
Keep an eye out for scams, even before you leaveWe often focus on scams to be wary of while we’re travelling, but there are also lots of things to be mindful of before you’ve even left for your trip. Travel prizes, deals too good to be true and even some insurance deals can turn out to be scams, so just keep an eye out and only book through sources you know and trust. You can learn more about current travel scams at scamwatch.gov.au
Know the rules
Travel looks a little different now, and many governments and airlines each have their own rules and restrictions in place to keep you safe while you travel. These might include health declarations, vaccinations, COVID-19 tests, face masks, entry permits, pre-approval and quarantine, potentially at your own expense.
Here’s our advice for keeping up with all the rules and requirements before, during and after your trip:
- Check the latest government and airline travel restrictions
Here are a few places to start
- Download any required Apps, Passes or Proof of Vaccination Certifications for your destination
- Be prepared for flight cancellations, rescheduling, or even lockdown, and make sure you’ve got a budget to cover these expenses just in case
- You should also factor things like pre and post-travel testing, potential isolation and subsequent loss of income, and potential out of pocket healthcare costs if you contract COVID-19 either while you’re away or when you land at home into your ‘just in case’ budget
- Check whether your travel insurance covers COVID-19 related illness
We know this checklist may seem overwhelming at first, but if you take the time to prepare as much as you can before you leave, you can focus on having the best time possible when you get there!