Useful Things to Travel with - What are Yours?

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by overedge, Dec 4, 2012.

  1. fan

    fan Well-Known Member

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    always get travel insurance! the best you can find! I learned this after a $45,000 surgery as a healthy 24 year in old in Australia...when my appendix burst and took out several internal organs with it...thank god i had insurance. now I always top it up, however i can.
     
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  2. Lizziebeth

    Lizziebeth the real Lizziebeth

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    Bumping this thread - so many good ideas. I am planning a trip to Finland and maybe Norway this summer. I need to get another credit card to supplement the Visa I already have. I've also heard that the typical magnetic strip technology used in US may not work.

    Any suggestions for me? I'm not a big fan of paying an annual fee because I won't use the card that much.

    Should I be looking for a prepaid debit card as well? I really don't want to take my bank debit card in case it gets lost or hacked.

    Suggestions most appreciated.
     
  3. attyfan

    attyfan Well-Known Member

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    Find a card that doesn't have an annual fee (ads for them all over), call and ask. You may want to tell all credit card providers about your trip a week or two before you go, since charges coming in from a different location may trigger a "fraud alert" (this happened to me when I went to Georgia (the state) for a family wedding ... fortunately, I had another card until I called and got things straightened out)
     
  4. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

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    I have never been anywhere where the magnetic strip doesn't work. But, I've never been to Finland or Norway. If the magnetic strip doesn't work, I believe they can manually enter the card number.

    Pre paid debit is good, though if someone hacks into your account, the bank should be responsible. I believe that AmEx has a pre-paid card.
     
  5. zhenya271

    zhenya271 Active Member

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    I live in Stuttgart, Germany and our American magnetic strip credit cards don't work everywhere. The European cards have a chip in them. This topic came up just the other day on one of our local, social-networking blogs as to whether or not some of the major banks would be converting to a chip-strip card, but the response was negative as it wasn't cost-efficient for only a small handful of customers living overseas and travelers. I also ran into this problem in Northern Italy this past summer. Fortunately, there are cash machines everywhere nowadays.
     
  6. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

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    Yes, bur with cash machines, the bank charges a fee (unless it's your bank). Can't the stores just input the card number manually?
     
  7. zhenya271

    zhenya271 Active Member

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    Oh, I just assumed most banks reimbursed ATM service charges. I honestly don't know about the entering manually capability. I've never encountered anyone that offered although of course they were willing to run the card again even though I had already realized what the problem was ( how embarrassing! ) and it has never come up in discussion among Americans living here who face this problem all the time. Some just choose to get an EC card.
     
  8. Rob

    Rob Beach Bum

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    My husband
    - he is strong so he can carry lots of bags
    - he speaks 2 languages and can get around in a third
    - he loves to bargain
    and
    -he's kinda cute
     
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  9. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

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    Americans living there should absolutely just get a compatible card. Why make life more difficult :). Your bank charges for ATMs that are not affiliated with your bank, even in the US.
     
  10. overedge

    overedge Well-Known Member

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  11. madm

    madm Active Member

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    If you have to use an ATM to get cash overseas, expect to pay a fee of about $10 for each transaction. I recommend getting the maximum amount allowed on your card with one transaction so that you can avoid paying the transaction fee very often. My bank's maximum daily limit at an ATM is $300.
     
  12. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

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    ANd that is in addition to the exchange fee and the obvious exchange rate = less (for the Euro and Pound, anyway).
     
  13. zhenya271

    zhenya271 Active Member

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    Wow, $10 seems ridiculous! :( I'm thankful that my bank reimburses the fees at the end of the month.
     
  14. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

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    Another tip re money if you travel frequently to a place with different currency is to have a bank account and credit card in that currency. I'm Canadian but have a USD bank account and credit card, and it saves me a ton when travelling, and shopping online - no fees whatsoever. Check with your bank to see if you can do something similar with the Euro or wherever you find yourself.
     
  15. ross_hy

    ross_hy Active Member

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    Here's the solution to money/credit cards I used over the summer in London. I never had any problem using my Visa (although it was many at Olympic venues, restaurants, and tourist sites). I got a Capital One venture card that has no annual fee, no foreign transaction fee, and a rewards program. Like I said, I never had any problem although sometimes I had to tell them it was a "swipe."

    As far as ATMs, I have an online savings account with HSBC. They have branches in the US (although nowhere near where I live) and the UK. So I didn't have to pay any ATM fees to get cash out.

    Again, these solutions may be UK/London-oriented, but it's something to think about.
     
  16. Lizziebeth

    Lizziebeth the real Lizziebeth

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    Thanks to everyone for their suggestions!
     
  17. lurvylurker

    lurvylurker Active Member

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    Ooooh! WHERE can I get a pair of these??
     
  18. kosjenka

    kosjenka Well-Known Member

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    How very Oscar Wild of you :hat1:
     
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