International travel has never been more accessible. With the rise of budget airlines and cheap lodging, everyone can see the world at a fraction of the cost it used to be. If you’re a first-time traveler–or maybe just seeking for some travel tips–here are 5 things to keep in mind before your trip.
1. Book your trips in advance
Yes, this one is pretty obvious. Often times we stop at just booking that ticket from a Piso fare or travel expo. You’ve begun planning ahead so why stop there? Consider accommodations, transfers, theme parks and attractions. These form part of a bigger portion of your trip, which are often overlooked and booked at the last minute.
Take advantage of sites that help compare prices for you like Trivago, Booking.com, Klook, Viator etc., help in searching deals faster. Choose those that offer options to “book now, pay later” and “free cancellation”, so if you score a better deal along the way, you can always cancel. Make sure to use your Security Bank credit card when booking to avoid additional foreign exchange fees.
Aside from having peace of mind in securing your accommodation and theme park tickets ahead of time, you get to plan out your travel spend (and build that fund until it’s time to pay).
PRO TIP: Monitor purchase prices as often as possible. Usually, prices drop the closer the date. For safety, secure a new booking first before hitting cancel on a previous one.
Read more: Common Travel Mistakes and How to Avoid Them
2. Alert your bank about your trip
To avoid any inconvenience, always inform your Bank of any travel overseas before you leave. This way, your bank is informed and can anticipate possible transaction during your scheduled vacation.
For Security Bank clients, you can do this by simply calling Security Bank customer service at (02) 88-791-88.
PRO TIP: If necessary, you may request for a temporary increase in credit limit during your trip.
3. Bring cash
So you plan to use your credit card throughout your trip. That’s actually smart because using a credit card is safer on most occasions.
That being said, cash is still king, especially if you’re going to more rural, far-flung areas. Before leaving for your trip, remember to buy enough foreign currency for the duration of your trip.
PRO TIP: Break larger bills by using them in reputable establishments. Even if you have exact loose change to pay for items, use your larger bills.
4. Purchase your US Dollars from trusted sources
Did I say that cash is king when it comes to traveling? Let me correct myself: US Dollars (USD) is king when traveling.
If you have enough USD with you, you’re basically golden. You can use it to buy local currency during your trip at a good exhange rate and you can also pay with it on some shops.
However, you should only buy your USD only from reputable and licensed institutions. Don’t be lured too much on great rates, unless you’re willing to take the risk or getting scammed by sketchy forex stalls.
Another great thing about USD is you won’t have to worry about excess notes after your trip as you can use them for your next vacation, wherever that may be.
You can purchase up to USD10,000.00 at any Security Bank branch without any service charge. Just remember to call your preferred branch to reserve, prior to your visit.
PRO TIP: Keep an extra wallet at home to stash your excess currencies. Admit it, there will be times when you’ll have that excess foreign cash from a trip. Neatly segregate these based on currency and list it. These should come in handy for impromptu trips in the future.
5. Stay connected
We’ve heard horror stories about accidentally leaving your data roaming on for 5 minutes and getting the biggest bill shock of your life. Be prepared, you have the option to avail of personal WiFi rentals (like Flytpack, MyPAL Roam etc.) before leaving, subscribing to your carrier’s roaming plans or getting a local sim. It’s totally your preference.
PRO TIP: If you see yourself constantly traveling, Invest in a reliable pocket WIFI. This way, internet access is shared and cost is divided accordingly.
DISCLAIMER: Tips share are based solely on the writer’s experience travel experience and does not reflect the Bank’s views and comments on the topic. Brands and websites mentioned were stated as examples, and in no way is connected with the Bank.