Money Smarts for Travelers
Plan on taking your dream trip this summer? Here's how to keep your financies in order while you're on the road.
1-2 Months before departure
- File your official leave notice at work and explain to your colleagues how thing will get done in your absence.
- Obtain all necessary travel documents like passport and visas. Make sure your passport is valid for at least one more year.
- Book all flights and accommodations.
- Open a free e-mail account so people can keep in touch with you.
- Enrol in an internet banking service. If your bank doesn't office such service, find another one that does and transfer your money for traveling there.
1 Week before departure
- Reconfirm flights and hotel bookings.
- Buy foreign currency. if the currency of the place you're visiting is available in the Philippines (i.e. Hong Kong Dollar, Singapore Dollar), buy that instead of US dollars so you don't have to waste time changing money. Don't carry too much cash around. Use your ATM to withdraw money as needed or buy traveller's checks from a bank.
- Inform your mobile phone company that you'll be going on a trip so they can activate international roaming for your cellphone. remember, incoming phone calls from home partly be charged to you. There's also international texting–for around P1 per message.
Upon arriving at your destination
- Change some money at the airport. The rates may not be as good as in shopping malls or downtown banks, but you'll need some local currency to pay cab drivers and tip bellhops.
- Ask the concierge at your hotel where the nearest internet cafe and ATM machine are. You'll need the internet to continue paying bills back home and monitor your finances, while the ATM machine can conveniently replenish your cash hoard (in local currency!) as you go on a shopping spree.