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Biggest Mistakes to Avoid When Travelling Abroad

If you are planning to travel abroad, there are some common mistakes that you should be aware of. These mistakes could cause you minor inconvenience or have devastating effects, so it’s always better to be prepared. Whether you are an experienced world traveller or venturing outside of your country for the first time, this information can be of great help.

Packing Too Much

It can be tempting to pack too much in an effort to be prepared, but it can also cost you a lot. If you want to avoid spending more than you have to on baggage fees, it’s important to be a shrewd packer. You can bring a few things you might need just in case, but don’t go overboard. The lighter you pack, the less you will pay. Ask yourself if you really need all those extra clothes or other items before putting them in your suitcase.

Not Paying for Breakdown Cover

If you are going to travel outside of the UK in Europe, you should definitely consider opting for European breakdown cover for your car or van. This type of cover will provide you with towing and other services if your vehicle breaks down during your trip. It can save you hundreds or even thousands of pounds, depending on the situation. If your current policy doesn’t cover going outside of the UK, you can pay to get cover for the duration of your trip.

When you have breakdown cover, you won’t have to worry about finding a local garage and paying a ridiculous amount for towing. All you have to do is simply call your provider to have a professional sent out to your broken down vehicle. You can get a tow to the nearest garage if the problem cannot be fixed on the roadside.

Not Exchanging Currency Before You Leave

If you wait until you have arrived at your destination to exchange your currency, you will end up paying some very hefty fees. It’s always a good idea to do this at your bank or at the airport so you can save as much money as possible. It’s fine to use your credit card on your trip, but you should have at least a little bit of cash on hand at any given time.

Not Checking Visa Requirements

There is nothing worse than being held up at a checkpoint in another country because you failed to check the visa requirements. You should always make a point of going online to check the visa requirements for wherever you are travelling to. This doesn’t take long and it can save you a lot of aggravation later on.

Planning too Much

It’s always good to have a basic plan when you are travelling to another country, but your schedule shouldn’t be too rigid. If you really want to make the most of your holiday, you should leave some room for improvisation. The last thing you want to do is to limit your opportunities for fun and adventure. Open yourself up to spontaneous activities that could really add to your overall experience abroad.

Not Safeguarding Your Possessions

You should always be on guard when it comes to keeping your valuables safe. Whether it is your wallet or other important items, you need to be on alert at all times. If the hotel room you are staying at has a safe, you should put any valuable items in it while you are out and about. Always keep your wallet and passport in your front pocket to avoid getting it stolen. A lot of countries are packed with people who are looking for careless tourists to pickpocket.

Relying Entirely on Guidebooks

While guidebooks can be useful for those who are travelling abroad, you shouldn’t rely on them too heavily. It is important to immerse yourself in the culture and go off the beaten path a little bit. There are going to be a lot of fun and interesting things to see and do that won’t be in your guidebook.

Getting Careless with Money

It is important that you establish a clear spending limit for your trip and stick to it. Keep close track of the money you are spending so you don’t go over your budget. This can be very easy to do when you are caught up in all the fun and excitement, but you’ll pay for it later.

Final Thoughts

Travelling abroad can be a lot of fun, but you will need to avoid making some simple but terrible mistakes that could land you in big trouble. The more aware you are of these things, the less likely you will be to do something dumb. If you want your holiday to go as smoothly as possible, it is crucial that you follow each of the above listed tips.

How Credit Cards Work and Do You Need One?

There are a surprising number of people who don’t really know how credit cards work, and it is important information for every adult to have. A credit card can be your best friend or your worst depending on how you choose to use it. There are many different cards to choose from, so you will also need to know how to select the right one. The more you learn about credit cards, the easier it is to use them properly and avoid spiralling into debt.

The Basics

A credit card essentially lets you borrow money up to a certain amount (your limit). Interest will be tacked onto the amount you owe until you have completely cleared the balance on your account. Your credit limit is determined by a few different factors, including your credit history and how much you make.

You will agree to a certain interest rate for your card before signing the contract. Keep in mind that the rate you get may not be the one you saw advertised. These companies only have to give advertised rates to 51% of the people whose applications are approved.

Each month you will get a bill for what you owe. Your bill will detail all of your purchases, so you can see everything that you bought. There is a grace period where you don’t have to pay any interest. This period is not the same for everyone, so make sure that you look at the terms of your contract. Some people have a grace period of 20 days while others have over 50 days.

There will be a minimum amount that you will be required to repay every month. You should make an effort to pay more than this amount so you can get your account cleared as soon as possible. A lot of people slip into debt because they only pay as much as they have to.

Finding the Right Card

It is important to find the right credit card to match your specific needs. A lot of these cards will have very attractive offers, but you must be careful. Take the time to read the terms of each card before settling on one in particular.

You must talk with the provider to set up a limit that is realistic and fair. There are some credit cards marketed specifically towards students that you might want to look into. The more research you do, the more likely you’ll be to get what you need.

Boost Your Credit Rating

A credit card can help you increase your credit rating fairly quickly, but only if you use it responsibly. Those who are late making payments on their card will find that their credit score is going to suffer as a result. There are some cards that are better than others for this purpose, so you should look into your options before choosing.

Tips for Using Your Credit Card Responsibly

There are a number of tips that you should follow that can help you use your card responsibly, such as:

  • Avoid cash withdrawals: You should always try to avoid cash withdrawals, as they tend to come with some hefty fees. Withdrawing money from an ATM with a credit card can cost you a lot of money. This can be very tempting, but you should think twice. There is no grace period with cash advances, so you’ll have to pay interest on whatever you take out. Most cards charge 2-3 percent for every foreign currency exchange, so keep that in mind as well.
  • Don’t go outside of your limits: Make sure that you always stay within your credit limit. Even if you have bad credit. When you go outside of your limit, you will be charged a fee (and usually not a small one). You will need to know what your limit is so you don’t go over it by accident.
  • Never use it for impulse purchases: The worst thing that you can do with a credit card is to use it for impulse purchases. You should really think before putting anything on your card.
  • Pay your balance on time: While some people might not think that being late a credit card payment is a big deal, it can quickly become one. Make sure that you take care of your balance as soon as possible so it doesn’t get the better of you.

A Credit Card isn’t Free Money

A lot of people treat their credit cards like free money, but you will eventually need to pay off what you spend. If you pay off your balance before the grace period is up, you won’t have to pay any interest. Getting the right card can go a long way towards helping you get what you need with little to no additional charges.