On-the-Go Banking: Best Practices For Travelers

The holiday season is here, and many people are keenly planning their vacations.

Although booking a flight, packing up clothes, and setting up a travel itinerary are essential components of trip preparation, it’s equally important to consider your banking needs.

For a little help, here are some of the best on-the-go banking practices for travelers so they can enjoy a worry-free holiday and focus on making lasting memories.

Notify Your Bank About Your Travel Plans

Banks keep an eye on your account, and if they see transactions from a new place (especially in another country), they might think it’s not you and freeze your account to be safe.

Some banks have default settings restricting international transactions to protect customers from unauthorized use.

If you notify your bank in advance, you can request the temporary enabling of overseas transactions. 

It ensures that your card will work seamlessly at ATMs and point-of-sale terminals in the countries you visit, providing you with convenient access to cash and the ability to make card payments.

Moreover, informing your bank beforehand can streamline the resolution process if you encounter any issues with your account while traveling.

Customer service representatives will be better equipped to assist you promptly, knowing you’re traveling and may require urgent attention. It can be crucial in time-sensitive situations, such as resolving a lost or stolen card.

Use Prepaid Cards

Prepaid cards work like gift cards. You load them with money before your trip and then spend what you’ve loaded.

Since you can only spend the amount you’ve loaded on the card, there’s no risk of going over budget or getting into debt.

A prepaid card loan is a great way to control your expenses while still having the convenience of a card.

Another significant advantage of using prepaid cards is that if they get lost or stolen, they’re not linked to your main bank account.

That means the potential loss is limited to the amount you loaded onto the card.

Additionally, prepaid cards, like regular debit or credit cards, are generally accepted worldwide.

You can use them to purchase and withdraw cash from ATMs and book accommodations.

Moreover, some prepaid cards offer the ability to load multiple currencies.

It can be advantageous if you’re visiting different countries, as the card will automatically convert your spending into the local currency at a competitive exchange rate.

Carry Some Cash

Not every place readily accepts cards, especially in more remote or local areas. Markets, street vendors, or small establishments may prefer cash transactions.

Carrying a small amount of local currency ensures you can effortlessly navigate these situations without worrying about finding a card-friendly vendor.

Also, having an emergency fund in cash can be a lifesaver in unpredictable situations.

Whether you encounter technical issues with ATMs, your card is lost or stolen, or you find yourself in a place with limited electronic payment options, having physical cash provides immediate access to funds when you need them the most.

Cash is often quicker and more convenient than card transactions for small or impromptu purchases like grabbing a snack, tipping, or paying for a local service.

It eliminates the need to wait in line or deal with card machines, streamlining your interactions with local businesses.

Get Travel Insurance

Travel insurance acts as a safety net, providing financial coverage for unforeseen events that could disrupt or cancel your trip.

One of the most important aspects of travel insurance is coverage for medical emergencies.

If you fall ill or get injured during your trip, travel insurance can help cover medical expenses, including hospital stays, doctor visits, and even emergency medical evacuation.

Additionally, life is unpredictable, and plans can change. Travel insurance helps recoup non-refundable expenses if you need to cut short or cancel your trip due to covered reasons such as unforeseen circumstances like natural disasters, illness, or injury.

Another thing is that travel insurance typically provides coverage for lost, stolen, or delayed baggage.

And if your trip is delayed due to reasons beyond your control, travel insurance may cover additional expenses incurred, like accommodation and meals during the delay.

Perhaps the most valuable aspect of travel insurance is the peace of mind it brings.

Knowing that you’re financially protected against various unforeseen events allows you to enjoy your trip without worrying about the potential financial consequences of unexpected situations.

Use Mobile Banking Apps

Take advantage of mobile banking apps provided by your bank.

Many apps now include a mobile deposit feature, allowing you to deposit checks by simply taking a photo of the front and back of the check with your smartphone.

You can also set up real-time alerts through the app to receive notifications for every transaction.

These alerts can include purchases, withdrawals, or any other activity on your account.

Some mobile banking apps even offer travel-specific features that can be particularly useful.

These may include currency converters, information about local ATMs, and tips for using your cards abroad.

Explore the app settings to see if any travel-related tools can enhance your overall experience.

If your bank supports contactless payments or mobile wallet services, consider using these features during your travels.

This technology allows you to make purchases by simply tapping your smartphone at compatible payment terminals.


These practices empower you to enjoy your vacation while ensuring your financial transactions remain convenient, efficient, and secure.

Remember to secure your devices, utilize travel-specific features, and update your baking app regularly for an optimal experience.

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