Tips for Traveling or Living Abroad

Whether you're traveling or living abroad, you need to prepare your finances. Read these tips before traveling!

By: Navy Federal on March 14, 2016

Planning a trip soon? Spending time away from home whether that’s in the U.S. or overseas can be a thrilling adventure. You’re surrounded by new sights, exotic foods and maybe even a different language. Have you considered how your finances will translate? Make the most of your experience with these financial tips:

Set Up Travel Notifications

Using your credit or debit card abroad with no notice to your financial institution could result in your account being frozen. After all, it's possible that such use would lead them to presume that your information was stolen and is being used fraudulently. Avoid this situation by letting customer service know where you’re traveling to, your departure date, length of stay and if there are any layovers. You can easily set a Travel Notification online or through your mobile app* for your Navy Federal debit and credit cards:

Mobile Banking Online Banking
  1. 1. Open the menu bar and select "Accounts."
  2. 2. Tap on the debit or credit card you plan to use while traveling from the list of accounts.
  3. 3. Tap on the summary section of the Account Details page to access the Account Management features.
  4. 4. Tap "Travel Notifications" and select your card.
  5. 5. Enter your travel destination(s) and dates.
  1. 1. Sign into Online Banking and select "Account Services."
  2. 2. Scroll to Credit or Debit Cards Management and select "Travel Notifications."
  3. 3. Click "Add Notification" and select the debit or credit card you plan to use while traveling.
  4. 4. Enter your destination(s) and dates of travel.
  5. 5. Press "Continue" and review information before submitting.

Find a credit card with no foreign transaction fees

If you're making a short trip overseas, taking a hit on a few small transaction fees might not be concerning. However, if you plan to stay awhile, consider a credit card with no foreign transaction fees1. You may even be able to earn rewards that can go toward travel expenses.

Bring copies of travel and financial information

If you're visiting, you should have copies of information such as your passport, airline tickets, driver's license and credit cards. For longer stays during which you plan to work or purchase property, also have copies of your foreign visa, tax forms from the last two years, recent paycheck stubs, a complete list of debts and a complete list of assets.

  • Tip: Before signing anything in a foreign language, you may want to have it professionally translated so you have a clear understanding of what your agreement is.

Have multiple forms of payment

Do some research on what forms of payment will be accepted in your destination. Outside of cash, credit and debit cards are generally widely accepted, with the benefit of being easily canceled if lost or stolen. Plus, they can be used globally at ATMs if you need to make a payment in cash. Consider carrying at least two cards (not tied to the same account), even if you plan on only using one.

Inform your financial institutions

Using your credit or debit card abroad with no previous notice to your financial institution can result in your account being frozen. After all, it's possible that such use would lead them to presume that your information was stolen and is being used fraudulently. Avoid this situation by letting customer service know where you're traveling to, your departure date, length of stay and if there are any layovers.

Prepare an emergency fund

If you're moving abroad, set aside about three to six months' worth of living expenses. Should your situation sour, this will give you an opportunity to bounce back. You might also want to have enough savings for the return trip if your stay isn't permanent.

Automate your payments

If you have car payments or other bills back home, consider making them automatic if they aren't already. Then there are no worries about having Internet access when you need to make the payment or forgetting to make the payment amid the excitement of a new locale.

Whether you're making a short trip or planning a longer stay abroad, Navy Federal has tools and resources to help you plan and prepare financially for travel.


NOW WATCH: Travel Notifications with Navy Federal’s App

1Currently, rates range from 8.24% APR to 18% APR, are based on creditworthiness, and will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate. ATM cash advance fees: None if performed at a Navy Federal branch or ATM. Otherwise, $.50 per domestic transaction or $1.00 per overseas transaction. $49 annual fee for Visa Signature Flagship Rewards.

This article is intended to provide general information and shouldn't be considered legal, tax or financial advice. It's always a good idea to consult a tax or financial advisor for specific information on how certain laws apply to your situation and about your individual financial situation.