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More overseas travel tips

After our previous blog, we had lots of great feedback, here are some more tips, in no particular order:

  1. RFID protection

    This is a security measure for your cards.  Now that your cards have pay-wave on them, a new scam is for people to use scanners when you are in a big crowded place to pick up the radio signals from the cards, and access your accounts.

    You can buy special wallets or money belts that will protect your cards, or wrap them in tin foil.  OR you can take the suggestion from another of our clients in the next point.

  2. Use your phone

    With Paywave on your card (the old eftpos cards that you swipe or just insert won't work), you can load all your cards onto your phone and use Apple Pay or Google Pay for your transactions.

    While it may seem daunting to start with (we have just started using it), it does make life a lot easier.  You only have to take your phone with you (and drivers licence if you are driving), but you don't need to carry around the individual cards (and if you do you can wrap them in tinfoil).

    Not all cards have signed up for the scheme, which is why we will be using our BNZ credit card on our trip and not our Kiwi Bank card, but you can load your credit card (which has high fees if you are using it overseas), your bank debit eftpos card, or your travel card.  See previous blog for discussion about the Wise Travel Card (click here)

    You can change your default card depending on whether you are at home or overseas, and on the iphone, you put your phone on the reader, double click the side button and it uses face recognition as security. You can use an apple watch too.

    I love the fact that it gives you a record of your transactions on that card.  But it also limits your liability to the amount of money associated with that card or account.

    In Europe most places have access to this technology, but I don't know if it would be the same in the USA (where cash may still be king), or in Asia, would love your feedback.  I have found it quite easy to use in New Zealand.

  3. Notify your house and contents insurer

    This is a good point, when I notified our insurer, they weren't worried as we weren't away for more than 90 days and we had a house-sitter.  I don't know if it was that particular insurer, or whether we had a house-sitter, but it is a good idea to notify them.

  4. Check that your cash is still valid

    Countries do change their currency, and you might be surprised to find that your currency that you had from your last trip has expired.  The example I was given was with British £.

  5. Take good travel insurance

    I didn't mention this as I thought it would be a no-brainer.  We have had good experience with our credit card insurance, but you need to make sure that you activate the policy and let the insurer know of ANY pre-existing conditions and pay the extra premium. 

    For example, Peter has bakers cysts behind his knees that give him grief, and it cost us an extra $90 for the travel insurance to have them covered.  And they didn't even know that we are going on a cycling holiday.  But better peace of mind knowing that we don't have to worry about it if something goes wrong with his knees.

  6. Take extra methods of payment

    Our friends had spent about 6 weeks travelling through Europe using their ASB Debit card to get cash.  But in Spain the machine not only swallowed their card, but wouldn't give them their money.  It wasn't feasible to get replacement cards, and it took over half a day of their holiday time to get it sorted out with the Spanish Bank (but they didn't get the card back).

  7. Use house-sitters

    This is something that we have started doing at the start of 2023 because we now have two cats and one is too anxious to go into a cattery.  We have so far found three wonderful house-sitters when we have had to go over to Australia, and for this trip.  We use, and look for people with good referee comments and who have confirmation of their lack of criminal record.

    I have added this in to this blog post as every time I talk to someone about it, they want to know how it works.  With Kiwi House-sitters you get a match up, and the people come and live in your house and look after your pets.  They get free accommodation and you get your home and pets looked after and loved.

    As the site says: Sitters generally provide free pet care, garden care and home security in return for free accommodation.

    Our experiences have been great, and we have already pencilled in two house-sitters for our two planned trips next year.


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