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Manage Your Money for Smoother Overseas Travel

Save time and money, and avoid vacation headaches, by being as thoughtful with what you put into your wallet as with what you pack in your suitcase. Consider these tips for managing your money to make your international travel smoother.

Make the most of credit card perks. Make sure you are not missing out on unredeemed credit card rewards points that can help defray the cost of your trip. Some cards, like the Zions Bank Premier Visa® Credit Card, offer upgrades on hotel rooms and other perks.

Get current on the local currency. Before you embark on an international trip, verify the currency of the country or the cities you plan to visit. This will end the inconvenience of finding yourself in Sweden without a krona—or any other country without the right currency.

Exchange foreign currency ahead of time. While credit cards offer convenience, cash is king when it comes to paying for incidentals like transportation, tips and, in some places, restroom access. At least one week before your trip, order the currency you need locally.

Pack the right credit cards. Your wallet should contain a widely accepted credit card, like a Visa, and a backup card should the first get lost or declined. Some card issuers charge a foreign transaction fee—typically 3%—on every purchase made when traveling outside the United States. To help keep your vacation budget in check, bring a credit card—or apply for a new card—that doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees.

Notify your credit card company. Let your credit card company and bank know of your travel plans so overseas purchases will not be flagged as fraud.

Spend spare change. While bills are easily exchanged, finding a place to exchange coins is more difficult. Travelers should spend their extra coins while in the foreign country or plan to keep them as souvenirs.

Tyler Jeppsen manages Zions Bank St. George 

... cash is king when it comes to paying for incidentals like transportation and tips ....