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Before you put on your out-of-office and head to the airport, make sure you know how to handle your finances while traveling so you can enjoy a stress-free vacation!

1. Plan Ahead - Notify Smart Financial

As an extra level of protection against debit card fraud, we ask that you inform us of your travel dates and locations to avoid a block or restriction on your card! This lets us know that the card activity is really you. Simply fill out a travel notification form on our website at least 48 hours before your departure date. Travel more than twice a month? Consider enrolling in the Smart Traveler Program.

SmartTip: Before you go, make a list of all the cards you plan on bringing, including their international customer service number, just in case your run into any trouble!

2. Foreign Transaction Fees

Fees can add up when you’re traveling abroad. Check our rates and fee schedule before you leave so you can plan! Foreign transaction fees are common at any financial institution. You are charged this fee every time you swipe your card, so it will add up!

3. Avoid Dynamic Currency Conversion

When using your card abroad, you will be asked if you want to make the purchase in your home currency or local currency! While it may seem easier to say home currency, always request local currency. When your transactions are converted to your home currency, you are subject to high conversion rates, on top of your foreign transaction fees.

4. Get Local Currency at the ATM

As tempting as it may be to exchange all your money as soon as your walk off the plane, think twice before buying foreign currency. You will likely incur high fees, especially if you buy at the airport. Save money by using your debit card to withdrawal funds from a local ATM. While you will likely be charged an ATM fee, it will be less than the commission charged at an exchange booth!

5. Don't Forget to Tip

As an extra level of protection against debit card fraud, we ask that you inform us of your travel dates and locations to avoid a block or restriction on your card! This lets us know that the card activity is really you. Simply fill out a travel notification form on our website at least 48 hours before your departure date. Travel more than twice a month? Consider enrolling in the Smart Traveler Program.