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TRAVEL TIPS TO MAKE YOUR NEXT OVERSEAS TRIP STRESS-FREE

For most people the holiday season is a distant memory by now, and thoughts have already turned to the next big adventure. While travelling overseas can be a thrilling experience, it requires careful planning and preparation. Many of us tend to learn this valuable lesson the hard way, but now you don’t have to, thanks to Tracy Afonso, Executive of Private Clients and Small Business Services at Nedbank, who shares some advice on how to make your next holiday as stress-free and enjoyable as possible. 

1       Sort out your passport and visas early. Begin your travel preparations by ensuring your passport and visas are in order. The application process can take long, so it’s crucial to start early. When you receive these vital travel documents, be sure to make copies of the relevant pages and keep a copy with you, separate from your passport, and give one to a trusted friend or family member back home for safekeeping.

You could also take advantage of the service that Nedbank offers. Skip the queue at Home Affairs by applying for your passport at participating Nedbank branches. It’s as simple as applying online and collecting your travel documents at a branch. When they’re ready, you will be notified.

2      Have a mix of foreign exchange payment options. Using different payment methods is a smart move when travelling overseas. Carry only a small amount of cash in the local currency for day-to-day purchases and use a dedicated travel card or your credit card and earn rewards for larger transactions.

‘Nedbank Private Clients enjoy a range of forex services and benefits – complimentary delivery, a VIP rate, and the secure and convenient Nedbank Travel Card. You can preload multiple currencies onto the card, and use the balance to pay without additional costs,’ Tracey clarifies. ‘You can even manage your Travel Card on the go via the Money app.’

It is also imperative to inform your bank or credit card providers about your travelling dates to ensure that you can use your cards overseas without them being flagged or restricted for suspected fraudulent activity.

3      Take full advantage of airport lounges. Airport lounges can really transform your travel experience. They offer a serene retreat from the bustling, often stressful environment of airports, with comfortable and ample seating, wifi, power sockets, and even showers in some cases. It is like sanctuary from the chaotic airport atmosphere and can greatly reduce the anxiety that most people experience when travelling.

Tracy reminds that airport lounges are not only comfortable, but also cost-effective. ‘Airport eateries are known for their high prices, but lounge access typically includes complimentary snacks, meals, and beverages. So, you save money while putting your feet up.’ Nedbank Private Clients enjoy access to local travel lounges with any of their Private Clients cards, while children who have active kids accounts get 4 free visits per year. And for Private Clients with Visa Signature debit or credit cards the benefit extends to 10 free visits to more than 800 global LoungeKey lounges. International lounges also have a plus-1 guest benefit.

4      Get the best travel insurance you can. Travel insurance is crucial for protecting you and your family financially in the event of unexpected medical expenses, trip delays, and lost baggage. ‘When you pay for your flights with your Nedbank Private Clients Visa Signature or American Express® Card, you automatically qualify for medical emergency cover of up to R3 million on American Express Cards and US$750 000 on Visa Signature Cards,’ Tracey reassures.

Nedbank Greenbacks members now also enjoy local and international airline discounts – before you book, check out the Nedbank Greenbacks programme.

5      If possible, travel outside peak seasonIf you couldn’t join the holiday rush over December last year, you may have done yourself a huge favour. Traveling internationally outside peak season has many benefits for adventurous globetrotters. Beyond the obvious advantage of avoiding crowds and long queues, travelling outside peak season is often a less rushed, and more authentic and immersive experience. And it offers significant cost savings with lower airfares and accommodation prices.

‘Successful overseas travel is not only about enjoying your destination; it’s about enjoying every part of the journey,’ says Tracey. ‘So being well-prepared and equipping yourself with the knowledge you need to make the journey less stressful is a vital way of ensuring that the only memories you make are good ones.’

INFO SUPPLIED.

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