I’ve got a confession to make.
Don’t worry, it’s nothing serious but it’s something I need to fess up to because I know there are probably others out there like me.
I’m the queen of losing bank cards, credit cards, even my house keys are not immune from this – but bank cards are the worst to lose, even more so when travelling aboard.
On my first solo-trip to work in the US and UK, I can count at least four occasions when I somehow lost one of either my bank card or one of my credit cards.
At one point in the UK the worst thing happened – my wallet was stolen from my bag on the bus or the tube (I still don’t know which since I kept my Oyster card in a separate wallet with emergency cash) on my way home from work.
For some reason the day before I’d moved my passport out of my wallet and I’d spent most of the money I had stored in the wallet on a new jacket the day before that didn’t prevent my driver license, student ID, £30 and all of my bank cards were gone.
I had no way to access my money and I momentarily freaked out in the police station wondering how’d I’d survive until replacement cards had come.
Going through all the documents I was travelling with in hope my American bankcard would be in there a letter from Travelex Australia was wedged among the paperwork.
Filled with hope I grabbed my passport from my desk I pulled back the protective cover and found my emergency Australian $100 note wrapped tightly around a card – my pre-paid Travelex card that I had loaded with British Pounds before my departure.
My friend Mel, who’d been in a similar predicament while on her study aboard program in Finland, swore by travelling with a Travelex card and urged me to get one, despite my Mum thinking it not necessary as I had bank cards and credit cards.
Sorry Mum, but this one time I’m glad I didn’t listen to you.
My card was useable at banks in a variety of currencies – I’d chosen US Dollars and British Pounds as these were the countries I’d spend most of my time in – and had a fixed rate for the money I had pre-loaded.
Best of all my family members could load money for me until my replacement card had arrived in the UK – crisis averted!